Stretch marks are fine, visible lines on the skin surface which typically have an off-color hue. Caused mainly by hormonal changes, rapid growth, weight changes, loss of skin elasticity, stress and other changes that occur during pregnancy, stretch marks can make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about your appearance. It might be a good idea to think about Pregnancy and Physiotherapy to help you work towards an appearance that you’ll be happier with while working towards it in a healthy way.
The marks usually appear in the abdominal wall, but can also occur on the upper arms, buttocks, thighs, hips, belly bottom and breasts. You can reduce the chances of even getting stretch marks by controlling your weight through fitness. Many moms think that they can’t keep fit during and after pregnancy because they’re too busy with their child but it’s actually easy. You can do simple exercises while you’re pregnant to help prevent stretch marks and then after you should find a way to keep the weight off through exercise. This can be done by doing exercises with your child, getting a babysitter or au pair (go to Cultural Care Au Pair if you want to find out more or become an au pair) to look after your child while you go to a class or even just giving them to a family member to look after. Keeping healthy should be a priority but if you are you worried about stretch marks, here are 10 ways to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy fast.
(1) Massaging Stretch Marks With Oil
Stretch marks can be eradicated quickly by massaging the belly, thighs, abdominal area, chest and any other affected area with oil. The most common oils used to remove stretch marks after pregnancy are olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, vitamin E oil, castor oil and essential oils (such as lavender, rose, geranium, myrrh and helychrysum). For example, regular application of olive oil exfoliates and moisturizes the skin, eventually causing the lines to disappear. Likewise, vitamin E oil is an effective moisturizer that makes the skin smoother and causes the marks to vanish. You only need to pick your preferred oil, apply to your palms and massage it on the stretch marks in circular motions for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the application daily for at least one month to achieve better and quicker results.
(2) Use Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is a popular and effective way to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy. The gel has healing and soothing properties which make the marks to disappear quickly. To use Aloe Vera gel to get rid of stretch marks after baby birth, you should either buy a fresh gel from the market or squeeze out the gel from a fresh Aloe Vera plant and apply directly over the affected area. Leave the gel for 15 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat the application daily until the stretch marks disappear completely.
(3) Use An Appropriate Skin Moisturizer
Applying lotion to the skin daily will not only improve skin elasticity and appearance, but will also make the lines to disappear quickly. You can buy a suitable lotion from a beauty shop, but if you are worried about possible harmful chemicals in over-the-counter moisturizers, then you can prepare your own lotion by blending equal parts of aloe Vera, olive oil and wheat germ oil. Remember that lotions are only effective on fresh stretch marks and will not help you with old ones.
(4) Use Egg Whites
Egg whites are highly rich in proteins and amino acids that can rejuvenate the skin and eradicate stretch marks. In fact, regular application of egg whites from the first trimester of pregnancy can prevent pregnancy associated stretch marks from appearing in the first place. To get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy, whip the whites of 2 eggs tenderly with a fork and then apply a thick layer of the egg whites to the affected area using a makeup brush. Leave the egg whites to dry fully and then rinse the area with cold water. Lastly, apply some olive oil to the area to keep the skin moisturized and repeat the process daily for at least 2 weeks for quicker results.
(5) Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is acidic and helps to remove and heal stretch marks, acne scars and other scars. To get rid of pregnancy stretch marks with lemon juice, simply rub fresh juice onto the lines and massage the area in circular motions. Allow the lemon juice to penetrate into the skin for 10-15 minutes and then rinse the area with warm water. Repeat daily for at least 2 weeks to achieve desirable results. A more potent option is mixing equal quantities of lemon juice with cucumber juice and applying on the stretch marks.
(6) Use Potato Juice
Potato juice is rich in minerals and vitamins that promote faster growth and restoration of skin cells. Therefore, when the juice is applied on the skin, it will rejuvenate the skin and cause the stretch marks to disappear. To use potato juice to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy, cut a sizeable potato into 2 thick slices and rub one of the slices gently on the stretch marks for 5-10 minutes, making sure that the starch from the potato covers the marks well. Leave the potato juice to dry for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat the process daily for at least 2 weeks.
(7) Use Cocoa Butter Or Shea Butter
Application of Cocoa or Shea butter to the skin helps to reduce skin dryness, boost skin elasticity and clear out stretch marks from the skin. In fact, direct application of cocoa butter or Shea butter to the affected area will immediately reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Apply some cocoa butter to the affected area and massage the skin in circular motions for 5-10 minutes. Leave for a few minutes and wash the butter off with lukewarm water. Repeat daily for at least 2 weeks to achieve better results.
(8) Use White Sugar
White sugar is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of stretch marks after pregnancy. When the sugar is rubbed repeatedly on the affected area, it exfoliates dead skin and helps to remove stretch marks. Simply mix 1 tablespoonful of white sugar with a few drops of lemon oil and some almond oil. Mix well and apply directly on the stretch marks. Rub the mixture gently on the skin for 5-10 minutes and then take a shower. Repeat this daily for around 1 month and your stretch marks will disappear.
(9) Use Cucumber
Cucumber has a powerful soothing effect and helps to lighten the appearance of stretch marks. You just need to rub cucumber paste or slices over the affected skin area for 5-10 minutes and then leave for 10 minutes. Repeat this daily for at least 2 weeks. In fact, just as cucumber is effective in removing dark circles from under the eyes so will it help you to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy.
(10) Use Organic Raw Honey
Honey promotes the growth of skin cells and has a powerful healing effect. With repeated use, honey will cause stretch marks to disappear. Commonly, organic raw honey is applied on stretch marks using a piece of cloth. However, a better alternative is preparing a honey scrub by mixing salt, honey and glycerin together and then rubbing on the affected area. Leave the mixture to dry for 5 minutes on the stretch marks and then rinse with lukewarm water. Remember that use of honey is not advisable for those with oily skin.
For faster and satisfactory results with these remedies for stretch marks, here are some Dos and Don’ts.
(a) Drink plenty of water (at least 2 liters per day) to keep your skin hydrated and elastic.
(b) Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet so your skin gets proper nutrition for repair and rejuvenation.
(c) Use Vaseline jelly, petroleum jelly or bio oil to promote the fading of stretch marks.
(d) Work out regularly and lose some weight to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Having toned muscles also reduce appearance of stretch marks.
(e) Be patient when removing your stretch marks. Remember you cannot achieve instant results.
(f) Begin treating stretch marks as early as possible, immediately after the appearance of the first lines following pregnancy.
(g) Massage your body regularly during pregnancy, especially before shower. This will prevent stretch marks.
(h) When things do not seem to work, just remember beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and that you are beautiful with or without the stretch marks.
(a) Don’t use any skin care product without checking the ingredients list carefully.
(b) Do not set unrealistic expectations. Most remedies are partially effective and stretch marks are often permanent in nature.
(c) Don’t use cream solutions if you are unsure whether they are hypoallergenic or not. Some creams can induce allergies.
(d) Don’t use any product if you are unsure of its safety. Consult a doctor before using such products during pregnancy or when nursing.
For those with severe and disturbing stretch marks, there are medical options such as surgical removal or laser treatment of stretch marks. However, before you can take these options, you need to seek the advice of a professional.