Stretch marks or striae distensae (as known during pregnancy) are just another annoyance that accompany swollen ankles and pain as you tread upon this beautiful path of motherhood. Stretch marks during pregnancy are not painful and are just a result of tight accumulation of skin over a new mass due to rapid and excess expansion. They become visible on the skin as white lines but are not prone to health risks as such. For those of you who wants to know more about stretch mark during pregnancy, here are some interesting facts –
- They form on the middle layer of the skin (dermis), due to stretching and expanding during pregnancy.
- Stretchmarks do not go away by losing weight. In fact, the weight change is one of the central reasons why a stretch mark forms.
- Approximately 90% of women get stretch marks in pregnancy.
Your skin keeps on adapting and stretching, but when the skin has to stretch at an unusual rate and faster, it will tear. The body will start working on healing the tears. Stretch Marks are like scars which show up once the process is completed.
Pregnancy stretch marks are more common due to cortisol and estrogen, which release in abundance during pregnancy. These hormones reduce the skin hormones like elastin. Along with the reduction in these skin hormones and stretching and expansion during pregnancy, it is the ideal situation for stretch marks to form.
Stretch marks, during pregnancy is a normal condition and can be treated through home remedies and surgical methods like laser stretch mark removal.
How to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a natural process. You should embrace the changes as they come. If you find stretch marks to be less appealing or a cause of irritation, you would want to know how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, if possible, right?. We agree. It is easier to work on avoiding stretch marks, than treating stretch marks after pregnancy.
We list some of the best ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and cater to the constantly hovering question on your mind, “How to avoid pregnancy stretch marks?”
- Stick to a healthy diet- You are going to carry a baby inside yourself and you are destined to gain weight. But you can work on keeping the weight gain to the minimum. Start by eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and calcium. Foods rich in zinc can also really help you out. You can always consult your doctor to design the best diet for you.
- Massage your skin – By massaging, you help your body fight stretch marks better, by keeping the skin elastic, and breaks any stretch marks which have already started forming. Most of all, it improves the blood flow to the skin and is one of the best ways to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Physical exercise – Toning the muscles of the skin with stretch marks helps to regenerate the tissues faster and make the skin rigid. Activities like swimming can improve the blood flow in your tissues and improve elasticity. It is the best remedy for stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Vitamin- D – Healthy soaking of Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of stretch marks.
Home Remedies To Remove Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
- Aloevera – It is better to apply fresh aloe vera directly on the skin rather than gel. Apply for 10-15 minutes and then wash with warm water.
- Honey – It has antiseptic properties. Apply honey on a piece of cloth and place it over the stretch marks. Finally, rinse off the dried honey with warm water.
- Egg- The egg white, which is rich in protein helps make the skin look rejuvenated. Apply on the stretchmarks, and once dried, rinse off with cold water.
- Lemon – Lemon juice is acidic in nature. Just apply on the stretchmarks for about 10-15 minutes (long enough for the skin to soak it) and then rinse using warm water.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil contains vitamins A, D and E which work on moisturizing and exfoliating the skin. Constantly applying olive oil can bring you good results.
- Cocoa Butter – Cocoa butter for stretch marks during pregnancy helps in nourishing the skin. By applying cocoa butter on stretch marks, you can moisturize your skin, prevent dryness and hence, reduce stretch marks.
- Sugar – Sugar, when mixed with almond oil and lemon juice exfoliates dead skin. This makes the stretch marks turn lighter. This is a slow process. Apply regularly for a period of 30-45 days.
- Water – Keep your body and skin hydrated. Drink at least 10 glasses of water every day.
- Turmeric – It brightens the skin and improve its texture. You can rub it on the portion with stretch marks. It is a very time taking process. Continue for a minimum 5-6 months.
- Moisturizing Balm – To prevent stretch marks you can keep your skin hydrated by applying a moisturizing balm once or twice a day. This helps the skin retain elasticity. Ensure that your balm is safe to use during and after pregnancy. Massage your skin on stomach, neck, face and legs.
- Stretch Mark Prevention Creams and Oils – These help the skin remain soft, supple, and withstand stretching and elasticity. Some of the ingredients which are good for stretch mark removal include pomegranate, beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter for stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Exfoliation – Rub your skin with a granular object to remove any dead skin cells, which might obstruct the penetration of balms and creams you are applying from reaching the lower layers of the skin.
Other methods to get rid of stretch mark during pregnancy
The best way to deal with stretch marks during and after pregnancy is to treat stretch marks as they come. There are some products to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and also, treat them post pregnancy. Some ways for treatment of stretch marks after pregnancy, can be used if you have missed out on prevention before! (There should always be a backup, right?)
- Use a specifically ultra-directed treatment – Creams with ingredients like elastoregulator, which work on helping the skin regain its elasticity after the baby arrives. Retinoid cream and Glycolic Acid are the most effective treatments.
- Invasive treatments as last resort – You can try adopting a laser therapy or power exfoliants like microdermabrasion. These treatments are effective but should be used only when it is extremely necessary and nothing else seems to be working out. These treatments remove the older skin and let the new skin show, thus removing stretch marks completely. One can also be resort to lasers for stretch mark removal.
Medical treatments are usually more expensive than the regular procedures and options available for treatment.
Some of the best oils for stretch marks during pregnancy, creams and balms, we list for you some products to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy which can be used in the prevention and treatment of stretch marks.
- Retino- A Tretinonin Cream – It is also available in the form of a gel, known as Retino AC Gel. It is the acidic form of Vitamin A and is best known for repairing skin damage. It restores the amount of collagen (the fibre which works best for elasticity). Its common symptom is irritation and should not be used if you are already pregnant.
- TriLastin – It comes with a hydro thermal accelerator which helps you lose stretch marks in up to three weeks, since it opens up any pores and helps the main ingredients of the cream reach faster. It is one of the most effective pregnancy lotions for stretch marks.
- Bio-oil multi use Skin Care oil – Bio Oil is safe to use during pregnancy and can treat both stretch marks and injuries. Its key ingredients use calendula oil, lavender oil which are nurturing for the skin.
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula – It is more commonly used as a preventive treatment since it is not completely anti stretch mark. It helps in keeping the skin smooth and supple.
- ReVayur Stretch Mark Cream – Works effectively towards fading stretch marks, without causing any side effect, allergy or irritation to the skin.
- Chicco Intensive Anti Stretch Mark Serum- It is made from Vitamin E and is completely safe to use in all stages of pregnancy. It acts both as a treatment and prevention. The serum works to fade any existing stretch marks on the body and prevents new stretch marks.
- Oils like Coconut Oil, Vitamin E oil- Natural remedies are the safest and most reasonable way to go ahead with stretch mark prevention and removal. They are mostly effective of making the skin supple and are the best oils for stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Mederma Skin Care Cream – Though it is mostly popular for its known treatment of scars, it has been proved to be effective in lightening stretch marks through regular usage.
Always consult your dermatologist before resorting to any medication, especially during and after pregnancy. It is when your health matters the most. If the medication is not working out, they can also suggest you other methods and procedures, and what to use for stretch marks during pregnancy which will be safe and effective to use.
We hope this article is helpful in understanding what are stretch marks, how they form and what are some of the best ways to prevent and treat them. Make sure to not worry too much about anything that is not causing you unnecessary trouble or pain, and to just enjoy your pregnancy at the fullest.