Stretch marks can feel inevitable when it comes to pregnancy but there are ways to ease how they develop.

Moisturising and staying hydrated can help prevent stretch marks

Stretch marks and pregnancy go hand-in-hand, it’s a common occurrence so you don’t need to worry if they start to appear. But what are they and why do we get them?

Many women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, most commonly in the last trimester, when the skin experiences the most growth.

Firstly, what are stretch marks and why do we get them?

Stretch marks are streaky scars that appear on overstretched skin -- usually following rapid growth such as from puberty, weight gain or even body building.

Scars occur when collagen and elastic fibres in the skin snap, resulting in underlying tissue expansion. In some instances, they can even appear when skin has been exposed to excess amounts of the hormone, cortisol, which can cause skin to lose its elasticity.

What areas on the body are most affected?

Stretch marks can initially feel itchy and appear purple-red in colour, however rest assured -- they do eventually become less noticeable over time. And while scars can occur almost anywhere on the body, they’re more commonly seen on the:

  • Stomach
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Breasts

So how can we prevent them from occurring?

While completely harmless, it’s normal to feel irritated by the appearance of stretch marks. And unfortunately, despite various products claiming to prevent them, the jury is still out on how effective these products are. That’s right -- there is no guarantee that cream, oil or ointment will prevent or eliminate them.

However, there are some ways to assist the likelihood or severity of developing stretch marks during pregnancy. These include:

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