Some mothers look at stretch marks after pregnancy as a badge of honor. They are a symbol of the nine-month struggle with morning sickness, headaches, and everything else they fought against during pregnancy.
For others, however, they are just unsightly marks reducing their self-esteem.
And while some women do not mind having some stretch marks years after childbirth, others want to get rid of them as soon as possible. With that in mind, today, we will address the answers the latter group is seeking.
What are stretch marks and how you got them?
Stretch marks are a form of depressed scarring in the dermis or the middle layer of the skin. They are visible in the top layer. Stretch marks are most common during pregnancy, but they can happen to any woman or man.
They are also common during puberty, or any time you lose or gain weight rapidly. Use of certain medications for adrenal gland disease can also contribute to stretch marks.
During pregnancy, you have an increased risk of developing stretch marks because of the rapid weight gain. And then after pregnancy, rapid weight loss contributes to even more stretch marks forming on your body.
Your skin has a natural ability to stretch and adjust. However, when the stretching is happening too fast due to weight gain or loss, the skin does not have enough time to recover.
Additionally, during pregnancy, your body produces less elastin and collagen, two important compounds in keeping your skin healthy.
How common are stretch marks?
The reality is that the vast majority of women experience stretch marks during pregnancy. Some data shows that 90% of women have stretch marks during pregnancy. And if you think you are the only one, fear not. Tiger stripes, or stretch marks, are a signature mark during pregnancy.
Now, some women and even celebrities embrace them. For example, actress Alyssa Milano once told People Magazine “Our bodies are made to nurture and cuddle and all of those amazing things that come along with being a mom”. One of those things is stretch marks.
Can you prevent stretch marks?
Some women are successful in their effort to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. But that requires a lot of consistent work, including applying creams, lotions, oils, watching your diet, and a lot more.
A lot of topical products are labeled and marketed as being effective in preventing stretch marks. However, do not sleep on that ear, thinking that one cream is all you need.
Do not worry, as soon as you give birth to your baby, you can start the project remove stretch marks after pregnancy.
How to remove stretch marks?
Massage with oil
One of the more effective remedies for stretch marks is an oil massage. You can use it on your hips, belly, and butt. With a gentle massage, you can increase the blood flow to the area, as well as break up scar tissue causing stretch marks.
We recommend using natural oils for this matter. Whether that is coconut oil, olive oil, or even shea butter, it all works. Apply oil to the palms of your hands, and gently massage your body. Start from your stomach, and then move to another area after two minutes. Reapply oil as you move.
For extra benefits, you can take a shower to soften your skin.
Here are some oil suggestions:
- Vitamin E oil helps fade off stretch marks, works as a moisturizer, and provides antioxidants for your skin
- Olive oil helps moisturize and exfoliate your skin, as well as improve blood circulation. When applied to the skin, leave it for 30 minutes, so your skin can absorb it, and then take a bath
- Castor oil is a natural moisturizer that has anti-inflammatory effects. Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, it is one of the best oils for your skin
- Coconut oil is also rich in fatty acids and helps moisturize the skin and nourish it from within
Speaking of natural remedies for your skin, you cannot ignore aloe vera. One of the best natural remedies for healing and soothing of the skin, aloe vera is present in almost all skin products. Use fresh gel for more benefits.
Rub aloe vera directly over your skin, and then leave it for 15 minutes, so that your skin can absorb it. Rinse off with lukewarm afterward. Apply every day on the affected area.
You can also mix aloe vera with vitamin A and vitamin E capsules for a more potent solution.
Honey has antiseptic properties, works as a moisturizer, and softens your skin. It is a great remedy in your battle against stretch marks after pregnancy.
Apply honey in a small cloth, and then place the cloth on the affected area. Leave it there until it dries out completely. Rinse off with warm water.
If you want a honey scrub, mix the ingredient with some salt and glycerin, apply on the affected area, and leave until it dries. Wash off afterward.
Rich in protein, egg whites help your skin retain elasticity, all while promoting growth of skin cells and tissue repair. We know that collagen is a protein that helps your skin remain healthy, and egg whites contain lots of it.
In the same time, egg whites are rich in potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin, all crucial nutrients for healthy skin.
Beat two egg whites in a bowl. Clean the area where you want to apply, and then apply a thick layer of the egg white mask. Leave it to dry completely, and then rinse off. Afterward, apply olive oil for extra moisture.
Repeat every day until you get rid of stretch marks.
Ice cubes might not help you heal stretch marks on their own, but they help with reducing inflammation. When your skin stretches, there are tiny scars.
These tiny scars cause inflammation and swelling, which can make stretch marks look worse. Rub ice on the skin to relieve the swelling, reduce inflammation, and prevent stretch marks from growing.
Shea and cocoa butter
Both shea and cocoa butter have excellent skin benefits. They work just like an oil treatment. Apply on the affected area on a regular basis. Leave it for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off.
Both shea and cocoa butter can prevent dryness of the skin, improve elasticity, and keep your moisture levels high.
You might be surprised, but the acidic property of lemon juice helps your skin heal. And that will get rid of stretch marks.
Rub fresh lemon juice on the affected area, leave it for 10 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water. Apply on a daily basis for best results.
In addition to trying off these natural remedies for removing stretch marks, here are some extra tips for stretch mark-free skin.
- Stay hydrated during your pregnancy to prevent stretch marks as much as possible. You might still get some stretch marks, but not as much
- Keep your skin moisturized during pregnancy as part of your regular skincare routine. Moisture will keep your skin smooth and bright, maintain the protective outer layer, and preserve elasticity
- Avoid products with retinol during pregnancy, as they can dry out your skin and make it perfect ground for stretch marks
- Exercise regularly during and after pregnancy to improve skin and muscle tone. In the same time, exercise helps you remove toxins by sweating
- Exfoliate once per week to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and promote the growth of new skin cells
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