Pre and post-pregnancy skincare advice
ADVERTORIAL: Looking after your skin during and after pregnancy can make an immense difference to your confidence as a changing body takes its toll.
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ADVERTORIAL

Bio-Oil offers a comprehensive skincare kit for pregnancy - it is highly effective in helping prevent stretch marks and its unique formulation works wonders on caesarean scars.

PREGNANCY STRETCH MARKS

Up to 90% of women develop stretch marks (medically known as striae) during pregnancy. According to dermatologist Dr Ayesha Moolla, “Stretch marks are a form of scar tissue. They are caused by a rapid weight gain or expansion in body-shape that results in tiny tears in the dermal layer of skin, which subsequently results in scar formation or stretch marks.”

While they pose no risk at all to mother or baby, many women have concerns about their appearance. Stretch marks generally become visible during the last trimester of pregnancy (around the sixth or seventh month), although some women will start to see them forming as soon as their bellies start growing. According to gynaecologist Dr Jana Rossouw “Stretch marks are most likely to form on the abdomen, but can also occur on the breasts, hips and thighs – any area that experiences rapid growth.”

Bio-Oil is the number one scar and stretch mark product in 24 countries around the world, including South Africa, where it is the product most recommended by gynaecologists and midwives for stretch marks. Dr Ashesha Moolla says, “the topical application of an emollient, oil or moisturiser – such as Bio-Oil – has been shown to help reduce the incidence and severity of stretch marks.”

How to prevent stretch marks:

The best defence against stretch marks is to ensure that the skin maintains maximum elasticity throughout pregnancy. This is achieved by keeping skin well hydrated and supple.

CAESAREAN SCARS

While around 70% of births in private hospitals in South Africa are by caesarean section, there is very little information available about how to care for a caesarean “cut” and minimise scarring.

Experts recommend taping with micropore tape as this supports the skin, reducing stress around the wound and thereby lessening the scar tissue that forms. Plastic surgeon Dr Dirk Lazarus recommends taping for up to a year after the birth of your baby. Regular application of an oil, such as Bio-Oil, with gentle massage can improve moisture and maintain scar elasticity.

How to care for your caesarean scar:

If your gynaecologist gives the all-clear at your six-week check-up, your scar will be entering the maturation phase, a process that can take up to two years to complete. You can now start taping and massaging your scar to ensure that it turns into a thin, faded line. For best results, follow these steps for up to a year.

For more information, visit the Bio-Oil website.

 

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