Stretch marks form when your skin changes shape rapidly because of growth or weight gain. In the later months of pregnancy, weight can come on rapidly. That, with the additional hormonal changes, can bring on stretch marks in all the worst places: the stomach, hips, and thighs. Many pregnant women wonder how to get rid of stretch marks. But there is good news: they usually aren’t a sign that anything is wrong with your health.
Over time, most stretch marks will fade on their own and become less noticeable. After fading, stretch marks are usually a little shiny and lighter in color than the surrounding skin, like a scar.
There’s no secret cure-all ingredient for stretch marks, but some natural home remedies can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and help them fade more quickly. Since newer stretch marks are more likely to respond to treatment, it’s best to begin as soon as you notice them.
Natural Treatments to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Many women use natural creams and oils to achieve the desired results. There is no magic cure here, though. These methods will work for some women and not for others. However, there are no side effects and the cost is much cheaper than getting laser therapy or microdermabrasion. It is well worth the effort to try out some of these alternatives and assess whether they work for you or not.
Using a cream, lotion, or gel made especially for stretch marks, start applying lotion to the areas where stretch marks usually pop up: your breasts, belly, lower back, and hips. Moisturizing these areas will keep your skin’s elasticity, and make stretch marks less likely.
If you want to try a cream, lotion, or gel to fade your stretch marks, be sure to massage the product into your stretch marks. The product will be more effective if you take the time to massage it gently into your skin. And be patient: results can take weeks to appear so it’s best to apply the product every day. Don’t wait until your baby is born to slather on the lotions and creams. The sooner you start, the better chance you have of eliminating those pesky stretch marks!
Sugar is a popular exfoliator because its small crystals gently scrub away dead skin and will leave you feeling smoother. Here is a home remedy for exfoliation that seems worth a try. You might even already have the ingredients in your kitchen!
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar with either almond oil or coconut oil.
- Mix a little bit of the oil into the sugar at a time. You’ll know your scrub is ready when it looks and feels like wet beach sand.
- Gently rub the scrub over your stretch marks.
- Rinse with warm water.
To see results, make sure that you repeat this process two or three times per week while you’re in the shower or bath. Store any unused sugar scrub in a sealed container. However, if the scrub starts to look or smell off, start fresh with a new batch. For this reason, it’s best to stick with making small batches of the scrub.
3. Aloe Vera
Apply the jelly from inside the leaves of an aloe vera plant directly to your skin to soothe and moisturize. Aloe’s skin-repairing properties have been known to help with stretch mark prevention or fading.
Pure aloe vera is worth trying because it softens and heals skin. Apply pure aloe vera from a plant or an over-the-counter product to your stretch marks daily after your shower.
4. Coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil can help maintain your skin’s protective barrier. Research suggests that coconut oil improves some skin conditions and treats dry skin. In a 2010 study, virgin coconut oil was shown to help skin wounds heal faster. A gentle massage of your stretch marks every day with coconut oil might help, and it’s not likely to cause harm.
Medical Treatments to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Medical procedures to treat stretch marks are done in-office by a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, or plastic surgeon. These procedures include laser therapy, micro-needling, microdermabrasion, or a chemical peel.
These procedures are supposed to remove damaged skin, seal up burst blood vessels, and improve the elasticity of the dermal layer. They require multiple sessions and can cost upwards of $1,600. These treatments are very expensive and not very practical for most women. The side effects include bruising, swelling, and peeling. There is no guarantee that it will work for you!
If you start seeing stretch marks in your second trimester, know that you’re not alone: 9 out of 10 pregnant women get them! Stretch marks typically appear in the 6th or 7th month of pregnancy.
It’s best to take care of their appearance while they’re new. Starting in the second trimester, it’s safe for you to use Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy (it’s been shown in clinical studies to dramatically reduce scarring!) But make sure to apply it daily, and keep in mind that it might take a few weeks to see a difference.
After delivery, start using a firming lotion or serum. Or you can try laser treatments, but the cost may range from $500 to $8,900. And, here’s another thing you can do: embrace your stretch marks! Think about it this way: they’re in spots most people don’t see.