Stretch marks are common results of pregnancy.
Stretch marks are thin scars that are the result of the middle layer of the skin being stretched. Occurring frequently during pregnancy and puberty, stretch marks are most often found on the thighs, upper arms, abdomen and breasts. Though most experts agree that stretch marks are permanent, there are some home remedies for reducing stretch marks an making them less noticeable.
An Ounce of Prevention
You can take some simple steps to reduce the likelihood of getting stretch marks, particularly those resulting from rapid pregnancy weight gain. These suggestions rely on increasing the suppleness and elasticity of your skin, and the more diligent you are about practicing these steps, the more likely they will work:
Cocoa Butter. Cocoa butter is a fat extracted from cacao beans, yes, the same ingredient used in chocolate! It has been used for centuries as a moisturizing agent, and by applying it regularly, you may be able to increase the skin’s elasticity. Look for 100 percent cocoa butter creams or lotions. Apply them at least twice a day or more.
Try vitamin E. Like cocoa butter it is also known for its moisturizing properties and many people have had great results in stretch mark prevention using vitamin E on their skin. Straight vitamin E can cause allergic reactions in some people, so try a vitamin E-enriched lotion and apply it regularly.
Reach for the olive oil. Also revered through the ages for its ability to moisturize skin, olive oil you can apply olive oil liberally to your skin. Wipe off excess, as the oil can stain your clothing.
Treatments for Stretch Marks
Despite your best efforts, you still may end up with stretch marks. If your marks are reddish, they may eventually fade to a silvery-white over time. If they are still visible, try one or more of these remedies:
Exfoliating. Use an exfoliator on the affected area. You can buy one over-the-counter or make your own from coarse-grained salt or brown sugar, mixed with a massage oil or olive oil. Rub gently in a circular motion to stimulate blood flow and speed healing. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat several times a week. Stop this treatment immediately if your skin becomes red or irritated.
Moisturize. Use any of the moisturizing suggestions in this article to help damaged skin regain its suppleness. You can apply these lotions or oils several times throughout the day.
Massage. Massage can help stimulate circulation, which in turn will improve the skin’s looks and decrease healing time. When you massage your skin, use firm yet gentle circular strokes and use a lotion or oil to decrease skin friction. Try one of the moisturizers like olive oil or cocoa butter to double the healing effects.