Pregnancy Stretch Marks Causes, Home Remedies, Creams & Oils
Created by Cheena M Gujral Updated on Apr 24, 2019
Pregnancy is one of the most blissful periods in a woman’s life. And though it is one of the best periods (ask any new mommy and she will get nostalgic talking about her pregnancy), it does come with some issues like weight gain and stretch marks. While weight gained during pregnancy can be lost with some exercises and diet control post six months of delivery, it is the stretch marks that leave mommies flustered. Hence today, we will deal with stretch marks and tackle all the queries you may have about stretch marks as a new mommy and not so new mommy. [Know - Is almond oil Safe for pregnancy-time stretch marks treatment?]
But before we deal with stretch marks let’s try and understand what are stretch marks and can you do something to prevent them in the first place.
Pregnancy-time Stretch Marks
The streaks, which appear, on your belly, hips, thighs or even breasts either in the later stages or even during the early stages are known as pregnancy stretch marks. Stretch marks happen when your abdomen expands rapidly to accommodate the growing baby thus stretching it to the level where there are natural tears in the skin. Stretch marks are not harmful either to the mommy or the baby but yes; the criss-cross lines over the skin can distress a new mommy.
What Causes Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
Stretch marks in pregnancy-time are caused when your belly starts expanding rapidly to accommodate the unborn baby and the elastic fibers underneath the skin break to put up with all the stretching of the skin. There are numerous causes of stretch marks. Few of the prominent ones are listed below.
- Expanding belly to accommodate the growing baby during pregnancy
- A significant change in body weight during pregnancy causes the skin to stretch thus producing stretch marks during pregnancy
- Increased level of hormones like progesterone cause depression in protein levels in the body, thus pigmenting skin when a mother carries a baby
- Over pulling or stretching of skin leads to tearing of the dermis, developing stretch marks more so during pregnancy
- The accumulation of fat under dermis develops reddish purple pigments; stretch marks, which fades in the course of time
So, it is advisable to gradually gain weight so that there are fewer chances of getting pregnancy stretch marks.
How Can I Avoid Stretch Marks After Pregnancy?
You can easily avoid stretch marks after pregnancy, by gradually losing the weight gain, as the rapid gain and loss results in severe wear and tear of elastic fibers underneath the skin thus breaking out in stretch marks. Other things you can take care of to avoid pregnancy stretch marks is to
- Eat a skin nourishing diet – the diet that keeps skin well hydrated
- Drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated
- Keep the skin well moisturized with oils or lotions
Best Creams to Get Rid Of Pregnancy Stretch-marks Fast
There are numerous creams available in the market that promise to reduce the stretch marks to almost making them invisible. So you can try those. It would be better if you consult your doctor before trying anything. You can look for cocoa butter and vitamin E oil in the ingredients before buying any cream or oil. Remember that your skin is pretty sensitive right now and hence it would be really good if consulted a good dermatologist to guide you about the stretch marks and the creams.
How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks On Tummy And Hips Easily?
The best way to reduce stretch marks on tummy and hips easily is to apply the natural white sugar, as it is a good way to exfoliate your skin. You can make a sugar pack by mixing a tablespoon of raw sugar with few drops of almond oil and few drops of lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients well till you get a coarse paste and apply it on your stretch marks and let it dry. Once dried rinse it with water and pat dry your skin.
Will These Stretch Marks Ever Go Away?
Well, sorry to disappoint you but stretch marks don’t go away per se. But yes, may lighten over a period of time thus reducing the stress of a new mommy. You may do the following to reduce and lighten the marks. You may apply coconut water on the affected area; let it dry till you feel your skin is stretching. Once you feel the stretch you can either apply aloe vera gel or shea butter on the affected area or then rinse off the area with water, post that you can apply some moisturizer to soothe the skin. This will help you in lightening the stretch marks. [Check - Is Almond Oil Good for Stretch-marks During & After Pregnancy?]
What Are The Best Home Remedies To Remove Pregnancy Stretch Marks?
There are numerous home remedies and I am happy to share some of my favorite remedies to reduce stretch marks after pregnancy - that too, naturally. Pick any one remedy for a week. Apply on the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes, and rinse off with lukewarm water. Follow it up with a light massage with a moisturizer. Repeat this process twice a day for maximum benefits. The next week, pick another remedy... and so on. You will get to know on your own what's working better - so stick to 2-3 remedies that are working well for you. And yes – be regular and be patient...
- Coffee scrub: Mix ground coffee with water until it forms a nice, thick paste. Scrub the affected area, and rinse
- Exfoliating sugar scrub: Sugar is an effective skin exfoliator. Mix some raw sugar with almond oil and scrub the affected areas
- Turmeric mask: Turmeric is a miracle spice! Blend some turmeric with sandalwood powder and yogurt to make a face mask
- Liquid pack: Mix coconut water with milk for a soothing skin pack
- Potato juice: Rub a potato slice over the affected area; the potato juice will slowly but surely make your marks vanish
- Protein mask: Some egg white dabbed over the affected area really helps. Wash it off after it dries
- Lemon and aloe pack: – Lemon juice mixed with cucumber juice or aloe vera gel (fresh or store bought), bleaches the marks away
Homemade Of Almond Oil Lotion Recipes
Below mentioned are DIY almond oil lotions and procedure to make them...
- Take geranium oil and orange juice in equal proportions. Add five times the quantity of almond oil into it. Applying this especially on the chest helps reduce changed color. You can repeat it once a week
- Rosemary oil with almond oil. Mix 1/10 of rosemary oil with almond oil to form an oily lotion. Mix it with any of your suited skin moisturizers. Use it several times in a week.
- Almond oil with Vitamin E capsule extracts to be mixed with essential oil. Add mint for refreshment and mix grapefruit. This mixture to be applied on marks will bring prominent change. [Watch video - Ayurvedic Remedies for Reducing Stretch-marks]
- Lavender oil when mixed with five times the quantity of almond oil makes a miracle lotion which is beneficial in the first trimester of pregnancy
- Carrot lotion is also helpful in stretch mark reduction. Grated carrot to be dipped in cold water and then extract the juice. This juice is mixed with almond oil to the desired consistency. This lotion is to apply once a week
Few Oils To Reduce Stretch Marks
I also found essential oils and Vitamin E to be very effective in dealing with stretch marks... Here's what you can do...
- Essential Oils: These can work wonders. Blend a few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender works well) with coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil or baby oil and keep in a small dark-colored glass container. Massage this oil in a circular motion over the affected area for few minutes. Apply before bedtime
- Vitamin E: This can be taken orally (twice a day) or applied to the skin (oil capsules)
Always Remember - To prevent stretch marks while you are pregnant, it is important to keep yourself hydrated with clean water, exercise daily and to use recommended (by your gynae) skin oils from the 2nd trimester onwards.
Did you find Cheena’s natural home remedies for stretch mark removal useful? How did you reduce your stretch marks after birth? Do share your experiences and learnings with us in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!
| Jul 11, 2017
Hi ishu, Am not the best person to suggest you on this, but will surely ask you to be patient with it. Many of us have gained weight after pregnancy and its so normal. You should not feel bad about it. Rest for sure you should try to be fit( don't consider being slim is fittnes). Exercise, walk, follow yoga and a good diet plan to get active and healthy. You can even meditate and avoid that junk food. You will definitely be healthy, happier and more beautiful. I am not saying it for the sake of it... I too gained 15kg after delivery and still managing to be fit and active. cheers!!
| Aug 16, 2017
if u want to reduce the impact of street marks , i think u should start early.. yes.. I mean when u r pregnant.. I applied homemade coconut oil on my tummy.. upper thighs ,buttocks and breasts from the 4 th month itself.. and I continued it till 10 th month.. u won't believe I have oy one or two marks( which is going after my delivery).. so this is the best thing I recommend.. apply a generous amount of coconut oil on your body before going to bath.. leave it for half an hour then wash off when u bath ..I have suggested it to ma y friends and they also said they have positive results
| Aug 17, 2017
Thanks for your views lekshmi. You are right, the best time to start for controlling stretch marks is from 4th months. But there is never too late to cure them. If someone missed on initial times, they can too try these remedies for lightening or removing them.
| May 15, 2019
I gained 50 pounds because of a medication increase and I got a lot of stretch marks mainly on my thighs. I've been using dermalmd stretch mark serum since the beginning of March until now and the stretch marks on the sides of my thighs are almost gone. I'm a very slow healer so I know I will have to use this serum for a while to get the full results. I'm happy with how it's worked so far.
| Jan 17, 2020
To fade stretch marks, try to regularly use ‘The Momsco’ natural stretch marks bundle, as it is very effective for treating stretch marks. It contains non-toxic, natural, moisturizing and safe substances for the skin. I felt them very effective on my skin within a few days of use.