There are several things that impact your life after pregnancy. Aside from adapting to a more hectic schedule with the baby, you will also discover that your body is not as how it used to be before mommyhood. For instance, losing the extra body fat may take some time, and you may notice some marks on your buttocks, stomach and breasts. In fact, all women get these stretch marks as their bellies suddenly become smaller and the skin gets looser after giving birth. The marks get more noticeable after the first pregnancy, and getting rid of these may be tougher than you think.
What Causes Stretch Marks
Generally, these marks appear once you gain weight so quickly that the skin is stretched tightly. As a result, the elastic fibers that are found under your skin’s surface break. Hence, stretch marks are formed. This is particularly true among women during their pregnancy as they gain at least 30 pounds or so throughout the 9 months. The same holds true among people who suddenly put on several pounds and begin to lose weight rapidly.
When you grow fast, marks are most likely to appear, specifically on areas where these lines are common such as the buttocks and stomach. There are also some people who get nasty marks on their upper arms, thighs and breasts. As long as these areas were once stretched due to significant weight gain, there is a strong likelihood that marks will appear the moment you shed excess pounds.
Initially these appear as purplish or reddish in color. However, they will progress to gray or silver once they have faded over time. By then, the lines will be evident and difficult to remove unless the right techniques are applied. With this in mind, it is important that while the marks are still in their initial stage, you should consider using the right products to diminish these lines until they are barely noticeable.
It’s really important to remember that you’re not a freak for having stretch marks. They can happen for a variety of reasons that you simply cannot help.
Common reasons for women getting stretch marks include:
- Genetics. Unfortunately some people are just more prone to them than others.
- Rapid weight gain and loss. This could be because someone is becoming overweight through eating, pregnancy, or even through muscle development due to exercise.
- Body expansion during adolescence can also cause stretch marks that unfortunately last for life.
- Some medications can cause stretch marks, such as steroids that cause bloating through water retention.
- Emotional issues such as alcoholism or drug use, leading to fluctuating skin health and weight loss and gain.
People Prone to Stretch Marks
Based on a study by the American Academy of Dermatology, several people are most likely to have stretch marks at certain points in their life. These include the following:
- At least 90 percent of women who are in their third trimester or sixth to seventh month of their pregnancy
- Having a mother who had stretch marks as genetics is another factor that affects the appearance of these lines on your skin
- Obese people who lose a significant amount of weight quickly
It is also worth noting that regardless of your skin tone or complexion, you are not exempt from getting these unsightly lines. For people with darker skin, the marks appear to be silvery or lighter than their natural color once these begin to fade. As for those who have fairer or lighter skin, the marks will have a pinkish color. So, no matter what your complexion, these marks will always impact your look unless you do something about them.
The truth is, stretch marks can never be completely removed. It is something you will have to deal with once you give birth or lose weight after living your life being overweight or obese. However, you can minimize the nasty appearance of these lines by keeping your skin properly hydrated. Use a cream or moisturizing lotion to maintain hydration in your skin. Special creams can also give your skin that smooth and supple quality while reducing the itchy feeling on your stomach during the third trimester of your pregnancy.
Staying well-hydrated is indeed an excellent way to reduce the possibility of getting unsightly marks on your skin. Skin creams can also improve the quality of your skin by making it appear more toned, less itchy and more flexible. Drinking plenty of water for proper hydration is another possible means of making these lines on your stomach appear not as pronounced as when you have dry skin.
When Marks Begin to Fade
Most marks fade over time, and from purple, these lines become silvery and white. However, there are some people who complain about having darker and more visible marks instead of seeing these fade and become less unappealing. This is why it is important to treat these marks on the skin while they are still in the first stage. Basically, this is the time when the marks are reddish in appearance, so do not wait for the lines to turn silvery before you do something about them.
There are various options when it comes to products helpful in treating these marks such as a combination of hyaluronic acid with some onion extract. A gel can be made using these two ingredients, and it must be applied directly on the lines. After at least 12 weeks of using the product regularly, the marks are expected to fade quickly.
There are also other options of stretch mark removal, but these are not purely natural techniques. For instance, the use of retinoid creams can be rather effective in minimizing these marks, based on dermatologists. The secret to having successful results with it is by applying it on the affected area. This product ensures quick cell turnover, which is necessary in promoting the growth of new collagen while making the skin healthier and more attractive.
Applying lasers, which generate heat to the skin, is also recommended by most people who have found an effective means of removing stretch marks. Laser results in quicker collagen growth while keeping dilated blood vessels much smaller. Keep in mind, though, that laser treatment is given in several sessions to achieve positive results. Hence, it can be expensive and not too practical among people who want a cheaper, yet effective way to get rid of stretch marks fast and naturally.
Natural Remedies for Removing Stretch Marks
Every woman develops marks in some body parts, and this is considered as perfectly normal and natural due to weight loss after giving birth or after living for years with extra pounds. While it is a natural occurrence, no woman would want to deal with these unattractive lines. Thus, you may want to try your luck using various tactics such as surgery, retinoid cream, essential oils and some other ways to remove these marks.
Considered as a home remedy, sugar is known for its exfoliating effects. Its coarse texture can help get rid of dead skin and minimize the unsightly appearance of these lines on your thighs, stomach, and arms.
To use this natural exfoliant, take a heaping tablespoon of sugar and place it in a small bowl. Then, add in a few drops of lemon juice with some almond oil. Combine the juice with sugar and stir thoroughly. When your homemade exfoliant is ready, just rub it for a few minutes on the affected area of your skin. Afterwards, rinse the mixture off with warm water and pat dry. Make it a habit to scrub your skin with sugar and lemon juice mixture for a month until you discover positive results on your skin.
2. Aloe Vera
Known for years as a natural remedy for skin issues, aloe vera is also effective when it comes to minimizing the appearance of stretch marks. With its cooling and healing components, you can achieve positive results from using this herbal remedy regularly. Just get few small aloe vera leafs, and use this to rub on your skin for a few minutes. Next, rinse the area off with lukewarm water.
Another option in using aloe vera is by taking the gel form of this plant. Then, get 5 capsules of vitamin A and vitamin E, and extract their oil. Combine these vitamin-enriched oil with your aloe vera and rub on the affected area well. Wait for the mixture to be absorbed completely by your skin, and leave on for about 10 minutes. You should also apply this daily for favorable results.
3. Potato Juice
Loaded with minerals and vitamins, potatoes enhance the growth and repair of skin cells. Because of these effects, it is not surprising that the juice of this vegetable has been used for eliminating stretch marks. Simply cut a potato into thick slices and just rub these on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the juice dries on your skin, let it stay for a few more minutes before rinsing off.
4. Olive Oil
For centuries, olive oil has been trusted by people as an excellent skin moisturizer because of its hydrating and cooling effect. It is packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that heal a variety of skin disorders. For stretch marks, you can use this oil by heating it slightly before applying on your skin. The warm oil promotes good circulation of the blood, which will soon help reduce the appearance of the marks. There is no need to rinse the oil off since it is a great moisturizer that can keep your skin smooth and supple.
5. Castor Oil
Another outstanding remedy for skin issues including fine lines, pimples, dark spots and moles, castor oil is also worth a try when you want to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. All you should do is to apply the oil and massage gently in a circular motion. Once you have finished massaging the different areas, be sure to use a clean cloth to wrap the affected skin. Then, with the use of a heating pad, apply heat on the spot for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to use these two techniques daily for excellent results on your skin.
The leaves of alfalfa are noted for their rich supply of amino acids, which support healthy skin. It is also a good source of protein, vitamin E and K, and these work by ensuring body tone naturally. You can also detoxify your skin using alfalfa leaves because of their anti-fungal properties. To treat marks on the skin, get a small amount of alfalfa powder combined with some chamomile oil. Mix well until a thick paste is formed. Use the paste as a massaging cream on the skin and apply at least three times a day.
7. Lemon Juice
If you are bothered by nasty marks on your skin, then lemon juice can be quite effective in addressing this problem naturally. It contains acid that is trusted for reducing scars, acne, and even stretch marks. So, to prepare this natural remedy, simply juice some lemons and massage the liquid onto your skin, in a circular motion. Then, wash the area with warm water after massaging. Mixing some cucumber juice can also be used for additional healing properties.
8. Egg Whites
Pamper yourself and give your skin that smoother and fairer appeal with the help of egg whites. You can use this in minimizing the appearance of marks that ruin the look of your skin. In fact, the healing property of egg whites comes from the sufficient amounts of amino acids and proteins that repair skin cells efficiently.
To prepare the mixture, place whites from two eggs in a bowl, then whip well. Apply a layer of this mixture on the skin either with a brush or by using your fingers. Allow the mixture to dry completely for at least 10 minutes. Then, rinse egg whites off your skin using lukewarm water. Follow on with olive oil to moisturize the area. You may use this technique daily for optimum results.
9. Cocoa Butter
An exceptional moisturizer, cocoa butter is renowned for its anti-aging properties while promoting circulation and reducing stretch marks. Just take a tablespoon of cocoa butter and massage on the affected portion gently. Do this technique twice a day for at least two months until you notice an improvement on your skin.
Although these are all natural remedies, you should realize that there are some instances when skin irritation may occur, particularly when you fail to follow the right amount of ingredients in preparing the mixture. So, it is best to follow the instructions carefully and avoid overdoing the application of these natural remedies to avoid further problems on your skin.
Want to speed up the process of removing stretch marks? Read my review of the best stretch mark creams