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Ooppsss… stretch marks!!!

Dr. Rajan
IM

Pregnancy is one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life, but the stretch marks that come with it is not so heartening. You might have fine lines mostly in the areas prone to fat accumulation like breast, hips, arms, abdomen, tummy and thighs. They may develop due to hormonal changes or sudden fat loss in these regions. There are many chemical and surgical treatments available to remove stretch marks like vascular laser, fractional laser treatment, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), etc. However, these treatments have a lot of risks attached and are expensive. It is always advisable to opt for safer home remedies which are as effective and a lot cheaper. Here, loveubaby tells you how to get rid of stretch marks through home remedies, and medical treatments.


Is it possible to get rid of stretch marks?

It is not possible to get rid of stretch marks completely as they only get lighter with time. Massaging creams, lotions, and oils cannot make the marks disappear but only turn your skin smooth and supple. Over the months and may be years, the marks gradually turn into fine lines which are almost closer to your skin tone. Though you may have to bear the natural ‘battle scars’, they become less visible in three to six months after delivery.


How to get rid of Pregnancy Stretch Marks

1. Use Natural Oils

Carrier Oil Options –

  • Almond Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Mustard Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Castor Oil

Essential Oil Options –

  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil

Olive Oil: Olive oil moisturizes and exfoliates your skin. It also improves the blood circulation and removes stretch marks to a great extent

  • Take some oil in your palms and gently massage the area.
  • Let it remain for 30 minutes so that the vitamins A, D and E in the oil are absorbed into the skin.
  • Take a bath after the massage.
  • Though it is a time-taking process, it gives you results when you follow it regularly.
  • Or you can also prepare a mixture of olive oil, water and vinegar, and apply in the nights.

What You Have To Do with other oils

Prepare a DIY moisturizer by mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oils with a carrier oil. Some recommended combinations are:

  • Almond oil or coconut oil with grape seed and rosehip oils
  • Castor oil or jojoba oil with evening primrose, hemp seed, and lavender essential oils
  • Massage the affected area with this oil for a few minutes.
  • Leave the oil on for as long as possible.

You can intensify the effect of the oils by wrapping the area in plastic sheets (e.g. klin wrap) and place a hot water bottle over it for a couple of minutes.


How Often You Should Do This

Regularly apply this oil blend twice a day.


Why This Works

The oil massage will keep the skin moisturized, which increases its elasticity and helps to heal scars quickly. The carrier oils provide nourishment and hydration, whereas the essential oils provide antioxidants and healing compounds. The damage caused due to the stretching can be reversed if this remedy is used twice a day without fail.


2. Cocoa Butter

You Will Need

Organic cocoa butter or shea butter

What You Have To Do

Massage the affected area (like your tummy, chest, and thighs) with organic cocoa butter. You can also use shea butter.

How Often You Should Do This?

Reapply either of the body butters twice a day.

Why This Works

Both cocoa butter and shea butter are rich sources of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids that are easily absorbed into the skin. They hydrate the skin and replenish the skin cells. Shea butter contains vitamins A and E as well, which improve the elasticity of the skin and prevent dryness. A combination of these two butters also works well for pregnancy stretch marks.


3.Aloe Vera

You Will Need

An aloe vera leaf

What You Have To Do

  • Cut the aloe leaf and extract the gel.
  • Apply it to the affected area and massage until it is absorbed into the skin.
  • Do not rinse it away.

How Often You Should Do This?

This remedy should be used twice daily.

Why This Works

This is one of the best natural methods to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Aloe vera gel promotes healing and shows visible results in a few days. It also soothes the skin and keeps it hydrated. However, this remedy works for early-stage stretch marks only.


4. Petroleum Jelly

You Will Need

Petroleum jelly

What You Have To Do

Apply the petroleum jelly on the stretch marks and massage for 5-10 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This?

Do this every night before going to bed.

Why This Works

Petroleum jelly is an occlusive agent, which means that it locks in moisture in the skin. This heals dry and stretched skin.


5. Dry Brushing

You Will Need

Body brush (with soft, natural bristles)

What You Have To Do?

  • Gently brush the affected area with the dry brush using circular upward motions.
  • Continue brushing for 5-6 minutes.
  • Shower as usual and apply a good moisturizer.

How Often You Should Do This?

Repeat this every day before taking a bath.

Why This Works

Dry brushing stimulates blood and lymph circulation. This causes enough nutrients to reach the stretch marks. It also helps in easy and better elimination of toxins from the area. Dry brushing enhances the functionality of the oil and sweat glands and exfoliates the dead skin cells. This gives you smooth, soft, and blemish-free skin.

Caution

Be very gentle with the brush around the pregnancy stretch marks as the skin is already irritated and sensitive.


6. Glycolic Acid

You Will Need

Glycolic acid cream

What You Have To Do

Use this cream on the affected areas as recommended on the box.

How Often You Should Do This?

Reapply once or twice a day.

Why This Works

Glycolic acid is known to increase the collagen production in the skin. This helps to increase the elasticity of the skin, thus preventing the appearance of stretch marks after pregnancy. Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), one of the main constituents of chemical peels.

Caution

Glycolic acid cream can be bought from medical stores. However, consult your doctor before using it.


7. Egg Whites

You Will Need

  • 1-2 egg whites
  • A pastry brush

What You Have To Do?

  • Beat the egg whites lightly and apply with the brush on the affected areas.
  • Let it dry naturally.
  • Rinse with cool water and moisturize.

Add a couple of drops of coconut oil or almond oil to the egg white for added benefits.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this egg white pack every day for best results.

Why This Works

The enzymes in egg whites increase the skin’s elasticity, causing the stretch marks to fade away in due course of time.


8. Coffee Beans

You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  • Mix the ground coffee and oil.
  • Use this mixture as a scrub on the affected areas. Massage gently in circular motions for best results.
  • Leave the scrub on for five minutes and then rinse with water.

How Often You Should Do This

The coffee beans scrub can be used 2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

The caffeine from the ground coffee can easily penetrate your skin and revitalize the skin cells by stimulating circulation. This, along with the olive oil, ensures that plenty of nourishment is supplied to the affected area to heal the stretch marks. Coffee also contains antioxidants that reverse the damage and offer photo protection.


9. Apple Cider Vinegar

You Will Need

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Spray bottle

What You Have To Do

  • Dilute the vinegar with water and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Spray it on the stretch marks and let it dry naturally.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • Shower as usual in the morning and follow up with a good moisturizer.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every night, before going to bed.

Why This Works

ACV is good for healing scars and blemishes. It works on the stretch marks and lightens them

Caution

If you have sensitive skin, add one cup of water to one cup of ACV. Further dilution will reduce the strength of the vinegar.


10. Baking Soda And Lime

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime/lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

What You Have To Do

  • Mix the ingredients and apply the mixture on the stretch marks.
  • Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and then remove using a gentle scrubbing motion.
  • Rinse with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 3-4 times a week.

Why This Works

Baking soda is a natural skin exfoliator. It removes the layer of damaged and dead skin cells. Lemon (or lime) juice possesses skin bleaching properties that will fade away the stretch mark scars. Stretch marks can ruin your mood easily during an already difficult phase of your life. You want to concentrate on your baby and the happiness he/she will bring along. So, use these remedies and don’t let the stretch marks bother you anymore. As mentioned before, there are cosmetic treatments available in the market to remove stretch marks after pregnancy. We have outlined the main ones for you below.


11. Honey

The antiseptic property of honey works in reducing stretch marks.

  • Take a small cloth and apply honey on it.
  • Place the cloth on the affected area and let it remain until it turns dry.
  • Rinse off using warm water.
  • Or you can prepare honey scrub by mixing it with salt and glycerin. Apply it on the stretch marks, leave until it dries and rinse off using water.

12. Sugar

Sugar is one of the best remedies for stretch marks. It exfoliates your dead skin, and your stretch marks turn lighter.

  • Take one tablespoon of sugar, mix with some almond oil and a few drops of lemon juice.
  • Use it as a scrub before you go for a shower.
  • Do this every day for a month.

13. Lemon Juice:

The acidic property of lemon juice works in healing stretch marks.

  • Rub fresh lemon juice on the affected area.
  • Leave it for about 10 minutes so that the juice soaks into your skin.
  • Rinse off using warm water.
  • Apply every day for better results.
  • Or you can also make a mixture of lemon and cucumber juice in equal proportions and apply it on the stretch marks.

14. Water:

The skin should be well-hydrated to erase the stretch marks and other skin conditions. Consume at least 10 to 12 glasses of water every day to keep your skin hydrated and protected from toxins. It keeps your skin supple and restores its elasticity. Try avoiding tea, coffee and soda as they are dehydrating agents.


15. Apricot:

  • Deseed the fruit and cut into small pieces.
  • Crush the fruit in a blender to make a paste.
  • Apply on the stretch marks, leave for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water and repeat regularly.

16. Potato Juice:

Potato contains phytochemicals, polyphenols, and carotenoids, which improve the skin texture.

  • Cut a potato into two halves and rub one-half over the stretch marks.
  • Allow the juice to soak into the skin and let it dry.
  • Then rinse off the area using lukewarm water.
  • You can notice the difference in a few months.
  • Or you can use potato juice or pulp.<

17. Turmeric And Sandalwood:

They are known for their ability to promote brighter and even skin texture.

  • Prepare one spoon of sandalwood paste by rubbing sandalwood stick in a bit of water.
  • Prepare a smooth paste of fresh turmeric root.
  • Mix both in equal proportions and apply on the skin.
  • Leave until it dries almost to 60% and then scrub your skin until all of it comes off.
  • Repeat every day for at least six months to see the improvement.

18. Milk, Sugar And Green Coconut Water:

Scrubs are effective in boosting the skin regeneration process, and they are one of best ways to remove stretch marks after birth of the baby.

  • Mix two spoons of raw milk, a few drops of lemon juice and cucumber juice, half a spoon of sugar.
  • Apply on the stretch marks and scrub for around five minutes in a circular motion.
  • Rinse off with water and pat the area dry.
  • Apply coconut water in excess and allow it to dry until you can sense the stretch on the skin.
  • Then apply shea butter or aloe vera gel.
  • After some time, rinse off the area and then apply moisturizer.
  • You can use this remedy three times a week to help remove marks and lighten the skin.
  • Repeat not more than 3 times a week.

19. Alfalfa:

Alfalfa leaves are a great source of protein, essential amino acids, and vitamins E and K. Their antifungal property detoxifies the skin and helps heal the stretch marks.

  • Prepare a smooth paste by mixing the powder with a few drops of chamomile oil.
  • Massage it all over the stretch marks.
  • Apply two to three times a day and you can notice stretch marks fading away within a week.
  • Alfalfa powder is available in food stores.

20. Home-made Moisturizer:

Moisturizer helps improve skin elasticity. You should choose it depending on your skin type. If your skin is dry, you should use the one with cocoa butter and if your skin is oily, use cream which contains aloe vera or a clay moisturizer.

  • Mix olive oil, aloe vera gel and wheat germ oil in equal proportions.
  • You can use it as a moisturizer if you have dry or combination skin type.
  • The above mixture can be mixed with clay if your skin is an oily type.

21. Home-made Lotion:

  • Take a quarter cup of aloe vera gel and a half cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Extract oil from six vitamin E capsules and three to four vitamin A capsules.
  • Mix all these ingredients, take in a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
  • The natural stretch marks removal lotion can be applied every day.

22. Home-made Cream:

  • Mix half a cup of cocoa butter, one tablespoon of vitamin E oil and two tablespoons of grated beeswax.
  • You may add apricot kernel oil and wheat germ oil as well.
  • Bring the mixture to boil until the wax gets melted.
  • Store it in a bottle and refrigerate it.
  • You can use every day.