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Stretch marks often referred to as striae gravidarum, are scars that develop as a result of your skin stretching more quickly than usual. Stretch marks are fairly frequent during pregnancy, with 90% of women reporting having them at some point. Inheritance also plays a part; thus, if a parent has stretch marks, you are more likely to have them as well. Likewise, stretch marks are more common in younger parents, perhaps because their skin is firmer.
Here are 5 natural and 5 medically approved treatment options to treat your pregnancy stretch marks.
5 Natural Ways of Treating Pregnancy Stretch Marks
1. Get Your Vitamins Right
A nutritious, balanced diet must be maintained if you want your kid to grow as stretch marks may also develop just as a result of a dietary deficiency. A healthy pregnancy diet should include enough vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, and zinc to help avoid stretch marks. Taking prenatal vitamins can assist ensure that these daily objectives are achieved. Your OB-GYN can offer advice on the best prenatal vitamin brands and suggested nutritional dosages.
Another important aspect of preventing stretch marks is making sure you take enough protein. Consume a variety of meals from each food category such as
- Dairy products
- Protein-rich foods
A chicken thigh, sweet potato, or slice of whole grain bread, together with cheese-topped broccoli is a picture-perfect well-balanced dinner.
2. Hydration is Key
It’s important to get enough water during pregnancy for a variety of reasons.
- Water aids in the delivery of nutrients to both you and your unborn baby.
- It can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are common during pregnancy.
- Enough water also helps lessen tiredness, stop swelling, and even ease morning sickness.
- In fact, headaches, nausea, and cramping may occur if you get dehydrated while pregnant.
- If you are properly hydrated, your skin will be the same and will even become softer. Simply said, skin that is softer has a lower risk of getting stretch marks than skin that is dry and hard.
Your activity level and the weather may have an impact on this daily water intake target. So consult your doctor for advice on how much water is right for you to consume each day. One of the finest pieces of pregnant advice is to always have a water bottle with you so you can easily drink on it throughout the day.
3. Gain Healthy Weight
Since stretch marks occur when the skin is rapidly pulled apart, the best method to prevent them is to avoid rapid weight gain. There are a variety of viewpoints on how much weight gain is healthy during pregnancy. You get to boost your calories even though you shouldn’t truly eat for two. You must strike a balance between how much extra food to consume and how much is too much.
The overall pregnancy weight gain may vary from person to person, so discuss your options with your doctor to see what is best for you. Most patients’ weight will decrease between 25 and 35 pounds. But, depending on whether you were overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant, your optimal weight increase may vary.
4. Get Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D can also aid in preventing stretch marks. However, when you expose yourself to direct sunlight you must be extremely cautious, especially when pregnant. Your skin tends to be more sensitive when you are carrying a little human inside you. Also, you should take care not to become too dehydrated or hot.
In view of this, a few minutes here and there in the sun throughout your pregnancy can provide you with the vitamin D boost you need to prevent stretch marks.
5. Treat New Stretch Marks Promptly
No matter when it appears, it’s not too late to treat your stretch marks. The first step is to look for the best stretch mark creams and lotions. Popular stretch mark therapy lotions contain a variety of substances, including
- Vitamin E
- Hyaluronic acid
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
These are just a few of the components found in popular stretch mark therapy lotions. In addition, your doctor may advise you on possible treatments and help you better understand what might be causing the stretch marks.
5 Medical Treatment Methods of Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can’t be fully removed, but you can lessen their visibility. You can speak with a dermatologist to learn about possible treatments if you are no longer pregnant or nursing. Sometimes it is beneficial to receive multiple treatments.
Here are five medical treatment options that could assist you in removing pregnancy stretches.
1. Chemical Peel
Chemical peeling is the removal of the top layer of skin cells to reveal younger skin cells. The acids used in the process are skin-safe. their types differ depending on the severity or degree of the chemical peel but typically include the following
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)
- Retinoid acid
- Glycolic acids
- Beta hydroxy acids (BHA)
- Lactic acid
- Salicylic acid, etc.
Your potential recovery time is influenced by the potency of the peel’s acids. Although it is advisable to avoid the sun for a few days following a minor chemical peel, there may be little to no downtime. You may have to take one to two weeks off work if your chemical peel is harsher.
2. Laser Therapy
Laser treatment involves aiming concentrated lasers on the skin to resurface it and promote collagen formation beneath the epidermis. Because the lasers are so accurate, they are able to treat problem regions without causing damage to the surrounding sections of the skin.
Ablative lasers like CO2 and Erbium YAG, which are frequently utilized for stretch marks, seldom result in downtime. The recovery time might be anywhere between zero and a few days. Although laser treatment is not painless, you should only experience a slight sting.
Microdermabrasion is a treatment that involves exfoliating the top layer of skin using a tool with an abrasive surface. Although it is not painful, you could experience minor discomfort, similar to sandpaper scraping across your skin.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that may be completed in-office without any recovery time. After the process, your skin can be red for a few hours, and it is advisable to avoid the sun for a few days because your skin will be sensitive to it.
4. Micro-focused Ultrasound
Ultrasounds may be used for more than just measuring your child and determining gender. These devices may also direct sound waves at a specific location in order to widen blood vessels. It improves circulation and drainage and thereby pushes the body to restore itself.
Radiofrequency treatments penetrate the skin deeply to promote the formation of collagen. Radiofrequency is basically a type of energy that converts into heat energy inside our skin. This in turn helps in the creation of collagen particles. You may experience a warm sensation otherwise it’s painless.
Collagen is responsible for keeping the skin elastic and strong. Stretch marks are basically the breaking of skin and collagen helps the skin fight that. They are even more effective and safer than exfoliation.
The Bottom Line
While some people are proud to show off their scars of bearing kids, others are self-conscious about them. Besides painful, rapidly stretched skin might be another pregnant ache and pain on your increasing list. The best prevention against stretch marks is to keep your skin moisturized so that it can stretch without breaking. You might not be able to get rid of stretch marks entirely, but you can lessen them. We hope our article gave you an insight into all possible methods of treating pregnancy stretches.
FAQs: Treating Pregnancy Stretch Marks in 10 Steps
1. Can you avoid stretch marks during pregnancy?
2. What week do stretch marks usually appear in pregnancy?
3. How long do pregnancy stretch marks take to go away?
4. What are the stages of stretch marks?
5. Does coconut oil prevent stretch marks?
- Are Radiofrequency Treatments Safe? – American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
- Micro-focused Ultrasound with Visualization for the Treatment of Stretch Marks – PMC
- Stretch marks: Why they appear and how to get rid of them
- A qualitative study of the factors influencing recruitment to a pilot trial on the prevention of striae gravidarum – PMC