For many couples, pregnancy is one of the most exciting and most looked forward to events in their life.
Seeing that little positive sign on a pregnancy test brings about a variety of feelings of excitement, warmth, and concern for what’s about to happen.
Over the years countless women have taken to the Internet to identify the things that you should expect when you’re expecting, that no one tells you about.
From spaghetti-like nipples to morning sickness that lasts all day, there are plenty of parts of pregnancy that are not as appealing as the glow and joyous happiness you are told you’ll feel.
Balled up with all of this is stretch marks. For most women, stretch marks are unavoidable but there are some fool-proof ways to treat them. Here are six weird facts about stretch marks and what you can do about them.
1- Stretch marks are caused by pregnancy weight gain
According to Heidi Waldorf, MD, the initial cause of stretch marks around the abdomen and back, and sometimes even the breast, is because your body is growing faster than your skin.
As a result, the layers of your skin stretch apart. Since the average pregnancy causes the weight gain of between 20 and 40 pounds, up to 90% of women are likely to experience some type during their pregnancy.
2- Stretch marks can appear anywhere
Women gain weight a variety of different ways when they are pregnant. Some women are fortunate enough to only gain weight in the abdomen region while others notice that additional pounds packing on in their legs, upper arms, and under the chin.
Stretch marks are not inclusive to one specific spot on the body. Women have been known to have them everywhere from the upper thighs and butt to the lower back to under their arms.
3- Skincare plays a role in how stretch marks will appear
It has been said that you are never too young to start taking antiaging measures for your skin. While plenty of women are focusing on their face, few are actually focusing on their body.
One of the ways to minimize the chance of stretch marks before you ever get pregnant is to make sure that your skin is properly nourished all times.
Using lotions with retinol can dramatically help improve the amount of moisture and elasticity that is in your skin and therefore decrease the occurrence or size of future stretch marks when pregnant.
4- Genetics is a factor too
Much like anything that happens with your body, genetics can also be a factor. Bruce Katz M.D., a dermatologist in New York City, notes that the genetic makeup of your body directly correlates with how certain hormones are elevated during pregnancy. As a result, for some people stretch marks during pregnancy are completely unavoidable.
5- Stretchers happen on a molecular level
Even though they seem to be only on the surface, a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology revealed that pregnancy has the ability to disrupt the skin’s natural elasticity.
This could be chalked up to hormonal changes. Either way, 3-D imaging showed researchers that the marks are more than skin deep.
6- Cocoa butter doesn’t help
Most pregnant women have heard the old wives tale that applying cocoa butter multiple times a day will help with stretch marks. A variety of studies have proven this to be a mess.
The fact is that stretch marks are virtually unavoidable for women who are pregnant, adolescents, and those whose bodies change through fitness. However, continued and regular use of cocoa butter can help nourish the skin enough to at least diminish the marks.
If there is one thing that most individuals in the medical community can agree on it is that although stretch marks are unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to treat them. The best course of treatment is to start before stretch marks appear.
Use vitamin-based lotion
One is the key differences between facial lotion and body lotion is its ingredients. The facial lotion is typically formulated with vitamins and retinol to help create that smooth youthful appearance.
This is why we find our face bouncing back from things like acne scars better than the rest of our body. Start by switching your daily lotion to one that is rich in vitamins and will give your skin better nourishment.
Exfoliation stimulates cell growth below the surface of the skin. Daily exfoliation of potential problem areas like the lower back, stomach, and upper thighs can go a long way into diminishing the appearance of stretch marks.
It has been recommended to use a coffee Dead Sea salt scrub for best results. The caffeine in robust coffee beans helps stimulate your skin from the outside. The addition of Dead Sea salt held sloth off those dead skin cells to leave radiant skin behind.
Make your own affordable coffee scrub by taking leftover coffee grounds and mixing them with equal parts Dead Sea salt.
Next, you want to add nourishing oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, and tea tree oil until the blend is saturated. Be sure to rinse your shower thoroughly after using to avoid slipping in the future.
Massage lotion in circular motions
Many of us apply lotion by simply slathering on our skin for a few quick seconds until we can’t see the residue anymore. To help treat stretch marks and ensure that lotion penetrates deep below the skin layers, use a circular massage motion.
Dermatologists have said that this helps to ensure that your skin gets the most nourishment out of the lotion.
If you still find yourself self-conscious about stretch marks post pregnancy there is always the option to have them removed via laser.
A simple beauty trick which you can use when out and about in more revealing attire is to dab a little self-tanner into the marks to help them blend with the rest of your skin tone.
All in all, stretch marks are truly one of the beautiful reminders of the joyous process of pregnancy. Keep these weird facts in mind and employee these tips to help minimize their overall appearance.