Stretch marks are pink or purplish streaks in the skin that commonly appear on abdomen, breasts, buttocks or thighs during the third trimester of pregnancy when your belly rapidly expands to accommodate a growing baby. About half of pregnant women get them. They are caused by a stretching of the skin along with a normal increase of the hormone cortisone, which weaken elastic fibers of the skin, causing the marks. Heredity also plays a big role. Your stretching skin might also be itchy. Moisturizers can help.
After delivery, they fade gradually to light pink or white, but never totally disappear. Unfortunately, there’s no proof that creams or ointments can prevent stretch marks or get rid of them. Why? Because stretch marks develop from deep within the connective tissue underneath the skin, they can’t be prevented by anything applied externally.
“With the new baby on the way, I strongly recommend the following books for your family.” -Angela
References and Resources
- Womenshealth.gov – Body changes and discomforts: Stretch marks, skin changes
- March of Dimes – Skin Changes: Stretch Marks
- U.S. National Library of Medicine – Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Skin conditions during pregnancy: What are stretch marks?
- Mayo Clinic – Stretch Marks