Stretch Marks



Stretch marks in pregnancy are something that we would all like to avoid and have the ideal treatment for. The reason for developing stretch marks on your abdomen when you are pregnant revolves around a number of factors. Firstly, there are the physical factors of mechanical stress on stretched skin which causes the elastic fibres in the skin to actually disrupt or rupture. Secondly, the actual characteristics of skin in pregnancy are altered, probably due to the effects of oestrogen hormone and other factors. Finally, there has been shown to be a genetic component which means that the characteristic of your skin is gene dependant and family history may therefore play a factor. Stretch marks often begin as areas of localised swelling which then appear as the typical striations of skin connective tissue disruption that are red or purple in colour. After about twelve months, the red colour changes to a whiter colour merging in with your normal skin colour in most instances. Prevention is not proven to be very successful and the use of moisturisers and oils has not been shown to be effective scientifically in reducing the incidence of stretch marks. The best outcome has been shown for patients who have the persistently red stretch marks is the use of laser treatment. This treatment has been proven to be reasonably effective. Other treatments include the topical use of retinoids which are safe to use after the pregnancy is concluded.  Unfortunately, these creams need to be used for some months and have a variable response.