Strange places to find stretch marks
Did you know that pregnancy’s “badges of honor” can appear not only on your belly and hips, but on your breasts, legs, back and upper arms too? Here’s what you can do about them…
As your beautiful pregnant belly starts to blossom, your friends and family will tell you that you’re glowing and you’ve never looked better. But when you take your clothes off in the privacy of your bedroom, you may see a few things that you’re not exactly thrilled about. Swollen breasts, jiggly thighs and stretch marks, oh my!
Stretch marks often worry mamas-to-be more than other pregnancy changes because they can be difficult to reverse. The pink, red, purple or brown streaks on the skin affect up to 90 percent of pregnant women and they generally start to appear during the second trimester. While they’re most likely to occur on your belly, hips and thighs, they can also pop up on your back, breasts, lower legs, upper arms… and, wait for it, even under your pubic hair!
What causes stretch marks?
When the skin stretches quickly during pregnancy or other periods of weight gain, collagen and elastin rupture. As the skin heals, tiny scars – or stretch marks – are formed. You’re more likely to get stretch marks if the women in your family get them, if you gain weight quickly during pregnancy and if you’re fair-skinned.
Can stretch marks be prevented or treated?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there’s no miracle solution to prevent or treat stretch marks. While stretch mark creams, lotions and oils may work for some women, they’re not effective for everyone.
If you’re keen to try a stretch mark cream or oil as a preventive measure, apply it twice a day throughout your pregnancy. You should focus on your belly, thighs, hips and breasts, but if your family is prone to stretch marks you may want to apply it all over your body. Putting on weight slowly and steadily during your pregnancy can also avoid stretching out your skin.
Don’t get discouraged if those little lines have already started to appear. Researchers say that there are a few things you can do to increase your chance of success when trying to fade stretch marks.
- Start applying stretch mark cream or oil as soon as possible: Early stretch marks are much more likely to respond to treatment than mature ones.
- Be consistent: You’ll need to apply the product twice a day for several weeks before you start to see significant results.
- Massage the product into your skin: Massaging it in can make it more effective than simply applying it.
Some women find that using a self-tanner can help to make their stretch marks less visible. But tanning in the sun or on a tanning bed can have the opposite effect because stretch marks are less likely to tan than regular skin.
Prescription medications such as hyaluronic acid and tretinoin (a retinoid) have been shown to effectively reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Dermatological procedures including laser therapy, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and radiofrequency can also help. But many of these solutions contain harsh chemicals or can have side effects such as redness and swelling. They shouldn’t be used during pregnancy and many women aren’t willing to take the associated health risks even after they’ve given birth.
A natural solution for stretch marks
Looking for a gentle, chemical-free stretch mark treatment? Erbaviva products will rock your world. Tot moms can’t stop raving about them!
They’re formulated with a natural blend of organic essential oils and other nourishing ingredients that keep the skin hydrated and elastic. When the skin is able to stretch smoothly and comfortably, stretch marks may be less likely to appear. Erbaviva’s products also keep any uncomfortable itchiness at bay.
The Stretch Mark Cream is perfect for applying in the morning under your clothes.
Before you go to bed, take five minutes to massage the rich Stretch Mark Oil into your belly and other key areas. The soothing scent will rejuvenate you and you’ll feel great knowing that you’re warding off the appearance of stretch marks without any nasty chemicals that could harm your baby. And you can keep using it after you give birth too. Love!
- Not all pregnancy supplements are made the same. Womens’ Health & TCM expert Josie Bouchier talks about how to choose the best supplements for you and your growing baby.
- Most mothers-to-be understand that it is important to stay healthy during pregnancy. This, however, goes beyond just eating healthy and doing exercise. See our guide to non-toxic living tips pregnant moms.