Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy: Causes and Home
Weight gain or rapid growth causes stretch marks as the skin
expands to accommodate more fluids, widening hips, or the
bulge caused by a baby. Some women get stretch marks on
their breasts at puberty, when the Breast Fairy arrives with
an overnight B-cup: the skin doesn’t have time to grow
before the increase in tissue, and the collagen fibers in
the skin break, causing what we know as stretch marks. Most
women get stretch marks on their abdomens during pregnancy,
and many also get them on their breasts. Stretch marks are a
normal part of pregnancy—but that doesn’t mean we have to
Avoiding stretch marks is practically impossible, but some women
have found ways to prevent them. The accepted wisdom is that
keeping the skin hydrated also keeps it elastic. Hydration has
everything to do with how much water you drink, so if you’re
sick of pouring in 64 ounces a day, encourage yourself to new
heights of liquidity by reminding yourself that you’re also
hydrating your skin.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks probably have a lot to do with heredity, but you
can also make an attempt at prevention by using creams or
lotions rich in Vitamin E. Some experts are recommending alpha-hydroxy
lotions, but it’s hard to understand why a chemical used to thin
and peel skin would be useful for something happening inside the
skin: it may be a fad. Vitamin E is the most tried-and-true
remedy for most skin issues: take it internally and rub it into
your skin, too. Don’t fall for cures or creams that say they
“contain” Vitamin E, along with a dozen other trendy
ingredients. You can buy pure Vitamin E capsules at any
drugstore: if you get them as dietary supplements, you can break
them open to use them externally, too. Olive oil is fairly high
in Vitamin E; grapeseed oil isn’t.
Cocoa butter has been used for ages and some people swear by it.
Rubbing the skin with any sort of emollient may help avoid or
lessen the impact of stretch marks, or help them heal more
evenly once you have them. It may be the massage itself that
does the job, but natural massage oils of almond, coconut or
sesame certainly won’t hurt.
Can Stretch Marks Go Away?
Let’s start with the bad news first: stretch marks, once
created, don’t entirely go away. That said, let’s quickly follow
up with some good news: stretch marks, which start out as red,
angry-looking streaks, eventually fade all by themselves,
usually into silvery, much less-visible streaks. Time itself
will reduce the look of stretch marks; unless you’re a Playboy
Bunny, you may find that the small, satiny scars on your abdomen
don’t get in your way in the least.
Hide and Reduce Stretch Marks
There are a million stretch mark “cures”—herbs, creams and
procedures—promising stretch mark removal, claiming to eliminate
stretch marks. They don’t work. Don’t waste your money on hype:
if there were an actual cure for stretch marks, we’d all know
Once you’ve had your baby and lost your pregnancy weight, laser
therapy can fade the redness or reduce the wrinkling of faded
stretch marks. Even then, be careful about the medical
professional you consult. Really good doctors will do a small
test treatment for free, because not all skin responds to laser
therapy the same way. Some people get fine results; others
won’t. A smart doctor won’t waste patients’ time and money with
an uncertain treatment.
If laser therapy doesn’t interest you and your stretch marks are
only occasionally on display when the right bathing suit goes to
the pool, find some waterproof makeup in just the right shade,
and cover those little lines up. That’s right—hide them.
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