Any woman who has experienced pregnancy knows about those pesky stretch marks that make her body their home. Although a common problem among pregnant women, stretch marks are a natural reaction to the ever-changing woman’s body during their time of pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you have to like them. Understanding how stretch marks occur and how to properly treat them after they appear is important to bolstering women’s confidence and making them feel better about their bodies.
So why do they occur?
The appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy is the result of skin cells being forced to regenerate quicker than normal, which in turn causes the skin tissue to stretch. During pregnancy, the body is rapidly growing, and the skin is sometimes unable to keep up with this growth. As a result, the elastic fibers underneath the surface of the skin may break, causing stretch marks to appear. Stretch marks can appear on any part of the body, but they are most common on the belly and breasts. They can also make themselves known on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. However, every woman’s skin is different, and not all women are bound to receive stretch marks. It also depends on the rate of growth during pregnancy.
Stretch Mark Prevention
There is no surefire way to prevent stretch marks from occurring, although there are precautions you can take that may reduce the chance of developing them. Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized is beneficial, as well as making sure you are drinking enough water throughout your pregnancy. Some women are able to avoid stretch marks by using certain products like cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, and other moisturizers that help keep the skin smooth and healthy.
Once stretch marks have already appeared, there are ways to treat them in order to reduce their appearance. The best way to treat stretch marks is to focus on fading. Some stretch marks will fade naturally, but others are initially darker and more obvious, making it difficult to hide them. The best time to treat the marks is while they are still reddish in color.
High-quality stretch mark creams can help reduce the visibility of stretch marks and repair the damage done to your skin. By making your skin appear healthier, you can help your stretch marks fade more quickly. Stretch mark creams are much more effective when used after they have already appeared, although using specific pregnancy lotions on a daily basis can help reduce the chances of developing stretch marks as well as keeping the skin’s condition healthy.
Your dermatologist can also prescribe certain creams and gels that can help reduce the appearance of your stretch marks. These treatments can help stimulate new collagen growth, leading to healthier skin and the stretch marks fading more easily. Other treatments include lasers that heat the skin and increase collagen growth and shrink dilated blood vessels, although it may take a few sessions in order to see visible results. Stretch marks can also be removed surgically, although this method poses a risk for complications. The surgery method usually involves removing the piece of skin where the stretch marks appear, allowing for new skin to grow. It is an invasive procedure and comes with several risks.
Best Stretch Marks Home Remedies
There are plenty of natural home remedies that can help treat stretch marks as well, although they are not guaranteed to work. The key is to make sure that your skin is kept well hydrated.
Massaging the areas that stretch marks normally occur can help prevent stretch marks and reduce the appearance of stretch marks that have already occurred. Many women use olive oil as a common remedy for pregnancy stretch marks, as well as vitamin E oil and other various oil treatments that help moisturize skin.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is another popular remedy used to help treat stretch marks. Just apply the aloe vera gel over the area that the stretch marks appear on a daily basis to heal and soothe the skin.
Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter
This type of treatment, like oil treatment, can also help diminish stretch marks. By applying it to your skin, you can improve the elasticity and prevent your skin from drying out.
Drinking the proper amount of water every day is important for keeping your body well hydrated, which can help your skin heal faster by keeping it healthy. Be sure to reduce your intake of any drinks that can cause dehydration.
The acidity of lemon juice can help heal and reduce stretch marks. You can simply cut a lemon into pieces and squeeze the juice directly onto the stretch marks.