Pregnancy stretch marks

Stretch marks are narrow pink or purplish streak-like lines that can develop on the surface of the skin. They're also known as stria or striae. If you get them, they usually appear on your tummy, or sometimes on your upper thighs and breasts as your pregnancy progresses. The first sign you notice might be itchiness around an area where the skin is becoming thin and pink.

What causes stretch marks?หน้าท้องลาย

Stretch marks are very common in the general population and don't just affect pregnant women. They can happen whenever the skin is stretched – for example, when we're growing during puberty or when putting on or losing weight, but hormonal changes in pregnancy can affect your skin and make you more likely to get stretch marks.

Our skin is made up of three main layers – the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis (the middle layer) and the subcutis (the inner layer). Stretch marks happen in the middle layer, when the skin is stretched quite a bit over a short time. This stretching can break the dermis in places, forming stretch marks.

Whether or not you get stretch marks depends on your skin type, as some people's skin is more elastic. After your baby is born, the marks should gradually fade and become less noticeable, but they won't go away completely.

Pregnancy weight gain

You are more likely to get stretch marks if your weight gain is more than average in pregnancy. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22 and 28lb) in pregnancy, although weight gain varies a great deal from woman to woman. How much weight you gain depends on your weight before you were pregnant. It's important that you don't diet to lose weight when you're pregnant, but you should eat a healthy, balanced diet.

If you are worried about your weight, talk to your midwife or GP. They may give you advice if you weigh more than 100kg (about 15.5 stone) or less than 50kg (about eight stone).

Stretch marks are not harmful. They don't cause medical problems and there's usually no need to see your GP, because there isn't a specific treatment for them. Over time, your skin will shrink and the stretch marks will fade into white-coloured scars.

Preventing stretch marks

Some creams claim to remove stretch marks once they've appeared, but there is no reliable evidence that they work. There is also limited evidence about whether oils or creams help prevent stretch marks from appearing in the first place. 

A review of two studies looking at two specific creams marketed as preventing stretch marks found that massaging the skin may help to prevent stretch marks in pregnancy.

The studies suggested that there was little or no benefit for women who developed stretch marks in a previous pregnancy, but that women who had developed stretch marks in puberty seemed more likely to benefit from massaging cream. 

However, more research is needed into whether creams or massaging the skin can help to prevent stretch marks.

Read more about other common health problems in pregnancy.

วิธีดูแลหน้าท้องสำหรับคุณแม่ๆ ทั้งก่อนและหลังคลอด

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  3. วิธีดูแลหน้าท้องสำหรับคุณแม่ๆ ทั้งก่อนและหลังคลอด
Writer : Jicko
 : 6 พฤศจิกายน 2561

 ในขณะที่คุณแม่ๆ กำลังจะมีสมาชิกตัวน้อยคนใหม่ในท้อง คุณแม่ๆ ทุกคนคงดีใจมากๆ ที่จะมีสมาชิกที่จะมาเติมสีสันใหม่ให้กับครอบครัว แต่ในขณะเดียวกันร่างกายของคุณแม่ๆ นั้นก็เปลี่ยนไปจากเดิมเอามากๆ เลย โดยเฉพาะหน้าท้องนั้นเอง คุณแม่อาจจะมีอาการคันหน้าท้องและสิ่งที่ตามมาก็คือผิวหนังบริเวณนั้นก็จะแตกเป็นร่องนั้นเอง

แต่ไม่ต้องกังวลใจเลยค่ะ วันนี้เราได้รวบรวมสิ่งที่ทำให้เกิดปัญหาเกี่ยวกับหน้าท้องหรือผิวแตกลาย และวิธีแก้มาให้คุณแม่ๆ ได้นำไปปรับใช้กัน คุณแม่ๆ คนไหนลองไปทำแล้ว ได้ผลหรือไม่ได้ผลยังไง ลองมาแบ่งปันประสบการณ์กันดูนะคะ

ปัจจัยที่มีผลทำให้เกิดรอยแตกลาย

แม้ว่าการแตกลายจะไม่ได้ส่งผลต่อสุขภาพของคุณแม่ๆ แต่การที่ปล่อยให้เกิดรอยนานๆ โดยที่ไม่รักษานั้น ก็จะทำให้รอยแตกลายเหล่านั้นมีสีที่ซีดลงๆ จนกลายเป็นสีขาว หรืออาจจะมีผิวบางหรือบุ๋มได้ คล้ายๆ รอยแผลเป็น นอกจากคุณแม่จะหมดความสวยงามของผิวแล้วทำให้ขาดความมั่นใจเวลาจะใส่เสื้อผ้าอีกด้วย  ซึ่งปัจจัยที่ทำให้เกิดรอยแตก ได้แก่

  • การตั้งครรภ์ตั้งแต่อายุยังน้อย
  • น้ำหนักตัวที่เพิ่มขึ้นระหว่างตั้งครรภ์
  • น้ำหนักตัวของลูกที่อยู่ในครรภ์
  • คนในครอบครัวเคยประสบปัญหาหน้าท้องลายขณะตั้งครรภ์

 

การดูแลรักษาระหว่างตั้งครรภ์

  • ไม่อาบน้ำอุ่น

หลายต่อหลายคนบอกว่าอาบน้ำอุ่นแล้วผิวจะแห้ง ใช่ค่ะการอาบน้ำอุ่นมากๆ จะทำให้ผิวของคุณแม่ๆ กลายเป็นขุย เพราะขาดความชุ่มชื้น ทำให้เกิดการท้องแตกลายมากขึ้นนั้นเอง

  • อย่าปล่อยให้รอยแตกชัดเจนมากขึ้น

คุณแม่หลายๆ คน คิดว่าตั้งท้องอ่อนๆ อยู่คงไม่มีรอยแตกหรอก แต่อย่าชะล่าใจไปเลยนะคะคุณแม่ๆ จริงๆ แล้วท้องอ่อนๆ ก็เริ่มมีรอยแตกได้แต่เพียงแค่เรามองไม่เห็นนั้นเองค่ะ ดังนั้นหากรู้ตัวว่าตั้งครรภ์ สิ่งแรกก็คือเริ่มสังเกตหน้าท้องก่อนเลยค่ะ ว่ามีรอยแตกหรือไม่ ยิ่งรักษาหรือทาครีมบำรุงไว้ก่อนรอยแตกเหล่านั้นก็จะจางลงได้เร็วขึ้น มีโอกาสหายได้มากกว่าไม่ดูแลเลยนะคะ คุณแม่ๆ

  • ถ้ารู้สึกระคายเคือง ห้ามเกา

หลีกเลี่ยงได้ควรหลีกเลี่ยงเลยนะคะ สำหรับการเกา เพราะนั้นจะเป็นการทำร้ายผิวสวยๆ ของเรานั้นเอง ถ้าไม่ไหวจริงๆ ควรทานยาเพื่อแก้อาการคันจากคุณหมอเลยค่ะ หรือถ้าอยากเกามากๆ จริงๆ เปลี่ยนเป็นการลูบๆ บริเวณหน้าท้อง ก็ช่วยบรรเทาได้นะคะ

  • เพิ่มความชุ่มชื้นให้ผิวสม่ำเสมอ

ยิ่งท้องขยายใหญ่มากเท่าไหร่ เจ้ารอยแตกต่างๆ ก็เริ่มเห็นได้ชัดมากขึ้นเท่านั้น ควรต้องเริ่มทาครีมบำรุงหรือพวกออยล์สำหรับทาผิวสำหรับตั้งครรภ์โดยเฉพาะกันเถอะค่ะ อาจจะหาเป็นครีมบำรุงผิวที่มีส่วนผสมของน้ำมันมะพร้าวก็ได้ ทาบริเวณหน้าท้องอย่างสม่ำเสมอ เพื่อเพิ่มความชุ่มชื้นให้กับผิวของแม่ๆ นั้นเอง

  • นอนตะแคง

การนอนตะแคงก็เป็นวิธีหนึ่งที่ช่วยได้ และเป็นท่านอนที่ถือว่าสบายที่สุดสำหรับคุณแม่ๆ ที่กำลังตั้งครรภ์อยู่นั้นเอง โดยที่คุณแม่ๆ เอาหมอนมารองรับหน้าท้องเอาไว้ เวลานอนตะแคง ทำแบบนี้จะช่วยให้ปัญหาท้องลายลดลงนั้นเองค่ะ

  • ทานวิตามินหรืออาหารเสริม

การทานพวกมินตามินหรืออาหารเสริม หรือไม่ก็พวกเกลือแร่ ทำให้ผิวพรรณได้รับสารอาหารที่ไปบำรุงส่วนที่ทรุดโทรมให้เปล่งปลั่งจากภายใน ซึ่งบางวันคุณแม่ๆ อาจจะรับประทานอาหารที่มีสารอาหารที่จะบำรุงไม่เพียงพอตามที่ต้องการ สิ่งที่ควรทำก็คือรับประทานวิตามินเกลือแร่หรืออาหารเสริม เช่น น้ำมันจมูกข้าว คอลลาเจน วิตามินอี บำรุง พวกนี้ก็มีส่วนในการช่วยให้ผิวไม่เกิดรอยแตกลายได้นะคะ

 

การดูแลรักษาท้องแตกลายหลังคลอด

  • ออกกำลังกายแบบฉบับคุณแม่หลังคลอด

หลังจากที่คุณแม่ๆ ยังเหนื่อยล้าจากการคลอดมา ยังไม่สามารถทำกิจกรรมหนักๆ ได้ แต่เราก็สามารถออกกำลังกายแบบฉบับคุณแม่หลังคลอดได้ เช่น โยคะ ว่ายน้ำแบบเบาๆ หรือจะเป็นการเดิน เป็นต้น เหล่านี้ช่วยให้กระชับสัดส่วนแถมยังทำให้โลหิตไหลเวียนดี ส่งผลให้ผิวพรรณสดใส ช่วยลดรอยแตกได้ในระดับหนึ่งนะคะ

  • ทาครีมบำรุงผิวหลังการคลอด

ครีมถือว่า มีส่วนช่วยในการลดลายแตกของผิวได้ส่วนหนึ่ง ซึ่งในตัวครีมมีส่วนผสมของโกโตโคลา วิตามินอี และคอลาเจนไฮโดราไลเสท ซึ่งคุณสมบัติของมันก็คือ ช่วยลดอาการแตกลายหน้าท้องได้นั้นเอง ยิ่งทาสม่ำเสมอ ก็ยิ่งช่วยให้รอยจากหายได้เร็วยิ่งขึ้นนะคะ

  • ดื่มน้ำเยอะๆ

การดื่มน้ำเป็นสิ่งที่ดีมากๆ ต่อร่างกายอยู่แล้วอย่างที่รู้ๆ กัน นอกจากจะทำให้ร่างกายสดชื่นแล้ว ยังเป็นการเพิ่มความชุ่มชื้น และระบบต่างๆ ของร่างกายทำงานได้อย่างปกติอีกด้วย ในเรื่องผิวพรรณนั้นไม่ต้องพูดถึงค่ะ เมื่อเราดื่มน้ำมากๆ ก็เป็นการเพิ่มความชุ่มชื้น ความยืดหยุ่นให้กับผิว ทำให้ไม่เกิดรอยแตกที่เพิ่มมากขึ้น และยังทำให้จางลงได้ด้วย นอกจากนี้หากดื่ม พวก น้ำผักผลไม้ สมุนไพร ต่างๆเหล่านี้ ก็เพิ่มความชุ่มชื้นและป้องกันรอยแตกลายได้เป็นอย่างดีทีเดียวค่ะ

 

การดูแลรักษาแบบธรรมชาติ

  • สูตรมะนาว : หลายต่อหลายคนใช้สูตรนี้แล้วได้ผล ก็คือใช้น้ำมะนาวผสมกับดินสอพอง แล้วทาบริเวณที่แตกลาย ซึ่งน้ำมะนาวมีฤทธิ์เป็นกรดแบบธรรมชาติ  ช่วยลดปัญหาแผลเป็นและริ้วรอย และยังช่วยขจัดเซลล์ผิวที่ตายแล้ว ทำให้ลดอาการแตกลายได้อย่างรวดเร็วนั้นเอง

 

  • สูตรขมิ้นผสมมะขาม : นำขมิ้นกับมะขามผสมกัน แล้วใช้ขัดบริเวณผิวที่เป็นลายแตก ช่วยให้ผิวเกิดการผลัดเซลล์ เพราะในขมิ้นมีเคอคูมินช่วยทำให้ผิวขาว ส่วนมะขามมีกรดธรรมชาติ นั้นก็คือ AHA  ที่ช่วยเรื่องการผลัดเซลล์ผิวนั้นเอง

 

  • สูตรสครับน้ำตาล : ส่วนผสมก็คือ น้ำตาลผสมกับน้ำมะนาวหรืออัลมอนด์ จากนั้น นำมาขัดบริเวณผิวที่แตกลาย ก็สามารถช่วยลดเรื่องรอยต่างๆ ให้จางลงได้ค่ะ

 

  • สูตรว่านหางจระเข้ : นำว่านหางจระเข้มาล้างยางออก แล้วนำมาทาที่บริเวณผิวแตกลายทำอย่างสม่ำเสมอ จะช่วยให้รอยนั้นค่อยๆ จางลง หรือจะใช้เมือกจากใบสดว่านหางจระเข้ 1 ส่วน ผสมกับครีมบำรุงที่เหมาะกับสภาพผิวเรา อีก 5 ส่วนนำมาผสมกันทาก็ได้นะคะ

 

คุณแม่ๆ อย่าปล่อยให้ความสวยอย่างเราๆ ลดลงนะคะ ยิ่งมีลูกแล้วก็ต้องสวยขึ้นนะคะจริงไหม ยังไงก็ลองทำตามกันดูค่ะ ได้ผลหรือไม่ได้ผลยังไง มาเล่าสู่กันฟังได้นะคะ

 

สิ่งที่สร้างความกังวลใจให้กับคุณแม่หลังคลอดไม่น้อยเลย ก็คือปัญหาผิวแตกลายนั่นเอง ซึ่งคุณแม่ท่านไหนที่กำลังกังวลกับปัญหานี้ เราก็มี 5 สูตรลับลดรอยแตกลายที่ทำได้จากสมุนไพรใกล้ตัวมาแนะนำเช่นกัน รับรองว่าทำแล้วเห็นผล ไปดูกันเลยว่ามีสูตรอะไรบ้าง

1.น้ำมะนาว

ให้นำน้ำมะนาวสดมาทาไว้ตรงบริเวณหน้าท้องที่มีการแตกลาย และทิ้งไว้ประมาณ 10 นาทีให้กรดธรรมชาติในน้ำมะนาว ได้ทำหน้าที่ผลัดเซลล์ผิวของคุณแม่หลังคลอด ให้กลับมามีผิวที่เรียบเนียนมากขึ้น และช่วยลดรอยแตกลายให้จางลงได้อย่างน่าพอใจ

2.ว่านหางจระเข้

สรรพคุณของว่านหางจระเข้ที่โดดเด่น เป็นที่รู้กันคือ ช่วยในเรื่องของการสมานแผล และลดรอยแตกลายให้จางลงได้ เพียงนำมาปอกเปลือกออกให้เหลือแต่วุ้นใส จากนั้นนำไปทาบริเวณที่ต้องการ ทิ้งไว้เพียง 10 นาที แล้วล้างออกด้วยน้ำสะอาด เมื่อทำเป็นประจำ รอยแตกลายบริเวณหน้าท้องของคุณแม่ก็จะค่อยๆ จางลงและหายไปอย่างแน่นอน


3.ไข่ขาว

สำหรับสูตรนี้ให้นำไข่ไก่ 2 ฟอง แยกไข่แดงออก แล้วนำไข่ขาวมาคนให้เข้ากัน จากนั้นใช้แปรงชุบไข่ขาว ทาลงบริเวณหน้าท้องที่แตกลายของคุณแม่ ปล่อยทิ้งไว้ประมาณ 15 นาที จึงล้างออกด้วยน้ำอุ่น ซึ่งกรดอะมิโน และโปรตีนในไข่ขาวจะเข้าไปช่วยฟื้นฟูบำรุงผิวพรรณ ทำให้รอยแตกลายดูจางลง และบำรุงผิวให้เนียนนุ่มได้เป็นอย่างดี

4.มันฝรั่ง

มันฝรั่งก็สามารถนำมาใช้ลดรอยแตกลายในคุณแม่หลังคลอดได้ โดยให้นำมันฝรั่งขนาดกลางมาบดละเอียด แล้วนำมาพอกบริเวณหน้าท้องที่มีรอยแตกลาย ทิ้งไว้ประมาณ 10 นาที แล้วล้างออกด้วยน้ำสะอาด ควรทำอย่างน้อยสัปดาห์ละ 2 ครั้ง เพื่อให้ได้ผลลัพธ์ที่ดีที่สุด

5.น้ำตาลทราย

เราสามารถนำน้ำตาลทรายมาสครับเบาๆ บริเวณหน้าท้อง เพื่อให้เซลล์ผิวเก่าหลุดออก ทำให้รอยแตกลายดูจางลงได้  โดยวิธีนี้ให้นำน้ำตาลทรายปริมาณ 1 ช้อนโต๊ะ ใส่ชาม ตามด้วยการน้ำมะนาวเล็กน้อย และน้ำมันอัลมอนด์ คนให้เข้ากัน จากนั้นจึงนำมาพอกไว้ในบริเวณที่ต้องการ ทิ้งไว้ประมาณ 5 นาที จึงล้างออก รับรองว่าผลลัพธ์ที่ได้จะเป็นที่น่าพึงพอใจสุดๆ

เป็นอย่างไรกันบ้างคะ สำหรับ 5 สูตรลดรอยแตกลายที่เรานำมาแนะนำกัน รับรองว่าเห็นผลแน่นอน แถมยังปลอดภัยและประหยัดอีกด้วย เพราะฉะนั้นคุณแม่หลังคลอดที่มีปัญหาผิวแตกลาย ก็อย่าพลาดที่จะลองนำสูตรนี้ไปใช้กันดูได้เลย

ความคิดเห็นเกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้

5 สูตรลับลดรอยแตกลายหลังคลอดที่ทำแล้วได้ผลจริง

 

Stretch marks in pregnancy

Pregnancy stretch marks

Stretch marks on white skinStretch marks on white skin Stretch marks on darker skinStretch marks on darker skin

Stretch marks are narrow, streak-like lines that can develop on the surface of the skin. They can be pink, red, purple or brown, depending on your skin colour. They are common in pregnancy, affecting around 8 out of 10 pregnant women.

They usually appear on your tummy, or sometimes on your upper thighs and breasts, as your pregnancy progresses and your bump starts to grow. When stretch marks appear will be different from woman to woman.

The first sign you notice might be itchiness around an area where the skin is becoming thinner.

Stretch marks are not harmful. They do not cause medical problems and there is no specific treatment for them.

After your baby is born, the marks may gradually fade into paler scars and become less noticeable. They probably will not go away completely.

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks are very common and do not just affect pregnant women.

They can happen whenever the skin is stretched, for example when we're growing during puberty or when putting on weight. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can affect your skin and make you more likely to get stretch marks.

They happen when the middle layer of skin (dermis) becomes stretched and broken in places. 

Whether or not you get stretch marks depends on your skin type, as some people's skin is more elastic.

Pregnancy weight gain

You are more likely to get stretch marks if your weight gain is more than average in pregnancy. Most women gain about 10 to 12.5kg (22 to 28lb) in pregnancy, although weight gain varies a great deal from woman to woman.

How much weight you gain may depend on your weight before you were pregnant.

It's important that you do not diet to lose weight when you're pregnant, but you should eat a healthy, balanced diet.

If you are worried about your weight, talk to your midwife or GP. They may give you advice if you weigh more than 100kg (about 15.5st) or less than 50kg (about 8st).

Preventing stretch marks

Some creams claim to remove stretch marks once they've appeared, but there is no reliable evidence that they work. There is also limited evidence about whether oils or creams help prevent stretch marks from appearing in the first place.

Find out more about stretch marks, including possible treatments for them.

Find out more about other common health problems in pregnancy.

 

What Are the Best Ways to Remove or Fade Stretch Marks Post-Pregnancy?

Close-up of stretch marks on a postpartum bodyShare on PinterestGlasshouse Images/Getty Images

Chances are, even before you became pregnant, you heard — and maybe worried — about stretch marks.

Whether it was your mom telling you (or guilting you) about the ones you “caused” or a celebrity proudly showing off theirs on Instagram, stretch marks have become nearly synonymous with pregnancy and childbirth, just like morning sickness and dirty diapers.

But as famous as they are, they’re also kind of a mystery to most of us. Why do some people get them more than others? If you got them, is it because you did something wrong? And is it true that you can fix them?

We’re here to answer all those questions.

Stretch marks, known as “striae gravidarum” in pregnancy, are basically a type of scar.

They look like indented streaks on your skin. They can be pink, red, black, blue, or purple. It all depends on:

  • how they’re caused
  • where they are on your body
  • how old they are

Sometimes, when stretch marks first appear, they can feel slightly raised, but eventually they’ll just feel like slight depressions in your skin.

When they first show up, they might also be itchy.

Like their name implies, stretch marks develop as your skin stretches quickly. This stretching actually tears the supportive structures in the middle or bottom layer of tissues of your skin, creating the scar.

Stretch marks usually happen during growth spurts, rapid weight gain, or, of course, pregnancy. In fact, up to 90 percent of pregnant people will get stretch marks by their third trimester.

Usually, they they’ll appear on your:

  • belly
  • buttocks
  • breasts
  • thighs

Still, not everyone gets stretch marks, and not everyone gets them with the same level of severity.

A large but self-reported 2013 studyTrusted Source  suggests that some people are just genetically more prone to getting stretch marks than others. So, if your mom or your grandmother got them during their pregnancy, there’s a good chance that you will, too.

Cortisone, which is a hormone made by your adrenal glands, can weaken the elasticity of your skin, making stretch marks more likely to form. This is why you may also get stretch marks more frequently if you use corticosteroids or have certain conditions, like Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome.

Research, including a 2017 reviewTrusted Source , suggests that during pregnancy, you’re more likely to get stretch marks if you’re younger or if you gain weight too quickly. Hormone levels during pregnancy can also play a role.

Well, this is the bad news: Like any scar, stretch marks are permanent. You’ll never be able to get rid of them completely.

We know this might be disappointing. It can be a hard thing to accept that your body has changed forever, even if the change occurred due to something as amazing as childbirth.

But here’s some good news: Most stretch marks will fade naturally on their own after your baby is born. Not only that, but you can make them even less noticeable with different treatments.

In general, it seems that treating early stretch marks is more effective than treating older ones, according to another 2017 reviewTrusted Source . So, if you can, try to start your treatment early.

Don’t get discouraged if you didn’t know, though. It’s not too late to start.

Not every treatment will work the same for everyone. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk with your dermatologist or doctor. They can discuss the different options with you and help you figure out what might work best for you and your skin.

Here are a few options that you might look into:

Chemical peels

Chemical peels are cosmetic procedures to exfoliate your skin. They can be performed by your doctor, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon.

Glycolic acid peels stimulate collagen production in your skin. Research, such as an older studyTrusted Source  from 1998, found that this kind of peel can be effective in treating stretch marks. (Newer researchTrusted Source  has found glycolic acid to be effective for scars in general, although more — and more recent — research is needed specifically for stretch marks.)

Laser therapy

Laser therapies are medical treatments that use specific wavelengths of light to lessen:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • scarring

Numerous studies have suggested that laser therapy can lessen the appearance of stretch marks by increasing your skin’s collagen production, restoring elastin fibers, and thickening the epidermal layer.

However, you should know before talking to your doctor or dermatologist that laser therapy can be expensive and will likely involve repeated treatments before you see results.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that dermatologists use to improve skin tone and texture. It’s been used to treat:

  • sun damage
  • age spots
  • acne scars
  • wrinkles
  • other skin-related conditions

Two studies, one in 2015Trusted Source  and one in 2014Trusted Source , found that microdermabrasion is relatively effective at reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

Microneedling

Microneedling is a skin care method that’s believed to help reduce wrinkles and scars.

It uses fine needles to puncture the skin. As these tiny injuries heal, it can rejuvenate skin. It’s usually done over a series of four to six sessions.

2012 pilot studyTrusted Source  found that microneedling improved early and late stretch marks over a 4-week period.

This finding was reinforced by a larger 2008 studyTrusted Source  conducted in South Africa and Germany on 480 patients. The second study found that stretch marks lessened after one to four treatments.

2016 studyTrusted Source  suggested that it seemed to work better than microdermabrasion.

Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency is a noninvasive procedure that uses radiofrequency waves to heat deeper skin layers in attempt to:

  • activate your body’s natural wound healing process
  • stimulate the production of collagen
  • tighten your skin

One small 2014 pilot studyTrusted Source  found that radiofrequency and multipolar-pulsed electromagnetic fields reduced the length and width of stretch marks. Another pilot studyTrusted Source  from 2012 found that radiofrequency used with ultrasound lessened the appearance of stretch marks.

However, since these studies were so small and involved so few people as research subjects, more investigation is needed before doctors can conclude that this technique will work for everyone.

If radiofrequency is something you’re interested in trying, talk with your dermatologist to see whether they recommend it for you.

Topical gels or creams with hyaluronic acid

Research suggests that applying hyaluronic acid to early stretch marks may make them less noticeable.

For example, a 2017 study found that using hyaluronic acid, Centella asiatica (a medical herb often used in traditional medicine), and daily massages helped reduce stretch marks.

Prescription creams with Tretinoin

Several studies, such as one in 2014Trusted Source , suggest that creams that have Tretinoin as an ingredient can improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially if the creams are used early and every day.

Tretinoin is a retinoid, which helps speed up skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen growth.

Only your dermatologist can prescribe a cream with tretinoin. However, you can’t use retinoids at all if you’re still pregnant because they can lead to birth defects.

You should also avoid them if you’re breastfeeding because they can be absorbed into your breast milk.

Creams with cocoa butter or vitamin E

This is pretty popular advice. Almost all creams that you can buy over the counter or at the drugstore have one or both of these ingredients.

Unfortunately, no large-scale study has yet shown that these ingredients actually help lessen your chances of getting stretch marks or minimizing them once you already have them.

That said, it certainly won’t hurt if you want to try using creams with these kinds of ingredients. They’re safe to use during pregnancy and they can help keep your skin moisturized — which also helps with the itchiness!

Olive oil or almond oil

As with cocoa butter or vitamin E, there are no studies to show that these work. In fact, a 2014 controlled studyTrusted Source  found that olive oil didn’t work.

Still, if you want to try it, it won’t do any harm — and some people have said it made them feel better.

It depends! Everyone’s body heals differently, so it’s important to try to be patient.

Recovery will also depend on how severe your stretch marks were to begin with and what treatment option you decide to try.

Not every treatment option will work as well for you as it does for others. If you’re concerned, though, talk with your doctor.

Having a baby is a big deal. Remember: Your body just went through a lot, bringing your little one into the world. Those stretch marks are a testament to what you went through — and you have no reason to be ashamed of them.

Last medically reviewed on October 30, 2020


















FEEDBACK:
Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Simone M. Scully on October 30, 2020

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7 Tips to Help Prevent Stretch Marks

Overview

Stretch marks, also called striae distensae or striae gravidarum, look like indented streaks in your skin. They may be red, purple, or silver in appearance. Stretch marks most often appear on the:
  • stomach
  • chest
  • hips
  • bottom
  • thighs
They’re common in pregnancy, but anyone can develop stretch marks in any phase of life. Some people are more susceptible to them. If your mom, dad, grandparents, or other blood relative has stretch marks, you’re more likely to get them. Even if you’re at increased risk of stretch marks, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk and treat the stretch marks you already have.

1. Control your weight

One of the most helpful things you can do to prevent stretch marks, whether you’re pregnant or not, is to maintain a healthy weight. Stretch marks can happen when your skin pulls apart quickly due to rapid weight gain. You may also notice stretch marks after rapid weight loss. Some people develop stretch marks during growth spurts, such as during puberty. Other people, like bodybuilders, notice them after big gains from working out or using steroids. Working to control body changes from happening too quickly may be your best bet. Eat a healthy diet and exercise to help you manage your weight. If you do notice rapid weight gain or weight loss, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor to find out why.

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water may help keep your skin hydrated and soft. Soft skin doesn’t tend to develop stretch marks as much as dry skin does. The Institute of Medicine’s current recommendations for daily water intake are 104 ounces for men and 72 ounces for women. Drinking caffeinated beverages, like coffee, may actually increase your risk of developing stretch marks. If you drink coffee, make sure you’re balancing out your fluid intake with plenty of water, herbal tea, and other caffeine-free fluids.

3. Eat a nutrient-rich diet

Stretch marks may also occur if you lack nutrition in certain areas. Eating foods that boost skin health may help. Make sure your diet includes foods rich in:
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • zinc
  • protein
One way to make sure you’re getting a variety of nutrients is to choose unprocessed foods in various colors. For example, a breakfast of eggs, whole wheat toast, and mixed berries adds many colors to your plate while packing in a variety of nutrients.

4. Include vitamin C in your diet

Collagen plays a role in keeping your skin strong and elastic. It helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but it may also be important for preventing stretch marks. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the development of collagen. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, are especially good sources of vitamin C.

5. Soak up some vitamin D

One study found a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and the incidence of stretch marks. More research is needed, but results suggest that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D may reduce your risk of stretch marks. The easiest way to get vitamin D is through exposure to the sun. The vitamin is also commonly added to bread, cereal, and dairy products like milk or yogurt.

6. Eat foods rich in zinc

Zinc is an important nutrient for skin health. It helps reduce inflammation and plays a role in the wound healing process. There is very little evidence to date of a connection between zinc and stretch marks, but including zinc-rich foods in your diet, such as nuts and fish, may help keep your skin healthy.
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7. Treat fresh stretch marks when they appear

If you can’t totally prevent stretch marks on your skin, you can work to minimize their appearance so they aren’t as noticeable in the long run. Make an appointment with your doctor or a dermatologist to discuss your options if you have fresh stretch marks. Your doctor can help determine what is causing your marks, and they may be able to suggest treatment options that work best on new stretch marks.

Risk factors

Some people are more likely to develop stretch marks. Risk factors include:
  • being female
  • having a family history of stretch marks
  • being overweight
  • being pregnant
  • gaining or losing weight quickly
  • using corticosteroids
  • having breast augmentation
  • having certain genetic disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome

Stretch marks in pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most common times when women notice stretch marks. In fact, it’s estimated that 50 to 90 percentTrusted Source  of pregnant women will develop stretch marks before delivery. So, are pregnancy stretch marks different from the ones that other people get? Maybe. Some experts believe that hormones during pregnancy may make you more prone to stretch marks. The hormones may bring more water into the skin, relaxing it and making it easier to tear when stretched. This idea is up for some debate. Regardless, a good number of pregnant women will notice stretch marks starting in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. In recent study published by BMC Pregnancy and ChildbirthTrusted Source , 78 percent of respondents used a product to prevent stretch marks. Of these women, a third of them said they tried two or more products, with Bio-Oil being the most frequently used. Still, 58.5 percent of the women who used this oil developed stretch marks. That said, the best way for pregnant women to prevent stretch marks is to gain pregnancy weight slowly and steadily. You can work with your healthcare provider to find a diet and exercise plan that will help you avoid gaining too much while also giving you the nutrition you need to nourish yourself and your baby. If you do develop stretch marks during pregnancy, you may be glad to know that they will eventually fade. Over time, the red or pink color will mature into a pale silver or white color.

Treatment

Preventing stretch marks may be difficult, but there are many treatments that may lessen their appearance.

Retinoid cream

Retinoid cream is a topical medication that comes from vitamin A. The appearance of your skin may improve after applying retinoids, especially if your stretch marks are relatively fresh. The cream helps rebuild the collagen in your skin and makes the marks look more like the rest of your skin. Speak with your doctor about this treatment if you are pregnant or nursing, as most physicians agree that topical retinoids should not be used during pregnancy or while nursing because their risk-benefit ratio remains questionable.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy is another option for reducing stretch marks. The lasers can help stimulate collagen or elastin in your skin to grow. There are various types of laser therapy, and your doctor can help you choose the kind that is right for you.

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid creams and chemical peels are other treatments for stretch marks. Many of these treatments are expensive and may not be covered by your insurance. They work to help lessen the appearance of current stretch marks, but they do not keep new ones from forming.

Outlook

Stretch marks often fade to become less noticeable with time. Preventing them can be difficult, and no miracle products have been scientifically proven to work. Many creams, oils, and other personal care items claim to help prevent stretch marks, but many of these claims lack scientific backing. They may not help, but in most cases they aren’t likely to hurt, either. Keeping your weight in check, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and seeking treatment soon after the marks appear may help. Call your doctor if you notice an increase in stretch marks or if they cover a large area of your body. Your doctor may be able to help you figure out what is causing them and suggest treatment options.

Last medically reviewed on July 9, 2018

 

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks: 11 Ingredients to Try

Stretch marks, also called striae, happen when your skin changes shape rapidly due to growth or weight gain. They usually aren’t a sign that anything is wrong with your health.

Anyone can get stretch marks, regardless of gender. Pregnancy and puberty are the two most common times in life to get them.

At first, a stretch mark will appear as a thin red or purple line of a different texture than the skin around it. Most stretch marks will fade on their own over time.

They may become less noticeable after fading. Faded stretch marks usually look lighter in color than the surrounding skin and a little shiny, like a scar.

Research tells us there is no secret cure-all ingredient for stretch marks — at least not yet. But some home remedies can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks and could help them fade more quickly.

Newer stretch marks are more likely to respond to treatment.

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A in skin care products is referred to as a retinoid. Retinoids can make skin appear smoother and more youthful. They’re used in many over-the-counter (OTC) topical cosmetic creams.

Research from 2015Trusted Source  focused on tretinoin, a prescription-strength form of retinol. In an older study from 1996Trusted Source , researchers found that tretinoin helped stretch marks appear smaller and less severe.

However, few recent and large-scale studies have examined the efficacy of tretinoin for stretch marks. More research is needed to identify all its effects on stretch marks.

Vitamin A products can sometimes irritate the skin, so it’s best to follow instructions carefully if you try this ingredient. Because there are known risks to using retinoids during pregnancy, you should not use them if you are:

  • pregnant
  • lactating
  • trying to become pregnant

2. Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful ingredient for moisturizing and skin healing. It’s often used in creams, lotions, and serums.

The visible appearance of stretch marks comes along with invisible changes to your skin. These changes make skin less elastic, in part because collagen isn’t doing its usual job of strengthening the skin.

Hyaluronic acid could have the potential to effect skin elasticity, according to a 2014 studyTrusted Source .

In fact, some research from 2017 suggests that hyaluronic acid can improve the appearance of stretch marks, though more research is needed to be sure. To try it, apply a hyaluronic acid product to the affected area each day.

3. Centella

Centella asiatica is an herb that’s a popular ingredient in Korean beauty (K-beauty) products.

Known as cica creams, products containing centella are sometimes used as scar treatments or to help calm and repair sensitive skin. Cica creams are growing in popularity in the United States, but they can be pricey.

Centella helps reduce inflammation and promote collagen production. Research from 2015Trusted Source  suggested that creams containing centella may help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and improve how they look. But the researchers cautioned that more evidence is still needed.

4. Sugar

Sugar is a popular exfoliator. The small crystals gently scrub away dead skin and leave you feeling smoother.

Microdermabrasion performed by a dermatologist is one of the few clinically proven methods to make stretch marks fade. So, this home remedy for exfoliation seems worth a try. You might already have the ingredients at home.

To make a sugar scrub:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with a softening agent, like almond oil or coconut oil. Mix the oil into the sugar, a little at a time. Your scrub is ready when it looks like wet beach sand. You may need to add up to 1/2 cup oil in total.
  2. Gently rub the mixture over the part of your body where the stretch marks are.
  3. Repeat 2 or 3 times per week while in the shower or bath. Rinse with warm water.

Make small batches of the scrub as needed. You can store your sugar scrub in a sealed container for a short time, but if it starts to look or smell off, start fresh with a new batch.

5. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has a long history as a natural skin treatment. The jelly from inside the leaves of the aloe vera plant can be applied directly to skin to soothe and moisturize.

Research from 2018 suggests that aloe vera helps skin heal from burns and wounds. Because stretch marks are a type of scarring from damaged skin, aloe’s skin-repairing properties might help with stretch mark prevention or fading.

While little clinical evidence exists for aloe vera as a stretch mark cure, pure aloe vera may be worth trying because it can soften and heal skin.

Apply pure aloe vera from a plant or an OTC product to your stretch marks daily after your shower.

6. Coconut oil

Virgin coconut oil has some known benefits for the skin. It can help maintain your skin’s protective barrier.

Research from 2018 suggested that coconut oil improves dry skin and some skin infections. And in a 2010 studyTrusted Source  using rats, virgin coconut oil helped skin wounds heal faster.

There’s not a lot of evidence to promote the use of coconut oil for stretch marks. Research on other plant oils (olive oil, almond oil, and cocoa butter) hasn’t shown any improvement from their use.

That said, it’s possible that the action of gently massaging an oil onto your skin could prevent stretch marks, 2015 researchTrusted Source  suggests. A gentle daily massage of your stretch marks with coconut oil might help, and it’s not likely to cause harm.

Of course, if you’re allergic to coconut, you’ll want to avoid this ingredient.

Keep in mind that any skin care treatment can occasionally cause allergies or sensitivities. This includes home remedies and natural approaches. So, if you notice a reaction, stop using the ingredient.

Medical procedures for stretch marks are delivered in-office by trained professionals. You will likely be treated by a doctor — a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, or plastic surgeon — or a licensed professional, depending on what state you’re located in, the procedure, and the possible risks.

More research is needed. However, studies — such as one from 2017 and another from the same year — suggest that stretch marks can be visibly improved by the medical treatments listed below.

It’s best to have realistic expectations about the results. Even medical treatments can’t fully erase or prevent stretch marks.

7. Laser therapy

Lasers deliver focused light to the skin. Depending on what kind of laser is used, treatment could have the potential to increase collagen production and help stretch marks fade to blend in with the surrounding skin, 2017 research suggestsTrusted Source . Some laser treatments require multiple sessions before you’ll see effects.

Laser therapy is also used to diminish skin texture and redness caused by scars and rosacea. So it makes sense that laser therapy could potentially improve the look of stretch marks.

8. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion involves exfoliating the skin in a way that at-home remedies can’t. Using a handheld wand, a professional applies an abrasive substance to your skin to gently scrub away dead skin cells.

Research on microdermabrasion for stretch marks is limited, but a 2017 research reviewTrusted Source  suggests it may reduce the severity of the marks.

9. Microneedling

Microneedling uses a device that creates tiny pricks in the skin. This treatment causes the skin to produce collagen and elastin, which could help loose skin appear tighter.

Unlike at-home tools, in-office microneedling goes deeper into your skin to target the skin’s healing function more effectively and more safely, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source .

Microneedling is a minimally invasive way to treat the texture of stretch marks, even older ones, and it may help to even out skin tone.

10. Radiofrequency therapy

Radiofrequency treatments send energy waves into your skin that stimulate collagen production. The result can be firmer skin.

Recently, radiofrequency treatments have been combined with microneedling treatments in order to send the energy waves even deeper into the skin. The needle penetrates the skin and releases radiofrequency into the channels, stimulating deeper layers of collagen, per 2019 researchTrusted Source .

Additional research from 2019Trusted Source  indicates that radiofrequency therapy may improve the look of stretch marks, but more studies are still needed to understand how it compares to other available treatments.

11. Chemical peel

Chemical peels involve the application of an acid, such as glycolic acid, to the skin’s surface. Professional chemical peels are more powerful than at-home versions and are applied in-office.

Peels provide a deep exfoliation of the skin and promote collagen production, per a 2018 reviewTrusted Source . This may help make stretch marks look smaller, but the available evidence is limited.

In general, clinical procedures are more effective than home remedies for stretch marks. But these procedures aren’t typically covered by insurance, and they can be costly.

Not all options are appropriate for all skin types, so it’s important to consult a dermatologist to find out which one is right for you.

Stretch marks can happen to anyone, but some people are more likely than others to get them. Genetics is one of the strongest predictors. If people you’re related to have stretch marks, you’re likely to develop them, too.

Pregnancy is a common cause of stretch marks. Research published in 2015 suggests that up to 90 percentTrusted Source  of pregnant people will develop stretch marks.

Other risk factors include:

  • using a corticosteroid medication
  • losing or gaining weight rapidly
  • having breast enlargement surgery
  • increasing muscle size rapidly, for example through bodybuilding

Remember that stretch marks are common. The changes that can cause stretch marks — such as growth spurts, weight changes, and pregnancy — happen to many people.

There is no perfect home remedy, but topical treatments can help with hydration and can promote your skin’s healing processes. For both natural treatments and medical procedures, more research is needed to clarify what’s most effective and who they are most likely to help.

If you’re treating stretch marks due to pregnancy, it’s always best to check with your doctor to ensure the treatment is safe to use.

Almost all stretch marks will fade over time, even if you don’t treat them. Rarely will stretch marks stay as prominent as when they first appear.

Last medically reviewed on December 14, 2021

5 ways to get rid of stretch marks

For some moms, stretch marks are a badge of honour. But for others, they can be an eyesore. If you’re set on preventing or reducing the appearance of stretch marks, or “stripes,” here are some tips worth trying.

By January 14, 2019

Photo: Stocksy

If your growing baby bump has sprouted a network of white, red or purple-hued lines (or you’re suddenly noticing them across your hips, bum or breasts), you’re not alone. “It’s not uncommon for women to develop stretch marks during pregnancy,” says Paul Cohen, a dermatologist in Toronto. They usually start to appear between 13 and 21 weeks and are caused by tears in the tissue under your skin as it stretches to accommodate your growing baby. Anyone can get them, but stretch marks are often more visible on fair-skinned moms and you’re more likely to get them if your mom had them, too. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to diminish and even prevent the appearance of baby beauty marks.

1. Prenatal belly massage

As with most things, the best “cure” for stretch marks is prevention. Although there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t end up with a tiger-striped tummy during pregnancy, you can help minimize the number and severity of stretch marks. “The best advice is daily massage with a body oil or lotion,” says Cohen. As soon as you start to notice your pregnant body growing, begin massaging the skin on your belly, hips and breasts with cream (ultimately any kind will do, he says) for a few minutes, at least twice a day. “This will help prepare the skin for the trauma of stretching,” says Cohen.

2. Belly butters

Although applying any body lotion during pregnancy will help keep your skin hydrated and boost elasticity, there are a number of products on the market designed with stretch (and repair) in mind. In general, look for products that contain ingredients like almond and jojoba oils, beeswax and shea butter, which are known to be very nourishing for your skin. We put some of the leading stretch mark creams to the test in our Today’s Parent Approved lab and with real moms at home. Check out which ones they deemed best for reducing redness, fading fine lines and providing top-notch skin softening. Whatever oil, cream or lotion you use, consistency is key, says Cohen. Apply it at least once a day and, for maximum skin hydration, slather it on after a bath or shower to seal in added moisture.

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3. Retinol creams

Alt textYes, I'm pregnant, but that doesn't mean my body is up for discussionReady to take your lotion to the next level? A retinoid-based product is pretty much guaranteed to improve the appearance of stretch marks to some degree, says Cohen. The same vitamin A–derived ingredient is used in acne treatments and anti-aging moisturizers because it’s proven to boost collagen production. Products with Retin-A can be purchased over the counter or prescribed by a dermatologist in a higher-dose (and harder-working) formulation. A word of warning, though: You shouldn’t use these while pregnant or breastfeeding because they haven’t been proven to be safe for your baby. And they only work on treating existing stretch marks—they’re not preventive.

4. Laser treatments

If you’re really serious about minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, there are laser treatments to be considered. “Fractional lasers work best on white marks and texture changes,” says Cohen. Pulse dye laser treatments can get the red out of dark stretch marks. A dermatologist can walk you through the best in-office treatments for your scars and help you weigh the cost-benefit ratio for your situation. “Treatments range from $500 to $1,000 per session, so they can be pricey but worth it for some patients,” he says. He recommends waiting at least six months postpartum before discussing these treatments with your doctor because the lines and bumps may settle or fade to a certain degree as your body recovers from pregnancy. “And before you invest a lot in procedures, you should decide if you’re having another baby anytime soon,” he says. It would be a shame to end up with the same bothersome stripes a year or two from now, after baby number two.

5. Cover it up (or don’t!)

If your stretch marks extend to a more visible area, like your bustline, and you’re feeling self-conscious about wearing a low-cut dress for a special occasion, there’s always the option of cover-up. A cosmetic corrector stick in a shade of green, yellow or lavender can work with your skin tone to conceal deep red and purple lines. On the other hand, you can also wear your stretch marks with pride. Many moms see them as a badge of honour—proof of all the hard work your body did to bring your little bundle of joy into the world.

 

 

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