Pregnancy stretch mark, medically known as Striae Gravidarum, is a common skin concern among pregnant women. Stretch mark comes in a form of skin scars which are categorized into various kinds according to its cause and appearance on the skin. Pregnancy stretch mark, therefore, is naturally different from other kinds of stretch marks due to the various bodily changes and hormonal factors which take place during pregnancy.
Understanding Stretch Marks
Understanding the nature of stretch marks is helpful before we look at the factors which make it different from other forms of skin scars. In simple terms, stretch marks, dermatological referred to as Striae, are formed on the skin as a result of tearing of skin tissues due to weight changes in the body. As the skin breaks, it forms scars which come in lighter color and appear in the form of stretch marks. The weight changes in the body can occur due to a variety of reasons including hormonal variations during puberty and pregnancy. Weight changes also occur in both men and women due to body building and obesity. Stretch marks are medically categorized such as Striae Atrophicae, Stria Distensae, Striae Cutis Distensae, and the last one being Striae Gravidarum which is commonly referred to as pregnancy stretch marks.
How Are Pregnancy Stretch Marks Different?
During pregnancy, there is a variety of body changes that occur in a woman’s body. On the average, a pregnant woman gains roughly around 25-35 pounds due to the increase in body fat, blood cells, and other tissues. The human skin is highly elastic and geared to adapt to surface expansions and contractions resulting from rapid weight changes. However, the hormonal changes which occur during pregnancy leads to have skin scars otherwise known as stretch marks. The increase in hormone levels during pregnancy dilutes the collagen fibers in the skin tissues which causes the skin to tear more easily and, thus, promotes the formation of stretch marks.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks – Concerns and Treatment
While pregnancy stretch marks are completely harmless, they do cause a certain degree of discomfort and irritation as they can cause itchiness especially in the first stages of their formation. The main cause of concern experienced by most pregnant women is their conspicuous appearance and the fact that they take a long time to fade away. While it is nearly impossible to avoid the occurrence of stretch marks during pregnancy there are a wide range of treatments available such as creams and oils that can help dissolve the marks in due time. A healthy diet as well as high water intake during the nine months of pregnancy can also play a very important role in dealing with stretch marks.