Stretch marks are a type of scar that occurs beneath the skin.
Stretch marks are formed when the substance located in the deeper layers of the skin stretches and eventually tears.
This causes scars to form just like any other open wound when it heals.
Stretch marks can be formed by several different things such as sudden muscle gain, rapid weight gain or loss, pregnancy, puberty, etc .
Essentially anything that causes the rapid shrinking or expanding of the collagen can cause a stretch mark.
For most people, stretch marks can be prevented if you follow a few simple tips we’ll be discussing.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
The simplest way to prevent stretch marks is to keep your skin nourished with the right vitamins and oils.
We know this sounds very ambiguous, but it is not rocket science.
There are many tips and rules to follow if you wish to keep your skin healthy and hopefully stretch mark free:
Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily.
You may need to increase this amount depending on how big you are, how much caffeine you consume, how active you are, etc.
Make sure to drink this amount throughout the day consistently without drinking it all in one go.
The reason you should consistently drink water is that water will help keep your skin more elastic.
If your skin is more elastic, when it does stretch it will more easily return to its original form without tearing.
Another reason to drink water is that it will also help you maintain weight as it helps control hunger and aid in healthy digestion.
4 Simple ways to prevent stretch marks
1: Eat Healthier!
Yes, the same boring advice you’re sick of hearing, but it is what it is.
Eat foods that promote healthy skin. Look on food labels and see if they contain plenty of protein and vitamins A, C, D or zinc.
Always eat in moderation.
Consistency is the key to avoiding excessive stretching of the skin.
Think about your skin like a rubber band. If you slowly pull the rubber band to its limits, it is much more likely to hold up than if you very rapidly pull it to its limits.
If you’re pregnant, try your best to stay within the recommended healthy weight gain limits of 25-35 pounds.
It’s easier said than done. If you end up being heavier than the weight gain limits, try to gradually reach this weight.
The growing baby will dictate this to a great degree, but try your best not to gorge yourself.
2: Keep moving.
Exercise keeps your body healthy, and when your body is healthy, your skin is healthy.
As a recommendation be careful with weight lifting exercises as muscle building too quickly may lead to stretch marks.
3: Don’t Scratch!
Don’t scratch the areas where you are likely to get stretch marks.
These areas most commonly are the hips and inner thighs, stomach area, armpit area and around the chest area.
If your skin does feel itchy, you should apply and massage in oils and creams.
Massaging will not only prevent pulling and stretching the outer and middle layers of the skin, but it will also help promote new skin growth and positive blood circulation.
4: Use a Stretch Mark Cream!
Use a stretch mark cream or ointment more than once daily in the areas you are likely to develop stretch marks.
This is crucial especially when you’re women as approximately 75-90% of pregnant women incur some stretch marks related to their pregnancy.
Some creams have ingredients which can help improve the condition of your skin.
A quick all natural stretchmark busting cream is whipped raw shea butter mixed with some vitamin E oil .
What To Do If You Already Have Stretch Marks
There still isn’t any permanent all natural cure for stretch marks.
You can, however, reduce the appearance of stretch marks and other scars to the point they become hardly visible.
Remember, most people have stretch marks or some scars, and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t let stretch marks rule your life and dictate what you do or don’t do.
10 Tips For Pregnancy Stretch Marks
1: Minimize Weight Gain
During pregnancy, monitor your weight gain to make sure it’s gradual, and your skin expands slowly. Rapid, uncontrollable weight gain is a primary cause of stretch marks.
A proper diet is an essential key to help prevent stretch marks.
Your outer appearance is very much related to what you digest into your body.
Eating foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients is beneficial to skin health.
When the skin is healthy, it can repair itself should damage occur.
Skin also maintains elasticity and collagen production when the proper vitamin balances are achieved and stabilized.
This can keep the connective tissues elastic and pliable, preventing stretch marks from forming.
3: Drink Plenty of Water:
Keep your body well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
This will increase the elasticity of your skin and help prevent stretch marks from appearing.
Dry skin isn’t as elastic as skin that’s well-hydrated.
Massaging not only prevents itchiness, but also promotes blood circulation and helps stimulate new cell growth, both of which are important in preventing stretch marks.
Use a rich moisturizer to enhance the skin elasticity.
When the elasticity of the skin increases, there is less chance of tears and marks.
You can use olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil or any good baby oil. Massage it in with sweeping upward strokes.
This will make the skin supple and healthy and capable of stretching without damaging the elastin fibers.
Exercise improves circulation which keeps the skin elastic and more able to stretch as it grows.
This improved circulation also reduces the possibility of varicose veins and swollen ankles in pregnancy.
7: Vitamin A:
Vitamin A helps protect the health of your skin as well as encourage the proper formation of new skin cells.
Some studies showed the skin’s elasticity was also improved and collagen content within the skin increased.
Some good Vitamin A sources are carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, peas, oatmeal, peaches, apples, and lemons.
Other nutritious sources of vitamin A include pumpkin, apricots, mango, liver, tuna and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale.
8: Vitamin C:
Vitamin C plays a critical role in helping to battle stretch marks.
It aids in healing scar tissue and injuries.
This vitamin is required for inspiring the synthesis of collagen and acts as a cementing substance between the body’s skin cells.
For vitamin C eat plenty of citrus fruits like fresh oranges and grapefruits.
Also try sweet peppers, blueberries, oysters, guava, parsley, and red peppers.
9: Vitamin E:
Another crucial vitamin that you need to get when you’re attempting to eliminate stretch marks is Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is needed to maintain the application of standard body metabolism and in the protection and healing of body tissues and skin.
This vitamin is also considered an antioxidant that offers protective benefits from environmental contaminants and free radicals.
Almonds, eggs, whole grain cereals, and sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E. Also try spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, and papayas.
Eating foods that are rich in zinc encourages the proper formation of collagen which plays an essential part in how healthy your skin appears, as well as how likely you are to develop stretch marks.
Collagen is what holds your skin layers together, and if you have enough collagen present in your body, you are less likely to get stretch marks.
Foods rich in zinc are protein foods: beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish, dairy foods, peanuts and pumpkin seeds.
Also add raisins, beans, lentils, and bananas to your pregnancy diet to get more zinc.
4 Home Remedies for Stretchmarks
1: Vitamin E scrub
Many women swear by combinations of vitamin E and cocoa butter mixed with all natural, unadulterated Aloe Vera.
The vitamin E, cocoa butter and Aloe Vera mixture are often combined with a good quality scrub of your choice, but the more natural the scrub, the better.
- 5 tbsp of scrub
- 1 tsp aloe vera
- 1/2 tsp vitamin E
- 1 tsp cocoa butter
After mixing these items, gently massage into problem areas for 3- 5 minutes at a time, preferably while in a hot shower so that it penetrates your open pores. According to reports, you can see real results in weeks.
2: Massage oil
The following recipe uses aloe vera and other ingredients to create a homemade massage oil for the prevention and treatment of stretch marks.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 4 capsules Vitamin E (remove liquid from capsule and discard casing)
- 2 capsules Vitamin A liquid
Blend ingredients and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Apply daily.
3: Homemade stretchmark cream
Cocoa butter is probably the best-known home remedy cream for stretch marks.
It’s health benefits include keeping the skin soft and pliable.
One homemade stretch mark cream recipe which includes cocoa butter is below.
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 1 Tablespoon wheat germ oil
- 1 Teaspoon apricot kernel oil
- 1 Teaspoon Vitamin E oil
- 2 Teaspoon grated beeswax
Heat the mixture until beeswax is has melted. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Apply this cream to your stretch marks until desired results are achieved.
4: Another stretch mark cream
This will work wonders on your skin. Make sure that all the ingredients are 100% natural.
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa Butter (or shea butter)
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 1Table-spoon Wheat germ oil
- 1Table-spoon Coconut oil
- 1Tea-spoon Vitamin E oil or (4 capsules)
- 1Tea-spoon grated beeswax
- 1 Tea-spoon Vanilla extract oil based (optional)
Mix all ingredients (except vanilla extract).
Heat the mixture gently until the cocoa butter and beeswax have melted.
Remove from the heat (stir in the vanilla extract – optional). Pour in a sterile jar and allow to cool completely before putting on the lid.
It will preserve well for a year or so. Massage twice a day into your skin.
Most women begin to complain that their breasts hurt right after ovulation and by the time they are ready to take a pregnancy test, they are a cup size larger.
You may notice them as red, white or pink lines on the breasts that look like scars.
If you find yourself unable to enjoy the sort of activities you used to, or feel your relationship with your partner has been affected due to Stretch marks on your breasts, it is time to get help.
There are various stretch marks treatments available today to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks.
Depending on how severe your stretch marks and how badly you want them gone, there are also professional treatments you can get done to make them almost gone.
There are a lot of options to choose from like topical creams, bleaching creams, scar treatment creams, lotions, massages, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, and so much more.
Stretch mark removal treatments have different results for different people.
While one woman might find a complete cure of Stretch marks through lotions, another might have to resort to laser treatment for stretch marks to remove them.
Treatments such as laser surgery, while expensive, can be effective at removing stretch marks.
Laser treatment for stretch marks has become popular due to its effectiveness.
Stretch Marks On Your Breasts
Moisturizers applied liberally can also make a good stretch mark treatment.
As your belly grows, you can’t always see the areas in need of stretch mark treatment so a partner or friend can perhaps spoil the expecting mother with a massage and help the skin to relax and stay pliable as it stretches.
You can always try shea butter, cocoa butter, and even olive oil to help you eliminate stretch marks on breasts and other areas.
A note of caution, if you are breastfeeding your baby; please consult your doctor before commencing any treatment for stretch marks on breasts.
The appearance of stretch marks is a natural thing, but stretch marks on breasts can be thought of as unsightly by many of us.
What’s your experience with stretch marks and how are you dealing with it?
Please share it with us in the comments below.