Stretch marks are permanent, and are caused when the skin expands too fast, due to sudden weight gain. These marks are more common among pregnant women. Where curing stretch marks require that you opt for expensive treatments like laser treatment, you can take some precautionary measures, and prevent stretch marks from occurring.
When the skin expands beyond its limit the inner layer of the skin actually tears. Stretch marks are also caused due to loss of collagen and elastin within the skin. When stretch marks appear, the skin below the epithelium shows and looks streaked. Initially the marks appear pink or purple, and the capillaries of the skin get damaged. As time passes, they start turning white. Sometimes excessive loss in weight may also result in stretch marks.
These stretch marks are more common in the abdomen, hips, breasts, thighs and upper arms. All pregnant women develop stretch marks on their abdomen. Given below are few tips that will help you prevent or reduce these stretch marks.
Drink lots of water:
Drinking lots of water will help you improve the health of your skin. It helps in hydrating the skin properly. It is recommended that we should drink at least 2 to 2 ½ liters of water every day. About 90% of our body cell constitutes water. Therefore, it is evident that water is very essential for our skin, as it helps to keep moisturized and hydrated, thus making them less prone to itch and scars.
Healthy diet is also very important for improving the quality of your skin. Consume a diet that is rich in fibers, which are essential in the formation of collagen and elastin within the body.
Eat right amount of calories. Excessive amount of calories within your food increases your weight. As the weight increases the skin expands, and if the weight increases beyond certain limit, and then there is no room for skin to expand further, it tears off causing stretch marks.
Food that contains lots of calcium, protein, vitamins, whole grains should be consumed in suffice amounts.
Your daily diet should include at least one kind of fruit juice. Liquids taken in the form of juice are very important to rejuvenate your skin. They also help you in hydrating the skin increasing the moisture within your skin.
Massage with cocoa butter:
When you develop stretch marks during pregnancy, you can massage with cocoa butter. Cocoa butter helps in keeping the skin moist, which helps improve the elasticity of the skin. This will prevent the stretch marks from getting worse. Massage gently in circular motion on the area where there are stretch marks. Applying cocoa butter at night before going to sleep will be more helpful.
Vitamin E oil:
These stretch marks are more persistent after the delivery. There are a number of lotions available in the market that claim to reduce the stretch marks. Sometimes if these creams are not suitable for your skin type then they may cause irritation and other reactions to your skin. So, instead of using these creams for reducing stretch marks, you can try vitamin E oil or bio-oil, after the baby is born.
Avoid over exposure to sun:
Stretch marks become more prominent when exposed to sun. After the birth of the child you should avoid exposure to sun for at least 6 months.
Homemade stretch mark cream:
You can prepare a cream at your home that will prevent formation of stretch marks. To prepare this cream mix ½ cup virgin olive oil, contents of 6 capsules of vitamin E, contents of 4 capsules of vitamin A, and 1/4 cup aloe vera gel. Use a blender to mix all these ingredients properly. Blender will help you in getting a cream of uniform thickness and good consistency. You can store this mixture in the refrigerator and use it for many days. Applying this lotion in regular small circular motions everyday will reduce the amount of stretch marks to a great extent. This cream has no side effects. Besides, a mixture of sugar, vitamin E oil or cream, aloe vera gel, olive oil and cod liver oil will also help in reducing stretch marks to a great extent.
Permanent treatment for stretch marks:
There is no cream that will help you in the permanent treatment of the stretch marks. If you want to treat your stretch marks permanently then you need to opt for laser treatment, demabrasion, chemical peels, or surgical removal of stretch marks. These methods are very expensive and completely unnecessary, but they do ensure permanent treatment of stretch marks, where many opt for laser treatment because it is painless. Before opting for any treatments consult your doctor and take proper advice from him.
Stretch marks during pregnancy:
Stretch marks are common during pregnancy as the skin expands due to the embryo in the stomach. About 90% of total women get stretch marks when they become pregnant, and these marks become more prominent after delivery. The marks start appearing on the stomach usually from the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. You can get rid of these stretch marks if you know how to prevent pregnancy stretch marks.
In some women, stretch marks during pregnancy also appear on the other parts of the skin as well. These parts include thighs, buttocks, arms and even breasts. Some people think that these stretch marks depend upon the genetic factors, but many a times they appear due to the skin conditions.
Here are some steps to prevent pregnancy stretch marks:
- Maintain a balance between the nutrients in your diet. Include fibers, vitamins, minerals, fats in required proportions
- Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, they contain lot of natural nutrients and our body can utilize them in an effective way
- Avoid excessive fats, as they get deposited in the skin and expand, which can also increase the chances of stretch marks
- Most of the times, diet for pregnant women is planned by the doctors. Ask your doctor to plan a diet for you, and make sure that you follow the plan properly.
- Regular exercise is also important along with the nutrient rich diet. Exercise will help in synthesizing the nutrients that you provide to your body through diet.
- Origin of the stretch marks is deep inside the skin, so if you want to prevent them you have to address them from the root. Massaging will help reduce the dryness and itching of the skin to a considerable extent. You can use almond oil, shea butter and cocoa butters as well to massage the skin.
It is very essential that you keep your skin in a healthy condition during the first trimester. Skin care after delivery is equally important. Women undergo dramatic weight loss after pregnancy, which will make the stretch marks more prominent. The above tips are sure to help you prevent or reduce stretch marks; pick the steps that are convenient for you, and those that would suit your skin the best, and try following them.