Pregnancy and motherhood are an amazing milestone in a woman’s life. However, it brings along a lot of hormonal, emotional, and physical changes too with it. While a certain number of changes disappear sooner or later after childbirth, some of them remain as a memorabilia. One such change is the stretch marks. Weight gain is quite common during pregnancy. As you put on weight, the collagen, a protein that makes the skin elastic, helps your skin to expand and accommodate the extra growth . However, in the third trimester, your belly grows rapidly as the baby starts developing inside too. This rapid growth coupled with the lack of collagen breaks down the elastic fibers that are just below the surface of the skin. This results in your skin stretching and creating marks in areas overburdened with excess weight, especially around the tummy area
While stretch marks cannot be treated, there are ways that you can fade or minimize them. Most of you might be aware of certain over-the-counter oils and massage creams and used them too. However, for those of you who wish to go the natural way, here are 6 stretch mark home remedies that are worth trying out. Here goes:
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, especially in the virgin form, is believed to contain anti-inflammatory properties Not only that, but it also provides excellent moisturization to your skin in a natural way. This makes it an excellent candidate to soothe your stretching skin. So, when your tummy starts getting itchy soon after your 27th week, make sure you slather on generous amounts of this amazing oil around the area.
2. Fine Sugar
A mild amount of dermabrasion around stretch marks helps remove the dead skin and promotes the growth of new skin A natural way to achieve this is to make a paste out of fine sugar with some coconut oil or almond oil along with a few drops of lemon juice. Rub this mixture around the affected area several times a week. This will help in lightening the area.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera, especially its gel, is known to contain enzymes that help soothe the skin and heal wounds. It can also be used in a grainy form to exfoliate the skin . Take the aloe vera leaf, split it open, and apply the pulp to the affected area. However, make sure you do a 24-hour allergy test by applying a drop of aloe vera gel on the inside of your arm before going ahead with it.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a retinoid. It is commonly used orally and topically to treat skin conditions. Your doctor too might prescribe one You can either apply a vitamin A-based topical cream or take it as a supplement, whichever way it is prescribed by your doctor. This will help in improving your skin condition and fading the stretch marks. However, do not use retinoids during pregnancy and breastfeeding until asked to do otherwise by your doctor
5. Hyaluronic Acid
Naturally present in the body, hyaluronic acid is also applied topically (external skin) to moisturize and heal the skin. Look for gels that are a mix of onion extracts and hyaluronic acid. The best time to apply this mixture is when the stretch marks are still in the redness stage
6. Vitamin C
Our normal skin contains high levels of vitamin C which helps in collagen synthesis and promotes anti-oxidants that protect our skin from UV damage. A number of researches have proved that vitamin C helps in wound healing and prevention of raised scar formations on the skin. However, instead of a topical application, natural vitamin C supplements have been found to be more beneficial. So, go for fruits and vegetables that have a great content of vitamin C
Stretch marks are a way of life for every woman who has given birth. While they will eventually fade on their own with time, we hope that these tips help in speeding up the process. Until then, be proud of your ‘tiger stripes’ and wear them like a badge of honor. Because, in the end, it was all worth it!