August 05, 2020

How to Prevent and Treat Stretchmarks

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! These are three words that cause immeasurable exuberance to many women.

But soon after the initial “I’m having a baby” elation moment, your body starts to change. From swelling of the tummy, ankles, breasts to skin breakouts (acne), pregnancy is a bit of a bumpy ride. The sudden weight gain in pregnancy results in the development of stretch marks.

According to Jaliman M.D, a dermatologist based in New York, research indicates that nine out of ten women get stretch marks during pregnancy – mostly in their sixth and seventh months.  Stretch marks in pregnancy are signs that your skin is stretching as your body grows to accommodate the fetus.


So, What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, also known as, or striae gravidarum or striae distensae, are scars or disfigured lesions on the skin. The scarring usually appears like indented streaks and is reddish-brown, dark-brown, pinkish, or purplish depending on your skin tone.

Stretch marks occur mostly where fats are likely to accumulate like in the tummy, arms, thighs, breasts, and hips. While they can happen to anyone and at any phase in life, they are most common in pregnant women.

Besides having a hormonal imbalance, a pregnant woman’s body expands rapidly to accommodate the growth of the baby (ies), thus resulting in sudden weight gain and after birth, the sudden weight loss.

Before the stretch marks start to appear, the skin may feel itchy and irritated. These marks initially appear as wrinkly streaks, but over time they flatten and fade and tend to take a whitish, silvery, or glossy appearance.


Causes of Stretch Marks during Pregnancy


While not all women get stretch marks during pregnancy, a significant number do. Research shows, 50% of women experience stretch marks in pregnancy. These scars occur when the skin cannot resume normalcy after a short period of intense growth due to rapid weight gain and then weight loss in pregnancy.

Genetics and hormones also play a role in the development of stretch marks. If your granny, mom, or sister got stretch marks in pregnancy, you’d most likely get them.

Certain conditions, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome, also cause stretch marks. Cushing’s syndrome can cause the body to produce excessive hormones that lead to rapid weight gain and skin fragility, whereas Marfan syndrome results in reduced elasticity of the skin tissues.

Another thing that can cause stretch marks is the prolonged use of corticosteroid cream. The cream can decrease the collagen levels in the skin. Collagen supports and strengthens the skin. So if the amount of collagen is reduced, then the likelihood of developing stretch marks increases.

Skin usually has three layers, including epidermis, dermis, and the hypodermis. Stretch marks appear in the middle layer (dermis) when the connective tissue is stretched beyond its elasticity limits due to rapid expansion and contraction of the skin.

The stretching occurs when the body expands faster than the skin can keep up with. This makes the elastic fibers found under the skin surface to break out.

While there is no surefire way to heal stretch marks completely, preventive measures can reduce the likelihood of getting them. Preventing stretch marks is one of the best ways to deal with stretch marks during pregnancy and after.


How to Prevent Stretch Marks in Pregnancy

Prevention is the best remedy for stretch marks. Some of the best prevention methods include:

  • Keep your weight in check

Many women gain extra pounds of weight in pregnancy, which leads to stretch marks. Minimizing weight gain by doing light exercises and eating small portions of food can help prevent that.

Eating healthy foods and avoiding eating junk foods is vital. The important thing is to make sure that the food you eat is a balanced diet and rich in Zinc and vitamin. Having your weight in check prevents sudden weight gain and, consequently, the development of stretch marks.


  • Hydrate

Drinking a lot of water should be a key priority during pregnancy. Water helps your skin stay hydrated from the inside and, in turn, improve its elasticity. Drinking the right amount of water like up to 8 glasses every day has significantly reduced the occurrence of skin streaks in pregnant women.


  • Moisturize Your Skin

Moisturizing with oils and other skin moisturizers can help keep your external skin elasticity on the check. Find the right skincare products that can help moisturize and keep your skin supple and skin tone even.

Some of the best natural oils to try to include Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Avocado oil, and vitamin E. Also, you may consider using the stretch marks prevention oils. Massaging your skin with such oils every day has unbeatable benefits, including improving the skin elasticity.


  • Exfoliate



When done right, the exfoliation process can help keep stretch marks away. Using an exfoliating glove or a hydrating scrub can improve your skin appearance quickly.

This simple process can help eliminate dead skin cells and improve the effectiveness of oils and creams. And, it keeps the stretch marks away when done right.


  • Routine Care

Preventing stretch marks is a commitment that requires a lot of time and dedication. For incredible results, patience and consistency are vital. Following up for two weeks and then skipping the next two won’t help. Focus on each step and don’t give up.


Other Remedies for Stretch Marks in Pregnancy

Stretch marks become less noticeable on their own eventually, but this can take ages. While having them is not unhealthy, most people find them unattractive, which is why they consider the different ways to get rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks Naturally

Getting rid of stretch marks naturally is hard and most probably never likely. Stretch marks rarely fade away to being completely invisible.

Some natural remedies methods can help minimize their appearance. While most natural ways are not 100% effective, there is no harm in trying them.


Natural Method for Stretch Marks Removing

Stretch scars are permanent, just like many other scars. However, treatment can make them less noticeable. Treatment can also help lessen the itching.

Here are some natural remedies to try:


  1. Sugar

Microdermabrasion is a practice usually carried out by some dermatologists to reduce stretch marks. Since sugar is a naturopathic microdermabrasion agent, it is believed that rubbing sugar scrub on the skin can exfoliate the area.

This is done by mixing sugar with a softening agent like coconut oil or almond oil to the consistency of wet beach sand and adding some lemon juice. Then, you scrub the mixture for 8-10 minutes on the area where stretch marks are during a shower. If you repeat this several times in a week, you’ll soon start to see real results.


        2. Coconut Oil

Applying coconut oil on the stretch marks helps heal them. Research shows that coconut oil has properties that treat skin wounds. Since stretch marks occur from skin damage, coconut oil rejuvenates its appearance quickly.


        3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural healing agent and also a skin softener. While there is very little clinical research to prove that aloe vera cures stretch marks, there is no harm in trying this remedy. Apply pure aloe vera from a plant daily after shower.


          4. Hyaluronic Acid

As we age, collagen, a protein that gives our skin its shape, decreases. Research shows that collagen production can be stimulated by hyaluronic acid. You can consume a capsule or an extract of this remedy to heal stretch marks.


          5. Vitamin A

Also called retinoid, Vitamin A topical extract makes the skin appear youthful and smoother. Taking Vitamin A orally or applying the creams can help your skin look healthy. Also, a diet rich in certain foods like sweet potatoes, or carrots increases your vitamin A levels.


Other Safe treatments fro Stretch Marks in Pregnancy

Silicone gels application is one of the most reliable remedies to heal stretching scars. This can involve using:

  1. Silicone sheets for stretch marks

The silicone sheet is reliable in minimizing the appearance of stretch marks. Getting professional advice is vital before you try them. AWDMed is a trusted professional that can guide you on how to use this incredible product.

       2. Silicone scar removal gel with Vitamin E

While the silicone sheet is patched on your skin, Silicone gel is a cream applied to the area. Silicone gel can help soften as well as flatten a scar. They are useful in reducing stretch marks. It helps regenerate the skin cells around the stretch marks toning down the affected skin.


  • Laser therapy

Laser therapy stimulates tissue growth, which enhances the skin healing process. Also, it stimulates melanin production, which activates the pigmentation of the cells. This, in turn, makes the stretch marks fade away because it blends with your skin tone and color with time.


  • Needling

Needling involves injecting treatment drugs underneath the top layer of your skin (epidermis) microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a practice that consists of exfoliating the skin helps improve the appearance of stretch marks.


Parting Shot

Preventing stretch marks in pregnancy is the best way to deal with them. However, if you cannot prevent them, these remedies can sort you. It’s vital to note that no single treatment works for everyone or in every situation. Thus when picking any solution, find out if it’s safe to use in your condition or with the baby. Also, be clear that you don’t have any existing allergies.