HEALTHY WOMAN:Dealing with nagging stretch marks and spider veins

Most women have opted for major cover up so as to hide spider veins and hideous stretch marks on their body caused by unexplainable factors.
Stretchmarks create a lot of discomfort among women.  The New Times / File
Stretchmarks create a lot of discomfort among women. The New Times / File

Most women have opted for major cover up so as to hide spider veins and hideous stretch marks on their body caused by unexplainable factors.

Research shows that stretch marks are one of the most famous and talked about skin changes that occur during pregnancy. Close to 90% of pregnant woman get stretch marks around the abdomen, breasts and legs.

Although women are reportedly most likely to have stretch marks, some men and teenage girls get them as a result of weight irregularities.

Stretch marks and spider veins tend to create an inferiority complex in women.

Betty, a mother of two, said before she got married and gave birth to her children, she went swimming confidently. But now, she can’t wear a swimsuit even if the swimming pool was in her yard! 

She said that she currently selects clothes that cover up the stretch marks.

Spider veins are most common around the thighs, calves, insides of the legs, and the ankles. At times they itch and swell.

Betty also said that the worst experience with stretch marks is when one sits on a motorbike for a very long time, making the itching unbearable. In most cases, the legs feel hot and heavy and become sensitive to pressure.

The harsh appearance of spider veins and stretch marks does not necessarily correspond with the relentlessness that is associated with its pain and soreness.

According to dermatologist Dr Kayitesi Kayitenkore, stretch marks, also known as striate and varicosities are linear lesions of the skin that look red or purple.

“They commonly occur around the back of knees and arms at puberty, on the back or other areas of the body of people who gain weight suddenly or practice intense physical activities and around the abdomen during pregnancy and on the breasts after lactation,” Dr Kayitenkore explains.

She further said that stretch marks also appear around inner thighs and arms of an individual like women who use corticosteroids as skin lightening ointments. Stretch marks can also be induced by diseases.

“No treatment is totally efficacious. Prevention includes avoidance of excessive weight gain and long term use of current corticosteroids. At an early stage, they can be treated with certain laser procedures. With time, stretch marks fade and become less visible,” Dr Kayitenkore reveals.

 “Spider veins or telangiectasia are dilated cutaneous blood vessels that occur on skin at any age or induced by diverse disease or medication. The best treatment is prevention: avoiding strong corticosteroids and sun exposure. Treatment includes electrocautery and laser treatment.”

Spider veins affect women more frequently because of premenstrual or menopausal hormones caused by the use of birth control pills. Other factors that contribute to spider veins include advance in age, muscular atrophy in the legs, poor blood circulation, smoking, overweight, lack of exercise and continuous wearing of high heels.

Although there are some cosmetic products associated in helping with spider veins and stretch marks, the best option is simply regular exercise.

 

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