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Tried And Test Remedies To Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more


Pregnancy stretch marks also referred to as striae gravidarum, are usually harmless striation-like marks on the skin. Although pregnancy stretch marks are common in women who’ve given birth, anyone can develop stretch marks in their life. You may find these streaks on your stomach, chest, hips, buttocks and most commonly on thighs.  

In this blog, we look at the most common causes of stretch marks, how vulnerable you are to them and the best home remedies for stretch marks. 

Who is most likely to get stretch marks?

Some people are at higher risk of developing stretch marks than the general population. If you happen to have the following risk factors, be more careful of your lifestyle choices. The vulnerable group involves:

  • People with a family history of having stretch marks
  • People who are overweight
  • Women who are pregnant
  • People who gain or lose weight quickly
  • People using corticosteroids
  • Women undertaking breast augmentation
  • People with hormonal disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome

Precautions: How to prevent stretch marks

Stretch marks are fine lines on the body that occur from tissue under your skin tearing from rapid growth or overstretching. Therefore, the reason why you get stretch marks during pregnancy is obvious and can not be prevented completely. Many oils, creams and other skin beauty items claim to help prevent stretch marks, but the best route to healthy skin involves healthy lifestyle habits. Here’s a list of home remedies for stretch marks that are popular-

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
    Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. But excessive and rapid weight gain or rapid weight loss (post-pregnancy) is one of the leading causes of stretch marks. Stretch marks can occur when your skin tissue pulls apart quickly. It can be during growth spurts, such as during puberty, while bodybuilding or from using steroids. By eating a healthy diet and exercising to manage your weight, you can avoid excess stretch marks.
  2. Stay hydrated
    Skin that’s hydrated and soft is less likely to develop stretch marks as much as dry skin. The daily water intake recommended includes approx 4 Litres for men and 3 Litres For women. Additionally, if you are drinking caffeinated beverages, like coffee, make sure to balance your caffeine intake with plenty of water, herbal tea and other caffeine-free fluids.  
  3. Take extra care to moisturize the susceptible areas during pregnancy – Take care to avoid dryness of skin in your belly region, buttocks, thighs and breasts. This will not prevent but may reduce the prominence and occurrence of stretch marks later.
  4. Adopt a nutritious diet
    One of the best solutions on how to prevent stretch marks is eating foods that boost skin health. For example, a breakfast of eggs, whole-wheat toast and mixed berries instead of processed foods can help reduce the chances of stretch marks. Similarly, you should opt for unprocessed foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc and protein.  
  5. Boost Collagen with vitamin C foods
    Collagen plays a crucial role in maintaining your skin’s strength and elasticity. Collagen helps to keep your skin wrinkle-free with vitamin C which can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons as well as vegetable aids in the synthesis of collagen.  
  6. Eat zinc-rich foods
    For best skin health, zinc is an important nutrient you shouldn’t miss out on. It helps reduce inflammation and accelerates the wound healing process. Zinc-rich foods such as nuts, fish, red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc and can help keep your skin healthy.

Over time striae will improve by itself. If it doesn’t improve Newer lasers and radiofrequency treatments hold promise as they do try to modify the vascularity and the collagen and perhaps the elastin.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Medical treatments: How to remove stretch marks

Preventing stretch marks isn’t easy or entirely possible, but there are various treatment options available today. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not opt for the following stretch mark treatment options-

  1. Sourced from vitamin A, retinoid cream can help rebuild the collagen in your skin and make the stretch marks look more like the rest of your skin, especially if your stretch marks are relatively fresh.
  2. Laser therapy can help stimulate collagen or elastin in your skin to grow. Since there are various types of laser therapy, consult your doctor to help you choose the laser treatment best for your skin type.
  3. Glycolic acid creams and chemical peels are other stretch mark removal treatments available today.  
  4. Microneedling

Stretch marks usually appear around the 6th-7th month of pregnancy and will fade away on their own and do not usually need treatment. Treating stretch marks during pregnancy with topical creams is not usually safe or recommended.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

All in all, medical treatments like laser therapy or retinoids may cause harm during pregnancy or while nursing as their risk-benefit ratio remains questionable, so make sure to speak with your doctor about using medical treatments to remove stretch marks if you are pregnant or nursing.

Lastly, it’s important to emphasize that most of the time, pregnancy stretch marks fade away with time. They are usually harmless and only a matter of cosmetic concern. Be sure of talking to your doctor before using any medicine, ointment or herbal remedy to reduce or avoid stretch marks. These measures can be harmful during breastfeeding and pregnancy. You may opt for various available treatment options to reduce the appearance of stretch marks after you have stopped breastfeeding your baby. A dermatologist can guide you on this. Till then, follow your doctor’s advice and enjoy the wonderful feeling of motherhood.  

Also Read: Can You Get Pregnant Without Having Sex? Debunking Pregnancy Myths

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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