Preventing Abdominal stretch marks (Striae gravidarum)
Pregnancy stretch marks, striae gravidarum is a form of scarring of the skin of the abdominal due to sudden weight gain during pregnancy. We must first understand the causes of these stretch marks before we can effectively prevent them.
What causes Striae?
Striae begin as reddish purple lesions, and, over time, lose pigmentation and atrophy. They can cause a burning and itching sensation, as well as emotional distress. They are rarely harmful, but thought of more as a cosmetic nuisance. Young women are generally affected. Mechanical distention and rapidly developing areas of the body during pregnancy (such as the abdomen, breasts, and thighs) are most commonly associated with striae formation. The prevalence and severity of striae gravidarum varies among populations. The current literature suggest that in the general population of the US, there is a 50%-90% prevalence of striae associated with pregnancy.
5 Effective ways to prevent stretch marks
  1. Controlled weight gain
    To prevent striae, the most important means is to control the weight gain during pregnancy, thus preventing the stretch and stress on the skin.

    It is common for woman to eat more during pregnancy hoping to give more nutrients to the fetus. In fact, woman should monitor cautiously their weight gain and it should be gradual increase rather than sudden increase. We should expect minimal weight gain during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and about 5-6 kg in the 2nd and 3rd trimester generally.
  2. Massage with moisturizers daily
    Using suitable moisturizer, starting in the first few weeks till 3 months after delivery, pregnant woman should massage her abdomen, hip, thigh buttock and breasts area daily. This would help to moisturize and enhance the elasticity of the skin, making the skin less likely to break with increased weight. Massaging also help to improve communication with the fetus as well.
  3. Balanced Diet
    During pregnancy, woman should avoid excessive desserts and fried foods. These high caloric intake would be turned into fat in our body and deposited under our skin (sub-cutaneous fat). Instead, more intake of protein would help to replenish the ingredients for collagen, improving the skin tone as well as its elasticity.
  4. Use suitable support belt and bras
    After 16 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus weight will increase gradually. It is recommended that woman should start to use suitable support belt and bras. Support belts help to support the weight and relieve the stress to the back muscle. Furthermore, it helps to constrain the sheer force of gravity onto the abdominal skin.

    With hormonal changes, the breast will also increase its size preparing for lactation. Suitable sized bras with good support should be used to reduce the downward force, thus preventing excessive skin stretching.
  5. Don't forget other areas of the body
    Although commonly known as abdominal striae, it is not confined only to the abdomen. Any area with excessive stretch on the skin beyond its elasticity will create striae. Thus, we should not forget other areas of the body. This is especially true for areas not easily noticed, such as thigh, buttock, waist, back, side of breasts etc. Using moisturizers for these areas regularly will prevent these striae.

*Prevention is better than cure. Nowadays, stretch marks can be treated with laser treatments, however, a daily care with the ways above would be more important. If you need more information about, please contact us or consult a specialist.

Recommendation for Daily Care :: Derml A is suitable moisturizer for pregnant women
Derml A (All Purpose Moisturizer)

Derml A is one of the best moisturizer available in the market. It is smooth, light weight, rapidly absorbs and moisturizes the skin with its high contents of humectants and emollients. It also enhances the skin’s protective mechanisms. Derml A formula is recommended by dermatologists and is suitable for all skin types including problematic and sensitive skin, especially suitable for children and pregnant women.