Welcome back to our Pregnancy Diaries Series! We have been covering topics related to everything pregnancy. Feel free to catch up on some previous topics here. Today’s topic can apply to everyone— pregnant or not— we are covering stretch marks. Stretch marks can affect men, women, pregnant, post- or pre-surgery.

stetch marks

photo via kidshealth.org

Causes of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks occur are more likely to occur during rapid growth phases (i.e. pregnancy or puberty), rapid weight gain, prolonged use of corticosteroid medication, or genetics.

The marks in your skin come from a change in the elastic supportive tissue in your skin. The middle layer of your skin, called the dermis, will stretch. Rapid growth and/or weight gain can cause the fibers in the dermis to stretch thin and sometimes tear. A tear in the dermis allows blood vessels in the lower layers of skin to show through. This is why stretch marks appear red/purple in color early on.

Stretch Mark Remedies

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photo via bcog.com

While there is no proven remedy or even prevention of stretch marks, there are suggested theories for helping.

Staying hydrated is key. Drinking water is not only good for you, it is essential for your skin! Drink appropriate amounts of water throughout the day to help keep you skin moisturized and retain it’s ability to stretch with your growing body.

Exercise plays a role in circulation.  Exercise improves circulation which can help the skin retain elasticity. The more elastic the skin is the better it is able to stretch.

Creams/Lotions. While no particular lotions have been scientifically links to the prevention of stretch marks, some vitamins and oils can help with skin elasticity. I found these five brands to be the top rated for stretch marks:

  1. BioOil. BioOil is dermatologist recommended for the appearance of scars and stretch marks. The key ingredients are Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and PurCellin Oil.
  2. Mustela Double Action Cream. Mustela Double Action Cream reports to help strengthen skin elasticity as well as prevent and minimize new and recent stretch marks during pregnancy.
  3. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. Palmer’s reports to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks with a special blend of pure Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Bio C-Elaste. 
  4. Burt’s Bees Mama Bee.  Burt’s Bees Mama Bee is fragrance-, phthalate-, and paraben-free. It is reported to help skin retain moisture and elasticity during your pregnancy with cocoa, shea, and jojoba butters.
  5. Nature’s Design Bye Bye Stretch Marks.   This cream contains essential vitamins and oils such as Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and more that treat and lighten existing scars and helps prevent new ones.

Have you found any remedies for your stretch marks?

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