Stretchmarks or “striae”, being the medical term, are depressed streaks in the skin that result when the underlying collagen fibres, found within the dermal layer of the skin, tear. Pregnancy and weight fluctuations are the biggest contributors to the formation of stretch marks. Men, especially bodybuilders, may also be prone to developing stretch marks due to rapidly expanding muscle size.
Stretchmarks usually appear on the abdomen during the late stages of pregnancy when your skin is rapidly expanding to accommodate the growing child. They can also appear on the breasts, buttocks, thighs, hips. Take extra care during pregnancy as many topical preparations may be contra-indicated at this time, and may not be safe for use. It is advised to consult with your gynaecologist or doctor before considering using any remedy.
Whether you develop them can largely on your weight gain while pregnant, as well as your skin’s ability to cope with your changing size. Genetics will largely play an important role as skin type predisposition is inherited.
Depending on your skin colour, stretch marks start out as pink, reddish brown, purple or dark brown in colour which eventually starts to fade over time post pregnancy. They will not, however, disappear on their own without the inclusion of suitable stretchmark treatment protocols.
Stretch mark prevention
As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. In order to minimise stretchmark development, one should attempt to keep your body weight stable within the recommended limits set by your gynaecologist. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet should be followed and should include no smoking or eating of junk foods, limited sugar intake, and eating plenty of vegetables and lean-fat proteins. This healthy intake promotes the formation of collagen and helps with the likelihood of preventing stretch marks from developing. Keep your portions small.
The hormonal fluctuations experienced during pregnancy, along with the skin tightening over a pregnant belly, can often cause the skin to become dry and itchy. This, in turn, leads to scratching which can very easily exacerbate the formation of stretch marks. Keeping the skin soft, supple and moisturised will help to soothe the skin and ease the sensation of itchiness, thereby attenuating the formation of stretch marks.
DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care stretch marks treatment options for use during any stage of pregnancy
DermaFix Argan Oil 100% Organic is a 100% pure EcoCert and Nature organically certified oil. This highly valuable skin care ingredient is rich in both anti-oxidant and moisturising properties and helps to maintain skin functionality by providing both regenerative and reparative benefits. DermaFix Argan Oil works to improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks whilst protecting and maintaining the skin’s youthful qualities.
DermaFix Skin ResQ is a superior formulation offering anti-oxidant protection, keeping the skin moisturised, hydrated and supple for the prevention of stretch mark formation on the body. Formulated for universal use, DermaFix Skin ResQ rapidly penetrates into the skin for all-day protection, without the sensation of a greasy film.
Post-pregnancy stretch mark protocols
Microneedling, both in the form of the home-use DermaFix MT5 Body Roller as well as the in-clinic professional DermaFix MT15 Body Roller, may be used to alleviate depth and texture of stretch marks remaining after pregnancy.
In-clinic microneedling creates a micro-injury in the skin which in turn stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. This increase in collagen production causes the stretchmark to flatten out, while revascularisation of tissue brings about improved wound-healing benefits. Home-rolling, on the other hand, encourages the uptake of active ingredients into the skin. This means that improved benefit will be noted from the selected stretchmark formulation used alongside the home roller. Suitable serums that may be used alongside the DermaFix MT5 home-roller include DermaFix ACC Copper, a stem cell activator that encourages the formation of collagen and elastin, and ACC Vitamin C, a 3-in-1 formulation that not only allows for improved collagen production, but further works to even out skin discolouration.
For further benefit, DermaFix SND Corrector may be used as a homecare treatment option. Acting as a growth factor stimulator, DermaFix SND Corrector signals the fibroblasts to increase collagen and elastin production by means of improved skin cell-to-cell communication. Overall skin homeostasis is restored and as a result, the length, depth and texture of existing stretch mark striations, is improved.
DermaFix Advanced Skin Resurfacing Systems to assist in stretch mark treatment
Various professional peel protocols are available within the DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care range. These peels produce significant results as the topmost layers of the skin are removed, thereby inducing collagen healing and skin tightening improving both appearance and texture of stretch marks.
For home-use, DermaFix DermaBright with Mandelic acid AHA may be added into your evening routine. Regular use of DermaFix DermaBright encourages cellular turnover and assists to improve skin discolouration.
Your DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care stockist can recommend and supervise your home care programme with a tailored programme for your skin type.