Why Do I Have These Stretch Marks?

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Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in different ways. Her pelvic bones shift and widen as the ligaments grow looser. Her feet and ankles may grow wider and thicker. Her hair grows long and luxuriant. If she has a natural childbirth, this may come with its own changes. Every body is different, though, so some of these changes can’t be predicted. Each woman has to experience her own pregnancy in her own way.

If you are expecting, the one thing you can almost certainly look forward to is stretch marks. This is because your skin stretches as the baby grows. Even if you use cosmetic preparations, oils, lotions, magical potions, or thoughts and prayers, nothing can prevent stretch marks, if you are predisposed to them.

It’s bad news, but don’t feel down. There are ways to get rid of them, for example laser stretch mark removal Columbus Ohio, but you should also read a little further and find out what you can do to mitigate them.

Cortisol

You would never think that cortisol levels might be a factor. The link to your skin is in the effect that cortisol has on your skin’s elasticity.

Let’s back up a bit. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands to help regulate blood pressure, glucose metabolism, insulin release, immune system activity, and inflammation. When you start waking up in the morning, cortisol helps your body do that, and when you get a sudden fright, cortisol helps your body to respond to it.

Unfortunately, if you are, like most people, experiencing constant stress, and those levels only fluctuate between high and higher, then your cortisol levels become too high, and it throws the body out of whack.

There are many ways that high cortisol levels can impact on your skin, such as acne, dryness, and numerous skin conditions. It also depletes the proteins that help your skin to remain young and stretchy. So if you are pregnant and are constantly experiencing high stress levels, your skin elasticity will almost certainly be affected, and your stretch marks will be worse than they would have if you were experiencing lower levels of cortisol.

You might want to speak to your doctor about a collagen supplement, which may help to mitigate the impact of high cortisol levels on your skin.

Lifestyle

Stretch marks also appear differently on different skin types. This means that some people may be genetically predisposed to having more severe stretch marks than others. When we say “skin types”, note that this is not based on skin colour, but rather on levels of moisture in the skin. Some types of skin are naturally dry, whilst others are naturally moist, and there are all the other skin types in between, which include a combination of dryness in some areas and moisture in others.

Your levels of moisture, however, can also be determined by your lifestyle, the foods you eat, and what you drink. If you partied hard into your late twenties, and are now settling down for the motherhood chapters of your life, your skin may still be feeling the fallout from all of those glasses of wine, or the hundreds of wild weekend body shots. And that’s okay. You should regret nothing. We all need to let loose and howl at the moon, sometimes.

What you can do now is to consider what you should include in your diet and daily routine to help your skin rehabilitate and return to what it should be. Through including foods that are high in Vitamins A, C, D and E, and minerals such as selenium and zinc, you can ensure your skin has what it needs to bounce back. Other useful ingredients to include in meals are foods rich in omega-3 and turmeric.

Although not recommended while pregnant (because of the caffeine) green tea has the right antioxidants to help with dry skin. And never forget that a regular intake of water, with or without electrolytes, will help to maintain moisture levels and homeostasis in the body as a whole.

While stretch marks are pretty much a given, since your body is going to have to stretch and make room for your baby to grow, there are ways to help your body deal with them. Stretch marks also fade with time, until they can barely be seen. They sometimes even disappear altogether. And if you are still looking in the mirror years later, and still feeling bewildered at those pink or red or silver-purple lines, there is also the option of having them removed through laser treatment, for your own self-confidence.

Until then, think of them as battle scars, won during the epic journey you have taken, or are about to take, in becoming a mother, and remember that what you are about to accomplish is beautiful, powerful and amazing.