Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Avoid Stretch Marks

Along with weight loss or gain come those annoying unstoppable stretch marks. Almost all pregnant women want to know how they can avoid ugly stretch marks. Unfortunately, there is nothing guaranteed to prevent them, though there’s no harm in trying.

Stretch marks are thin reddish streaks that usually occur on your tummy and your breasts, as well as on your thighs and bottom. Once you have them, they never completely disappear in most of the cases, though they fade to a silvery colour and, if you have pale skin, become much less noticeable after the baby has been born. If you have dark skin, the silver lines may be clearer.

Stretch marks are caused by the weakening or tearing of the fibers of the skin. This may happen if you gain a lot of weight in a short period of time (or even when you grow rapidly, for example during adolescence). In pregnancy, it can also happen as a result of the effects of the hormones on the structure of your skin.

If your stretch marks are caused by your hormone levels, there is little you can do to prevent them. Massaging your tummy with creams or oils may feel pleasant and keep the skin supple, but there is no medical proof that it will make any difference to the stretch marks. You might be able to reduce the chance of getting them by trying not to put on excess weight, but though it’s a good idea to avoid empty calories, there is no point in restricting your diet in the hope of avoiding stretch marks.

Stretch marks may start to appear from as early as three to four months medically known as “striae gravidarum”, they usually begin in the second trimester, frequently starting at the navel and fanning out over your abdomen in what a pregnant girlfriend of mine now refers to as her "personal beach ball" pattern!

Medha Panshikar, an internationally-trained cosmetologist says, "Stretch marks mainly occur due to a burst of collagen. The protein substance that gives your skin elasticity tears away from the skins connective fibers. Mainly it occurs due to genetic factors and your internal body structure. They cannot be completely avoided but there are definitely some easy remedies to it. There are also some factors related to stretch marks that you can control. So, even if you are prone to this problem, there are ways to decrease your risks - starting with watching your weight and keeping extra pounds under control”.

Easy Remedies

  • Make your own all-natural cocoa butter by heating equal parts of grated cocoa butter and coconut oil in a microwave until melted. Stir well, let it cool and apply generously on your tummy, hips, buttocks, breast and arms
  • Two tablespoons of honey in a warm bath can draw moisture to your skin. If you're a shower girl, bring a plastic squeeze bottle of honey into the tub, and after tummy is wet, squeeze a little honey directly on your belly and rub in. Let it remain while you continue your shower and rinse off right before you're done
  • Watch your weight
  • You can use stretch marks prevention lotions although it is believed that they are not very effective
  • Soak a clean, white cloth in small dish of warm milk, squeeze out and apply the compress to your belly for up to 15 minutes. Re-dip several times, and reapply as needed
  • Use Vitamin E oil or Olive oil on the effective areas
Source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/

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