Stretch marks

Stretch marks

Stretch marks are caused by the underlying skin tissues tearing as they stretch and grow. Pink, red or purple stripes commonly appear over the breasts, hips, buttocks, abdomen and anywhere the collagen and elastin fibers of the skin have been damaged.

Treatment

Although many creams and lotions promise results, the truth is that for the majority of women stretch marks fade in their own good time. There have been some significant advances in the technology and development of lasers for the treatment of stretch marks. However, these can be costly and rebates are not covered by Medicare. Check with your GP and maternity care provider to see if you qualify for referral to a dermatologist who specializes in stretch mark removal.

Although most creams and oils don’t do much to avoid stretch marks forming, Bio Oil is one product which has a lot of scientific evidence to back up its claims.

Extra hair growth on the face and body

It’s not uncommon for women who are pregnant to notice extra hair appearing at different places on their body. Around the nipples, the pubic area, the armpits and the legs can all contribute to a more hirsute appearance. Try not to be alarmed, it’s just another one of those things which you can put down to hormonal influence and skin changes during pregnancy.

You’ll find that once your baby is born that your body hair returns to its normal appearance. If you need to, consider extra waxing, threading, shaving or general depilatory treatments if you feel self conscious.

Skin tags

Until your pregnancy, you may have only associated skin tags with the elderly or your great aunt. In fact, the thought of carrying around some extra “bits” of skin may seem somehow quite revolting. But fret not, like so many other skin changes during pregnancy, skin tags are best viewed as one (or two, or three) of “those things”.

But if you’re struggling to know what they are, here’s a description. Skin tags are very small little nodules of skin which are attached to surrounding skin. They are around the size of a grain of rice and are pink or sometimes brown. They are harmless and non painful – but skin tags can rub and be irritating especially if they are under a bra strap or in an area of friction. They generally crop up in the region of the armpits and underneath the breasts.

Treatment for skin tags

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to have your skin tags removed. In most women, they disappear all by themselves without any specific treatment but you will need to wait until after your baby is born. If not, then speak with your GP and maternity care provider about getting them tied or diathermied (surgically burnt) off.

Avoid using any chemical or plant based products for wart or skin tag removal – many are contraindicated during pregnancy. If a particular skin tag is really troubling you, speak with your maternity care provider about getting it tied off. This is a simple procedure whereby a piece of cotton (or similar) is tied tightly at the base of the skin tag so the circulation “feeding” it is cut off. After a few days the skin tag shrinks and eventually drops off.

Other options are to have them frozen off or using a chemical based compound. But this is only after the baby is born and when recommended and supervised by a doctor.