Stretchmarks – 1. What are they?
Our specialist, Dr. Ong Jin Khang was recently interviewed by TV3 about stretchmarks and loose abdominal skin post pregnancy. We will start a series of informational articles about stretchmarks and how to get back your figure post pregnancy starting this week.
Stretchmarks, or striae in medical terms, are caused by literally stretching the skin in a short time – such as during pregnancy or during excessive weight gain. The stretch causes our elastic fibers and collagen to weaken and hence forming striae which can appear in various colours of red, bluish and white.
Who Commonly Gets Stretchmarks?
About 90% of Pregnant women will get stretchmarks during the course of their pregnancies as they gain about 12 to 16kg during the course of 9 months. The rapid increase in their abdomen and breast size will lead to striae. Hormonal changes have also been said to cause striae. Women who have family members with stretchmarks will most likely have stretchmarks themselves.
Gym goers who undergo weight training especially to their arms will also get stretchmarks on their arms.
Overweight and obese people also have striae problems.
The long usage of steroid creams causes weakening of elastic fibers and thus cause stretchmarks to appear.
Are Stretchmarks Dangerous?
Stretchmarks are not dangerous. However, many of our patients feel that the stretchmarks are ugly and feel ashamed when facing their partners or even the mirror. Many do not know that there are treatment available to fade away these striae. Some women also have learned to embrace that their stretchmarks are a part of their ‘battle scars’ of being pregnant.
What Can I do to Reduce Their Appearance?
The countless creams and lotions in the market have not been medically proven to reduce or prevent stretchmarks. However, these creams and lotions can help in maintaining moisture of the skin. With the advancement in lasers today, we have the latest technology available to reduce the appearance of stretchmarks. We will talk more about our stretchmark treatment, the Striae Eraser, next week.
Tune back next week to find out more about our Striae Eraser.