Pregnancy-what are stretch marks?
Stretch Marks FAQs
What are stretch marks?
These are narrow, hypopigmented (but they can be pink, red, brown or purple in the beginning) and depressed stripes that appear on the skin´s surface (most commonly on the abdomen) in late stages of gestation due to the rapidly expanding belly that develops to make space for the growing baby. Other locations of these stretch marks are the hips, buttocks, upper arms, thighs and breasts.
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks appear due to the skin becoming suddenly stretched by pregnancy, especially in multifetal gestations, being pregnant with a big baby or having excessive amniotic fluid.
Other causes include puberty, fast weight gain and/or loss, some medical conditions like Marfan or Cushing´s syndrome, family history of stretch marks. Some athletes can develop stretch marks from bulging muscles.
Why does pregnancy promotes the appearance of stretch marks?
During gestation, your body produces oestrogen and progesterone, which soften the ligaments located in your pelvis for major flexibility. But at the same time, these also soften the skin fibres, promoting the development of stretch marks.
Do all pregnant women get stretch marks?
No, but in general more than 50% of women will develop stretch marks. It depends mostly on your skin type and its elasticity, and if you have some of the factors stated above.
What can I do to prevent stretch marks?
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do. There are no creams, salves, and oils that have enough proof to prevent stretch marks. Ask your dermatologist for some recommendations on how to manage these.
Will my stretch marks ever go away?
They can become considerably less noticeable about 6 months to a year after childbirth, but do not always disappear completely. Their texture will remain the same. The changes are mostly seen in their pigmentation, which fades, becoming lighter than the rest of the skin (depending on your skin colour).
What Our Patients Say
“This is my second visit to Merrion Fetal, I was very pleased on both occasions. Lovely quiet waiting room, appointment was on time. The 20-week scan is very detailed we enjoyed watching our baby on the large TV screen. We got some beautiful photos. The nurse was very pleasant and talked us through all the measurements and anatomy. I would highly recommend this scanning clinic.”
“I had the best experience at the Merrion Fetal Health clinic for my 20-week big scan. The staff were so friendly and so nice and the lovely lady who did my ultrasound scan was amazing. She was so thoroughgoing to absolutely everything and gave me such reassurance on how my baby was growing and developing. I would recommend any Mother to be to attend here if you are looking for a comfortable, reassuring and super pleasant experience.”
“Highly recommend! We had an early scan due to a little scare at the start of pregnancy and then another at 12 weeks to make sure all was good again. Helen who was scanning on both days was fantastic. We felt totally relaxed and un-rushed while she took her time finding the best angle of baby to get us the clearest pictures as keepsakes all while making sure everything was perfect with baby. She reassured us throughout and I can honestly say it was the best money we ever spent getting both scans done.
Please let Helen know we are 18 weeks now and flying along Highly recommend!
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All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.