How to get rid of Stretch Marks

How to get rid of Stretch Marks

How to get rid of Stretch Marks (STRIAE)?

What are Stretch marks?

Stretch marks are long streaks seen on the skin after pregnancy, sudden weight gain or sudden weight loss. They are otherwise called striae (stria).

They are commonly seen over the abdomen (belly), hips, shoulders, back, breast, buttocks and thigh.

They are fine scar under the outer layer of the skin.

What causes stretch marks?

Whenever there is a sudden overstretching of the skin due to causes like pregnancy, abdominal swellings like ascites and sudden weight gain, the middle layer of the skin is damaged. This leads to tearing of the fibers of dermis and epidermis which in turn produce scarring. The scars are called stretch marks. Stretch marks are also seen in endocrine disorders (Cushing syndrome) and in patients who use steroids often.

Stretch mark due to pregnancy is called Striae gravidarum.

What are the symptoms?

In early stages stretch marks are seen as red or pink streaks and there may be itching or burning sensation. Slowly the stretch marks fade and seen as thin silvery lines. They create cosmetical problems (psychological and emotional distress).

Treatment to get rid of stretch marks

There are thousands of products available in the market to remove stretch marks. However, these products fail to produce desired effects on the stretch marks. They may not fully remove the stretch marks, but they may help to fade away the stretch marks more quickly. They are more effective when applied on early stages.

Surgical treatment

Laser stretch mark removal

High energy laser lights are used to remove thin layer of skin around the stretch marks so that a new layer of skin is formed.

Mechanical Microdermabarasion or Dermaberation

Scraping (wounding) the topmost layer of the skin over the stretch marks promotes the growth of new and healthy skin.

Abdominoplasty

This is otherwise called as tummy tuck. Here the abdominal muscles are tightened and excess skin along with the stretch marks are removed

Medical treatment

Trofolastin cream, alpha-tocopherol, panthenol, hyaluronic acid and menthol cream can be used.

Aluminium oxide crystals, glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acid can be used as a chemical peel to peel off the top layer of the skin.

Natural treatment to get rid of stretch marks

Lemon Juice: fresh lemon juice can be applied over the stretch marks, rub it with upward circular motion and wash it after 15 minutes.

Lemon juice with cucumber juice:  Equal amount of lemon juice and cucumber juice are mixed together and can be applied and washed after 15 minutes.

Castor oil: Gently massage castor oil over the stretch marks, give hot water fomentation and wash it after 30 minutes.

Potato: Cut potato and rub the cut ends over the stretch marks, allow it to dry for 30 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

Egg white: Massage egg white over the stretch marks and wash it off after 30 minutes with cool water.

Sugar or salt Scrub: Sugar or salt can be added to honey, coconut oil or olive oil and rubbed with upward circular motion.

This removes the topmost layer of the skin so that new skin is formed.

Honey, olive oil and sugar scrub can be used.

Aloe vera gel and vitamin E: Add 50 ml of aloe vera gel and 50 ml of olive oil and cut and squeeze 5 vitamin E capsules into it and apply it over the stretch marks.

Papaya and sugar can be used as a scrub.

Honey olive oil and oats can also be used as a scrub.

Light treatment: Infrared light or ultraviolet light can be used to fade the stretch marks.

Well balanced Diet

Eat well balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and Keep the skin well hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.

Similar article: How to get rid of pimples naturally

 

Gestational Hypertension

Gestational Hypertension

Gestational Hypertension (pregnancy induced hypertension) 

Gestational hypertension (pregnancy induced hypertension), preeclampsia and eclampsia are commonly encountered medical complications in pregnant women, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If the woman is already suffering from hypertension it is called chronic hypertension in pregnancy.

These conditions produce high morbidity and mortality in the fetus (baby) and mother.

What is Gestational Hypertension (PIH)?

When a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure (above 140/90 mm of Hg) after 20 weeks of gestation (pregnancy) without both protein in urine and edema (swelling of the face, legs and hands), she is said to be suffering from Gestational hypertension.

hypertension-during-pregnancy

 

What is preeclampsia?

When a pregnant woman, after 20 weeks of pregnancy develops the triad of signs (3 main signs) namely Hypertension, protein in the urine (proteinuria)  and edema, she is said to be suffering from preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia can be mild (when blood pressure is from 140/90 up to 159/119) or severe (when blood pressure is above 160/110 mm of Hg).

What is Eclampsia?

Eclampsia is a complication of severe preeclampsia where the pregnant woman develops convulsions (seizures or through fits).

25% of patients develop convulsions before delivery.

50% may develop during delivery.

25% may have seizures after delivery.

Preeclampsia and eclampsia are together called as Toxemia of pregnancy.

What is HELLP syndrome?

Preeclampsia with haemolysis (destruction of blood), Elevated Liver enzymes and low platelets counts is called HELLP syndrome. It is a complication of preeclampsia.

What are the causes of Gestational hypertension/preeclampsia/eclampsia?

  • First-time pregnancy (nulliparous woman or prime). Can occur in second pregnancy also.
  • Age: Getting pregnant before 18 years or after 35 years.
  • Multiple gestations like twins and triplets.
  • Abnormal placenta.
  • Previous history of Preeclampsia. Having family history of preeclampsia.
  • Heredity.
  • Having other diseases like chronic hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and high cholesterol levels.

How does the disease develop? (pathophysiology)

When fetal trophoblasts do not invade deep enough into the mothers utrine wall, spiral arteries may not dilate fully. This increases the resistance to blood flow to the placenta. This leads to fetal hypoxia (not enough oxygen and nutrients to the fetus). This leads to the release of antiangiogenic factors and inflammatory mediators. This induces generalized endothelial damage and hypertension.

hypertension-while-pregnant

 

Signs and symptoms of Gestational Hypertension

Gestational hypertension may not show any symptoms. Patients may have a mild headache.

Blood pressure may be above 140/90 mm of Hg. Urine protein will be absent. Edema may be there as it is common in pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia:

In preeclampsia patients may have a severe headache, blurred vision, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain abdomen and giddiness. Edema of nondependent area like face, hands and legs seen.

In severe preeclampsia, blood pressure may be very high (above 160/110 mm of Hg). Along with the above symptoms patients may have reduced urine output, breathlessness (shortness of breath) due to fluid collection in lung tissue, sudden weight gain and liver disorder.

Signs and symptoms of eclampsia

It is a complication of preeclampsia.

Along with the symptoms of preeclampsia, the pregnant woman may have seizures (convulsions). They may be disoriented and at times become unconscious. Sometimes it may be fatal for the baby and mother.

What are the investigations to be done

Tests for Gestational hypertension

Regular Blood pressure monitoring: Blood pressure above 140/90mm of Hg

Routine blood investigations like blood sugar and cholesterol to rule out other diseases.

Urine analysis for protein:  No protein in the urine.

Blood liver and kidney functions: may be normal.

Investigations (tests) for preeclampsia and eclampsia

More frequent blood pressure monitoring.

Blood tests as given above and 24 hours urine protein estimation: more than 300 mg / 24 hours or more than 1+ in a single urine sample.

Frequent blood count and Platelet count to find out thrombocytopenia.

Ultra sound scanning of the uterus to assess’ fetal growth and heart rate.

Ultrasound thorax to find out lung congestion (pulmonary edema) and

Utrine artery Doppler can be done.

Treatment

Delivery of the baby is the only treatment.

Treatment of gestational hypertension (pregnancy induced hypertension)

Salt restricted diet and rest. Mild hypertension is good for the baby. Sudden reduction of blood pressure to be avoided. For severe hypertension anti- hypertension drugs can be given.

Treatment for preeclampsia

Salt restriction and bed rest in lateral position (lying on sides) to avoid the weight of the baby on main blood vessels.

If the baby is mature, plan for delivery.

If blood pressure is very high anti hypertension drugs can be started.

Nifedipine or methyldopa can be given orally. Labetalol can be given intravenously or Hydralazine IV or IM can be given.

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers and atenolol are contra indicated.

Magnesium sulfate infusion to be started to prevent seizures.

Treatment of Eclampsia

Magnesium sulfate 4-gram loading can be given intravenously (IV) followed by infusion of 1-3 grams/hour to control seizures or injection diazepam can be given slowly intravenously.

Induce delivery or go for cesarean delivery.

The blood pressure and signs and symptoms of these diseases will disappear within 4 to 6 weeks after the delivery of the fetus.

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Diabetes During Pregnancy