While becoming a mommy is a happy feeling, dealing with the stretch marks or “mommy scars” isn’t. New mothers have numerous questions when it comes to how their bodies change and evolve and many of these questions are centered around stretch marks and how to get rid of them. Pregnancy comes with a lot of lovely changes and not so wonderful ones like stretch marks.
Major Causes of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Stretch marks most likely appear on your stomach (and elsewhere) around the end of the second trimester into the beginning of the third trimester, when you’re between 6 and 7 months pregnant. That being said, sometimes they do appear sooner. Approximately 90 percent of all expecting women get these pink, red, brown or sometimes purplish streaks, which are most likely noticed across bellies, thighs, hips or breasts.
In this article you will find what causes stretch marks during pregnancy, how can you deal with them, and what can you do to get rid of them.
What causes stretch marks during pregnancy?
Stretch marks are minute tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it's pulled tight during pregnancy. Stretch marks depend on the elasticity of your skin.
They are usually genetic: If your mother had stretch marks, chances are greater that you probably will too. Lifestyle, including eating habits and exercising regularly promotes skin health and elasticity.
One important factor affecting the occurrence of stretch marks is how much weight you gain during pregnancy and how quickly. Speedy weight gain makes you more prone to this red badge of motherhood. The rapidly your skin stretches, the more likely it is to leave a mark.
What can be done about the stretch marks while you’re pregnant?
Though stretch marks are usually genetic, there are a few ways to prevent them and lighten or minimize their appearance during pregnancy:
1. Moisturize and massage
Massaging a stretch mark oil or cream on your belly, hips and thighs with cocoa butter, olive oil, almond oil, vitamin E or coconut oil and other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant oils will keep the skin hydrated and promote wound healing and skin barrier repair. Moisturizing regularly will help with the dry, itchy skin associated with pregnancy. Be sure to use moisturizer early on in your pregnancy, and massage it gently to maximize effectiveness since these products will likely take weeks to affect.
2. Nourish your skin from the inside
Consume prenatal vitamins, which helps ensure you’re getting enough of a variety of nutrients that support both your baby’s development and your skin health. Eating plenty of food high on vitamin C like peppers, citrus and strawberries may also make your skin less subject to stretch marks. Vitamin C encourages collagen and tissue production, which helps keep skin strong and elastic.
3. Keep your weight gain slow and steady
As rapid weight gain is one of the culprits behind stretch marks, slowly and steadily putting on pounds during pregnancy is one of the most effective ways to help prevent them. It can be easily overdone if you’re eating for two. Try to follow the general recommendations for caloric intake during pregnancy as much as possible, which will guarantee an overall healthier pregnancy for you and your baby.
4. Apply makeup
Try applying slightly darker-toned makeup to the area to reduce their appearance if stretch marks bother you. Since this is just a temporary fix — it won’t help prevent or treat stretch marks.
5. Wait it out
Stretch marks gradually lighten and fade on there over time. But if you’re still concerned once you deliver your baby, consult your dermatologist about other treatments.
10 Home remedies to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks
1. Potato Juice- Potato juice is known to help restore skin cells, provide necessary nutrients and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Simply rub a sliced potato on the affected area to get desired results.
2. Aloe Vera Gel- It is gentle enough for daily use and can be a great calming agent for stretch marks and heat burns. Apply the extracted aloe vera gel on your belly, arms and thighs daily to reduce stretch marks.
3. Coffee Beans- Surprisingly coffee beans help to heal stretch marks. Caffeine helps to revitalize the skin and the oil provides nourishment. Just mix half a cup of finely ground coffee beans to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil to massage the affected area gently using circular motions and let the scrub stay on your skin for 5 minutes and then rinse.
4. Use Sugar as an Exfoliator- Exfoliating the skin is necessary to get rid of the dead skin cells and get fresh skin without stretch marks. Make a natural scrub by mixing some sugar with olive oil along with a few drops of lemon, and use this right before you shower it will give you a soothing effect.
5. Grapefruit Juice- Grapefruit seed extract speeds up the production of new collagen and removes the collagen that is damaged. Massage on the affected areas with a mixture of 1 tbsp of grapefruit juice with 3 tbsps of coconut oil for reducing stretch marks.
6. Basil oil and Oats Scrub- Apply the mixture of grounded oats with 3 teaspoons each of honey and apple cider vinegar along with some basil leaves on the affected areas work miraculously since both basil leaves and oatmeal are very effective in treating stretch marks.
7. Baking Soda Scrub- Baking soda is very helpful in exfoliating the skin and lightening stretch marks. Just mix 1 tbsp of baking soda into the juice of one lemon and apply this scrub to the affected area and cover it with a cling wrap. Then rinse with lukewarm water after half an hour.
8. Bentonite Clay or MultaniMitti- Since Bentonite Clay or MultaniMitti is known to possess healing properties, applying a smooth paste of clay and honey on your stomach and other affected area will eliminate stretch marks from the skin.
9. Turmeric- It is a powerful antioxidant and also contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Apply a paste of turmeric and water to the affected area twice daily to make your stretch marks vanish. Besan or Bengal gram flour can also be added to it.
10. Apricot Mask- An apricot mask is believed in the recipe for stretch mark removal. apply this paste to the affected area and let it stay for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Ideally, you should start applying these home remedies from the 5th month of pregnancy itself to keep the skin hydrated and prevent the occurrence of stretch marks itself. It takes usually 2-3 months to get the desired results, but this may vary from person to person.
Published on: 16th July 2021