Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stretch Marks & Skin Changes During Pregnancy

Skin Changes During Pregnancy
By Kevin Pederson

There are countless physical changes to your skin, both pleasurable and painful attributed to your pregnancy.

The common skin change that most pregnant woman experience is the stretch marks. Stretch marks are separations of the outer layers of skin caused by the overstretching of underlying layers.

Besides pregnant women, stretch marks are found on children who are obese, adolescents who have a sudden growth spurt during puberty and athletes and body builders who do constant exercises. The most commonly affected areas by stretch marks are hips, abdomen, breasts, thighs and buttocks. Stretch marks are itchy reddish marks.

In pregnancy, heredity plays an important role in determining who will have and will not have stretch marks. If your mother has had them, chances are that you will get them too, unless you were born with stretchy skin. There is no sure shot remedy for stretch marks as mostly they fade after delivery. The only way to avoid stretch marks is to prevent them. We recommend the following.

  • Massage vitamin E or olive oil on the abdomen areas from the start of your pregnancy. Massage it liberally over the marks after a shower. In case you skip a shower, clean the area with a wet cloth and then apply the oil.
  • Regular exercise helps to tone your muscles and keep your skin firm.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Plenty of protein and vitamin C and E rich foods should be included in your diet. Increase your intake of minerals such as zinc and silica to maintain healthy skin.
  • Avoid excessive weight gain in a short time span.
  • To avoid stretch marks around breasts, make sure to always wear a supportive maternity bra.
  • To make stretch mark cream, mix 1/2 cup cocoa butter, 1 tsp wheat germ oil, 1 tsp apricot kernel oil, vitamin E oil and 2 tsp grated beeswax. Heat the mixture until cocoa butter and beeswax melt, stir well and store in air tight conditioner.
About the Author
Kevin Pederson manages
Skin Care At Home, a natural skin care website providing useful skin care and skin nutrition tips. Find information on stretch marks and ways to treat and prevent them.

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