The common skin change that most pregnant woman experience is the stretch marks. Stretch marks are separations of the outer layers of skin caused by the overstretching of underlying layers.
Beside pregnant women, stretch marks are found on children who are obese, adolescents who have a sudden growth spurt during puberty and athletes and body builders who do constant exercises. The most commonly affected areas by stretch marks are hips, abdomen, breasts, thighs and buttocks. Stretch marks are itchy reddish marks.
In pregnancy, heredity plays an important role in determining who will have and will not have stretch marks. If your mother has had them, chances are that you will get them too, unless you were born with stretchy skin. There is no sure shot remedy for stretch marks as mostly they fade after delivery. The only way to avoid stretch marks is to prevent them. We recommend the following –
- Massage vitamin E or olive oil on the abdomen areas from the start of your pregnancy. Massage it liberally over the marks after a shower. Incase you skip a shower, clean the area with a wet cloth and then apply the oil.
- Regular exercise helps to tone your muscles and keep your skin firm.
- Maintain healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Plenty of proteins and vitamin C & E foods should be included in your diet. Increase your intake of minerals such as zinc and silica to maintain healthy skin.
- One ounce of sweet almond or jojoba oil with 7-8 drops of lavender and chamomile oils is a good homemade recipe.
- Avoid excessive weight gain in a short time span.
- Cocoa butter reduces stretch marks and helps to keep the skin supple.
- Wear a glove and massage your skin to increase circulation.
- While massaging your body with body oil, add coconut and almond oil. Daily massage with Olive oil, flaxseed oil, cod liver oil or vitamin E oil after shower or before sleeping is an excellent home remedy for either preventing or treating stretch marks.
- To avoid stretch marks around breasts, wear a supportive maternity bra.
- To make stretch mark cream, mix 1/2 cup cocoa butter, 1 tsp wheat germ oil, 1 tsp apricot kernel oil, vitamin E oil and 2 tsp grated beeswax. Heat the mixture until cocoa butter and beeswax melt, stir well and store in air tight conditioner.