A gynaecologist, Dr Kayode Makinde, has advised women against self-medication in removing pregnancy-related stretch marks.
Makinde, who is president of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Chapter, gave the advice on Monday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
A website, americanpregnancy.org, says stretch marks, the lines that develop on the abdomen, as well as on other areas of the body, are a common skin concern in pregnancy.
According to it, while they pose no risk at all to mother or baby, the discomfort created if they lead to itching, not to mention the cosmetic effects of their appearance, can however cause pregnant women much distress.
Another medical website, www.webmd.com, says stretch marks happen when one’s body grows faster than what the skin can keep up with.
According to it, this causes the elastic fibres just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks.
Makinde said stretch marks usually come with pregnancy.
“This is because of the position of the skin, how the skin is, and as the baby is growing, the skin stretches.
“The situation of the skin can be likened to the elastic which when someone stretches and releases, may at some point not return to its normal position. Such is the case of the skin; when the skin stretches for a period of nine months, it does not at times return to its normal configuration.
“Women do not need to take extra effort to remove the stretch marks that appear naturally on their bodies.
“If the stretch mark does not harm one or causes one any pain, why trying to remove it?
“If it does cause discomfort, see a gynaecologist or dermatologist for advice,’’ he said.
Makinde, however, said for some women, the skin usually returned to its pre-pregnancy position.
According to him, the dermatologist will properly guide them, rather than women resulting into self-medication.
Makinde said different products spring up on the internet daily and such would always claim to do the “magic’’.
According to him, many of the products do not have NAFDAC registration numbers and may be harmful for human consumption. (NAN)