Pre-and-post pregnancy skin care – what you need to know

Posted on June 19th, 2019

Looking after your skin before, during and after pregnancy is essential to keep it healthy and prevent stretch marks. Follow our latest expert tips and advice.

Pre-and-post pregnancy skin care – what you need to know

Many women find that looking after their skin during and after pregnancy can make an immense difference to their confidence. Bio-Oil offers a comprehensive skincare kit – it is highly effective in helping prevent stretch marks and its unique formulation works wonders on caesarean scars.

ALSO SEE: What is the mask of pregnancy? Your guide to pigmentation in pregnancy

Pregnancy stretch marks 

Between 50% and 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 changes in the structure of the skin, resulting in tiny tears in the dermal layer of skin, which subsequently results in scar formation or stretch marks.

It’s a great relief that stretch marks pose no risk at all to mother or baby. 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 sooner. 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.”

What to do if you’re concerned about 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 C-section scar

Generally, once a gynaecologist gives the all-clear at a six-week check-up, a caesarean scar will be entering its maturation phase, a process that can take up to two years to complete. It’s now safe to start taping and massaging a caesarean scar to help it turn into a thin, faded line. For best results, follow these steps for up to a year.

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About Tammy Jacks

Tammy is a wife, mom and freelance writer with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. She specialises in general lifestyle topics related to health, wellness and parenting. Tammy has a passion for fitness and the great outdoors. If she’s not running around after her daughter, you’ll find her off the beaten track, running, hiking or riding her bike. Learn more about Tammy Jacks .