Scratching stomach can’t cause stretch marks in pregnancy –Dermatologists

Dermatologists have said that scratching or rubbing the stomach in a particular way does not cause stretch marks during pregnancy.

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The skin expert have said there is no scientific evidence to support the claim and noted that there’s no evidence supporting the claim that applying cocoa butter prevents stretch marks during pregnancy.

According to them, the factors that could predispose a pregnant woman to develop stretch marks during pregnancy include body expansion and weight gain.


Adamu, who is with the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja, said it is important to clarify that most of the opinions people share about stretch marks are myths, noting that stretch marks only occur when the inner elastic fibre of the skin breaks.

In his words, “There are lots of myths about what can cause stretch marks but the truth is that stretch marks only occur when the skin is unable to cope with the growth and expansion of your body.

That is when certain elastic fibres under the skin are stretched to the point of breakage.

“Rapid, extreme weight can cause stretch marks but there is no scientific evidence that shows that rubbing your stomach in any way can result in stretch marks.

“In as much as weight gain and body expansions are all parts of pregnancy, there’s no particular way a woman can prevent stretch marks and when the body is stretched out, the fibres are broken then stretch marks occur.

“This weight gain and expansion of the body are all a normal part of pregnancy and the degree to which a woman develops stretch marks in different parts of the body also vary among different women.

“There’s no scientific evidence that shows that you can do certain things to prevent stretch marks.

He also explained that genetic makeup and family history can also be a reason for stretch marks in some people.

“There’s some genetic tendency for the tendency to develop stretch marks, however, it is not the only factor that contributes to stretch marks as I said weight gain plays a role.

“The family history of stretch marks is also very important.

That is why you’d have two pregnant women; both have gained weight but only one developed stretch marks,” he said.

The dermatologist, however, explained that rapid weight gain, using of skin lightening products, exercises can also cause the tear of the inner elastic fibre of the body which would lead to stretchmarks even for people who are not pregnant.

Oiwoh added that persons living with Cushing Syndrome – a disorder that occurs when the body makes too much of the hormone cortisol over a long period, are also at risk of developing stretch marks.

“Cushing syndrome can result in stretch marks.

Cushing syndrome is a disorder of the adrenal gland, that is, organs that are located above each kidney.

Stretch marks from this have excessive width, depth, and intense colour,” Oiwoh said.

Oiwoh said, “The best management of stretch marks involves paying a visit to dermatologists who will appropriately ask relevant questions, examine all parts of the body to determine the possible causes of the stretch marks.

This examination, Oiwoh said, will then determine the appropriate treatment.

“Visits to dermatologists will engender appropriate advice against lifestyles that will predispose to stretch marks.

“It is also advised that rapid weight gain or rapid weight loss be avoided.

“Advice from Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, through appropriate preconception care, will also help with guided weight gain in pregnancy.

“I must add that no drug has been proven beyond reasonable doubt (through appropriate research) to be effective in the prevention and treatment of stretch marks,” Oiwoh said.

Scratching stomach can’t cause stretch marks in pregnancy –Dermatologists

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