Ever wondered why do stretch marks appear in twin pregnancies or even normal pregnancies? Find out below!
Pregnancy and Stretch Marks
Pregnancy causes a lot of physical changes in your body, some temporary and some permanent. As your baby grows, the uterus expands during pregnancy, and your abdominal skin stretches to accommodate the expanding uterus.
The more your skin stretches, the more the probability of the collagen and elastin fibers in the inner layer of your skin snapping and forming stretch marks. The stretch marks initially appear as raised pink streaks on the skin surface and later fade to white, shiny, flat lines. Stretch marks become more visible after delivery and are permanent scars.
Stretch Marks After Twin Pregnancy
When pregnant with twins, you gain 16 to 20kgs of weight compared to a single pregnancy, where the weight gain will be around 10 to 15 kgs. This excess weight can cause stretch marks, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. Stretch marks appear in nine out of ten twin pregnancies.
They usually appear around the 6th or 7th month on the stomach, breasts, and hips. Genetics plays an important role in determining how elastic your skin is.
How to Reduce Stretch Marks
It is essential to eat a balanced diet when pregnant with twins and consult your doctor and dietician to help you follow a proper diet. Make sure your growing babies are getting all the essential nutrients in adequate quantities. A good diet will help you control your weight and prevent your skin from stretching too much. Include vitamin C, protein, vitamin E, and zinc in your diet and get enough of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D. Vitamin C boosts collagen production in your skin and is found in citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges.
Drink enough fluids to keep yourself well hydrated and avoid caffeine. Treat stretch marks as soon as they appear to minimize their severity and appearance.
Home remedies are safe, natural options to reduce stretch marks caused by pregnancy.
1. Shea Butter
Shea butter enriched with vitamins A and E effectively improves the collagen content in your skin, thereby making it more elastic. Massaging with this butter throughout the pregnancy term can help prevent stretch marks.
2. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is a type of fat that comes from cocoa beans. It is high in fatty acids and helps nourish, hydrate, and improve your skin’s elasticity. Phytochemicals in cocoa butter enhance blood circulation in your skin and slow down aging and skin damage. You can use it to minimize stretch marks during pregnancy.
3. Aloe Vera Gel and Coconut Oil
Pure Aloe vera gel heals and smoothens skin. Apply on your abdomen daily after your shower. Coconut oil too has healing and anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Apply virgin coconut oil on your abdominal skin only if you have no allergy to the oil.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil has antioxidant and moisturizing properties, which help prevent stretch marks. Rubbing olive oil on your belly twice daily is beneficial, starting from the second trimester of your pregnancy.
5. Other Oils
Other effective oils against stretch marks are argan oil, bitter almond oil, bitter orange oil, lavender oil, neroli oil, and pomegranate oil. All these essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil before using them. All home remedies are to be used only after consulting your doctor and making certain that you are not allergic to any of the above oils.
How Safe Are Commercially Available Chemical Creams?
Commercially available anti-stretch marks/scars creams may contain chemicals to impart a pleasant scent. These chemicals may be harmful or may cause allergic reactions. Most creams contain retinoids which are contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women.
Other harmful chemicals in these creams include parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. It is imperative to read the ingredients in these creams and choose the one with only natural ingredients. It is better to exercise caution during the critical phases of pregnancy and lactation and opt for natural home remedies to prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks.