Stretch marks and skin changes after pregnancy

Stretch marks and skin changes after pregnancy

During and after pregnancy the female body undergoes several changes. Among these, some concern the skin which, subjected to the effects of the massive hormonal increase in the blood, is subject to physiological modifications. Among the most common phenomena are:

– melasma or chloasma or gravidic mask: more or less intense brown spots, typically present on the forehead and cheeks;

– hyperpigmentation;

– linea nigra or linea alba: observable strip on the abdomen that descends from the navel towards the pubis;

– striae distensae: better known as stretch marks;

Stretch marks
The most common consequence given by the increase in volume derived from pregnancy is the appearance of stretch marks, which appear on the breast, belly and hips: the areas of the body most under stress. The best way to combat them is to prevent them, keeping weight gain under control and keeping the skin hydrated.
It will therefore be necessary to start from the beginning of pregnancy to apply, with a gentle massage, specific creams to collagen (the essential component of the intercellular substance of the connective tissue) and to elastin (a protein that allows the skin to return to its original size after undergoing a dilation).
At least once a week an exfoliating product should be used, massaging it on the whole body and in particular on the critical points.

Obviously, the skin should not be nourished only from the outside but also from the inside with proper nutrition.
it is good to always drink at least a liter and a half of low mineral water per day (skin dehydration can also be fought from the inside) and increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables (rich in vitamins A and C) and vegetable oils (rich in vitamin E) which help the skin to remain soft and elastic.

Pigmentation changes
In 90% of pregnant women hyper-pigmentation appears, mainly due to melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), estrogen and progesterones, hormones that directly or indirectly stimulate the production of melanin and consequently the appearance of dark spots on the skin.
After childbirth, all areas of the body affected by this alteration lighten spontaneously and progressively over the following months.
But to reduce or avoid the problem it is good to expose yourself as little as possible to the sun and protect the skin with a sunscreen with a high protective factor (factor 30) both during and just after pregnancy. The sun, in fact, although not directly responsible for the appearance of the spots, stimulates the production of melanin by the melanocytes.
In the event that they are formed despite the precautions, at the end of pregnancy you can contact a dermatologist for specific lightening treatments.

Scientific consultant of Dr. Michela Colombo, surgeon, specialist in obstetrics and gynecology

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Category: Mom
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