Will I Get Stretch Marks? If I Do, What Can I Do?

It doesn't seem possible at the outset of pregnancy, but your skin really will stretch enough to accommodate your baby. Collagen and elastin in the skin guarantee it. It seems that collagen has the tensile strength of steel ? and by the end of the pregnancy, you'll understand why this is important.

Elastin, just like the name implies, comprises the rubber-like, elastic fibers in the skin. From a scientific perspective, each elastin molecule will uncoil into a more extended conformation when the fiber is stretched and will recoil spontaneously as soon as the stretching force is relaxed. Simply put, you will tend to bounce back when your baby is born.

Stretch marks are a universal fear of almost every newly pregnant woman. Statistics are against you ― some say as many as 90 percent of women get them on their abdomen, breasts, and/or thighs ― but here's why you shouldn't be too concerned:

The tendency toward stretch marks is inherited, and you can't change your genetics.

If you do your best to gain weight gradually; there's not much more you can do.

Moisturizers may make your skin feel better, but don't waste too much money on special stretch-mark creams. No topical treatment has been proven to prevent stretch marks.

Even if you get stretch marks, they do fade somewhat over time. Laser treatments can help remove stretch marks in severe cases. Consult your dermatologist four to six months after the pregnancy.

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