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Natural Ways to Treat Stretch Marks

SpecialChem / Lori Stryker – Apr 27, 2007

Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman's life. One aspect of child-bearing, however, may not be so welcomed. For 75-90% of pregnant women, stretch marks, or striae gravidum, can appear in the later half of pregnancy. Stretch marks do not pose any health risk to either the mother or child, but can cause anxiety over their appearance for those who develop them. Stretch marks first appear as raised striations which vary in colour from pink, purple or brown, depending on the mother's normal skin colour. Striations develop where fat is stored in the body, such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, breasts and arms. Stretch marks develop during pregnancy because of rapid and excessive weight gain in areas such as the lower abdomen or thighs. As weight increases, the collagen and elastin in the dermal layer of the skin, responsible for retaining shape and firmness, is stretched to the point of breaking. The elastic fibres in the dermis weaken with stretching and increased cortisone levels normally produced in the last trimester.

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