How to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
This article was first published on the ParentsAfrica Magazine on July 25, 2019.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of bodily changes including an expanding waistline weight gain and change in skin.
Dr. Loise Kahoro, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, recommends that women should start their self-care regime early in the pregnancy. “Apply moisturiser to prevent the formation of stretchmarks from the time the tummy feels like it is stretching,” she advises.
Through the physical marvel of birthing and the emotional intensity of the delivery, mothers encounter many natural skin changes in pregnancy. Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Justine Hextall identifies three main areas of common skin diagnosis in pregnancy and advises on best care practice for the skin.
The skin usually darkens during pregnancy particularly the nipples and a line from the pubis to the navel, the so called linea nigra. Melasma, also known as ‘mask of pregnancy’, or “chloasma” during pregnancy is relatively common usually as a result of hormonal fluctuations related to pregnancy. Hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone naturally fades post pregnancy. Twice-daily application of Bio-Oil helps improve the appearance of uneven skin tone. To prevent skin darkening, women should apply sunscreen on exposed body parts, wear wide brimmed hats and sit with their back to the sun.
Most women experience some dryness and itching from the onset of the 2nd trimester when the skin around the abdomen, thighs, lower back, hips and breasts begins to stretch.
Bio-Oil contains plant oils and vitamins that offer great relief from the discomfort associated with dry itchy skin, which hydrates dry and itchy belly skin to improve skin comfort and appearance.
Stretch marks occur in around 90 per cent of pregnancies. They start at around 13 weeks. Research shows that one in three women feel self-conscious, embarrassed, worried or even ashamed about their stretch marks which can have a low body confidence and negative effect on what they choose to wear.
A senior midwifery lecturer from University of Greenwich explains that the skin has a natural elasticity tolerance, which, when surpassed, creates tiny fissures commonly known as stretch marks. She advises that one can protect their skin by moisturising, eating healthy and exercising.
Dr. Adan Abdullahi, Plastic and Reconstruction Aesthetic Surgeon, reveals that there are preventable measures against stretchmarks such as using a moisturiser with PurCellin Oil™ from the second trimester to reduce one’s chances of having excessive and unsightly stretchmarks. What’s more, the doctor says this is a safe procedure as it isn’t penetrative and doesn’t affect the baby.
It is important to note that no treatment can totally eradicate scars, however, Bio-Oil has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy. Bio-Oil should not be used on broken skin.
Celebrity pop-star, Kim Kardashian-West chose to use Bio-Oil during her entire pregnancy to keep the stretch marks at bay. “It prevents wrinkles around my eyes and stretch marks over my body,” she said.
Bio-Oil’s special formulation maximises the skin’s elasticity and is made from vitamins A and E, calendula, lavender, rosemary and chamomile oils and the breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil™, which changes the formulation’s overall consistency, making it light and non-greasy, ensuring that the goodness contained in the vitamins and plant extracts is easily absorbed. Bio-Oil stimulates cell renewal and skin hydration on face and body and supplements the skin’s natural oils.