Stretch marks are a common problem that frustrates many women after childbirth. It occurs because the skin stretches as the belly grows to accommodate the baby.
Stretch marks usually appear on the abdomen, because that part of the body stretches the most, but sometimes they appear on the thighs and breasts as well. This happens because, due to stretching, the fibrous tissue in the middle layer of the skin breaks and the skin loses its natural elasticity.
Stretch marks can be red, pink or purple, and as the time goes by, they fade and turn white. In some cases, if they are small, stretch marks can disappear on their own, but more often they stay, unless they are removed using medical and cosmetic treatments or remedies.
Treatments for stretch marks
There are several medical procedures that can be performed to eliminate the stretch marks. One of them is treatment with tretinoin cream. The main ingredient of this cream is vitamin A, a very important vitamin for the skin. This cream is available only with a prescription and it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
Microdermabrasion is another popular treatment for stretch marks. It uses small crystals to exfoliate the top layer of the skin and it usually takes several sessions to eliminate the stretch marks completely.
Endermologie uses a machine that massages the affected area and improves the blood circulation. This promotes regeneration of the skin and the tissues and helps to eliminate toxins.
Laser surgery is yet another treatment option for the stretch marks. This treatment combines several different types of lasers and its only drawback is its cost.
Natural remedies for stretch marks
There are many lotions, gels and creams with natural active ingredients that can help eliminate stretch marks. The main components are usually cocoa butter, jojoba oil, emu oil and shea butter.
Aloe vera extract does wonders for the skin and it is very efficient against the stretch marks. Aloe fixes microscopic tears in the layers of the skin caused by overstretching and thus eliminates the stretch marks.
Grapefruit seed extract can also be used to repair the damaged tissue, thanks to its antibiotic properties. It restores the damaged collagen and elastin and promotes normal skin texture. It can also be used during the pregnancy to prevent the stretch marks from appearing in the first place.
Eating a healthy diet, rich in vitamins C and E and in zinc and drinking plenty of water during pregnancy are good ways to prevent stretch marks and to lower their intensity. There are also special creams and lotions that can be applied during pregnancy to protect the skin.