They have been given many names including souvenirs of maternity or the ‘red badge of maternity’. I am talking about pregnancy stretch marks. Even though they’re synonymous with pregnancy, just the idea of having to deal with them during or after pregnancy gives most mothers sleepless nights because they are just UGLY.
Causes and overview
Most women develop striae gravidarum or pregnancy stretch marks during from their seventh month of pregnancy going onwards to after delivery. The stretches can be purple or black depending on skin complexion. You will mostly develop stretch marks around on your belly. You can also get them on your breasts, hips, bottom, back, thighs or even legs.
The main cause of stretch marks during pregnancy is you gaining weight at a rate that your skin can’t keep up with. Even though more than 90% of all pregnant mothers can get these marks, you are more likely to develop them if your mother had them or if you are carrying multiple babies.
So how do you prevent striae gravidarum? This question has a very high search volume on Google. Unfortunately, most of the answers are unsatisfactory. Yet women have never given up on trying to find a solution. In this article, we will discuss some of the best stretch marks removal ways and how you can also prevent them in the first place.
How to remove pregnancy stretch marks
I am sorry to tell you this, but it is impossible to get rid of stretch marks completely. You can only reduce them. In other words, am telling you that all those good products that promise to remove these marks totally may not deliver on that promise. The best you can get on the market is a product that can reduce or hide stretch marks.
The following are some of the ways that can help reduce the ugly striae on your skin;
Stretch marks creams and oils
One of the most common solutions is the use of creams. Unfortunately, the market is saturated with so many products that it is impossible to find out the best stretch mark cream during pregnancy. After a lot of research, I have narrowed down to the following creams.
Palmer’s Cocoa butter cream
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter formula has been approved by dermatologists. It helps to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of these marks. You should massage the cream to stretch mark prone areas such as tummy, hips, thighs, and bust.
You can also use shea butter oil.
Olive oil has been known to be a great moisturizer. Massaging it on your belly will improve the blood circulation and thus reduce the appearance of striae gravidarum.
Use coconut oil to moisten your belly. Coconut oil has got saturated fats which makes it a great moisturizer. You should apply the oil immediately after a shower to lock in the moisture.
Vitamin E for stretch marks
Vitamin E supports new skin cell growth and revs up cell regeneration. Applying any cream that contains Vitamin E can also help avoid stretch marks from scarring. Vitamin E also acts as an oxidant which helps protect skin from damage. It is also said to soften dry skin.
Exfoliating with sugar
Sugar is a natural exfoliator and perhaps one of the best remedies for striae gravidarum. You should mix a spoonful of sugar with a few drops of lemon juice and almond oil. Massage the area of the skin with this mixture for 8-10 minutes. Do this every day consistently for about a month for the marks to disappear completely or reduce.
Collagen is a protein that is responsible for keeping our skin flexible and supple. It is responsible for maintaining the elastic nature of the skin.
During pregnancy, the body may funnel all nutrients to the growing body making it impossible to produce collagen naturally. It may also be possible that the body is not producing enough collagen to keep up with the growing baby bump. This is one of the reasons why you develop them. Taking collagen supplements orally or through injections can help get rid of the problem.
Carboxytherapy is a legitimate medical way of getting rid of these marks (it is also used to treat cellulite and scars). The treatment entails microinjection of carbon dioxide just below the surface of the skin. The gas diffuses into the skin and causes blood vessels to dilate. This increases the blood supply to the skin.
An increase in blood supply means an increase in oxygen and other nutrients to the treatment area. Oxygen eliminates fluid buildup between skin cells and also stimulates the skin to produce more collagen. The result is a firmer younger skin.
The only negative thing about this treatment is it is very expensive just like other forms of therapy and it may not be covered by your medical insurance provider.
How to prevent striae gravidarum
The best defense against this problem is preventing them from happening. To do this, you should ensure the skin maintains its elasticity throughout and even after the pregnancy. Here are some of the ways that can help achieve this.
I can’t stress more about the importance of exercises. Workouts reduce mood swing, improves sleep patterns and even boosts energy levels. But did you know that exercises can actually help you prevent stretch marks? Exercises improve blood circulation in your body which keeps the skin elastic. Surely, the promise of a flawless skin should be enough encouragement to hit the gym at least twice every week.
Eat a balanced diet
Foods rich in vitamin E and C will boost the production of collagen in the body. You should also include Vitamin B which is said to promote and maintain healthy skin. Foods rich in vitamin C also helps protect skin tissue from damage. Drinking enough water is also very important because it helps strengthen and renews your skin.
Use a moisturizer
A topically applied product like Bio-Oil is specially formulated to maximize the skin’s elasticity and ensure that it is well-hydrated.
Basking in the sun helps
Research has shown that low levels of Vitamin D may increase the chances of getting these marks. Vitamin D is plentily available through exposure to sunshine. You should, therefore, soak enough sun rays because it might prevent those ugly dents from forming on your skin. However, be sure to use a sunscreen to reduce the chances of getting a sunburn.
References and sources