Got stretch marks? Welcome to the club! Stretch marks are incredibly common, especially during pregnancy. We’re all for loving the body just the way it is, but if you’re not so fond of these “tiger” lines, you can do something about it. One legit way is to choose the best cream to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
But before hunting for the best stretch mark cream, aren’t you curious what causes stretch marks? Keep reading to know everything about stretch marks and get a roundup of the best creams in the market!
So, What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks, or striae, are skin scars that happen when the dermis is overstretched. The dermis is a thick layer of tissues which can be found below the epidermis or the superficial structure of the skin.
The epidermis covers the entire body and serves as the protective lining, but it is the dermis that forms the true skin. It contains collagen, nerve endings, blood vessels, sweat glands, and hair follicles. Collagen is the main building block of the skin and the dermis, with its nerve fibers and tissues, hold everything in place.
Although it receives a lot of blood supply, the dermis is the most delicate structure of the skin. Any stress or strain can cause injury and lead to scarring. When the skin heals and returns to its normal state, scarring leaves a wrinkled and lined appearance, thus the stretch marks.
Stretch marks may affect the belly, buttocks, breasts, armpits, and groin. These linear streaks don’t just disrupt the skin physically, but they can also cause a number of discomforts. It may cause redness, irritation, and itchiness – uncomfortable symptoms that won’t help during pregnancy.
Stretch marks have different types:
- Striae atrophicans are multiple, regular-shaped stretch marks that usually occur in the breast area.
- Striae gravidarum are stretch marks associated with pregnancy. They come with weight gain, but can also be caused by hormonal imbalances.
- Striae rubrae, striae alba and striae caerulea are the red, white and dark blue stretch marks that commonly affect the buttocks and thighs. Red stretch marks indicate continuing inflammation and they may cause itchiness.
- Striae nigra or linea nigra is black hyperpigmentation which appears on the abdomen.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are common in women than in men. In fact, 88% of stretch marks occur in women during pregnancy. It can also be more pronounced in certain races, such as in dark-skinned individuals. Unhealthy lifestyle and smoking can also increase the risk of having stretch marks.
Besides all these, there are other common causes of stretch marks:
- Changes in weight – gaining weight naturally expands the skin which causes breaks in the dermis. Stretch marks become more evident when a person loses weight as skin elasticity changes.
- Hormonal changes – hormones such as estrogen and progesterone have a direct impact on your skin. These hormones dramatically change as pregnancy happens and this may affect the body’s natural ability to produce collagen. Hormonal changes can also cause hyperpigmentation.
- Skin damage – excessive physical activity, too much sun exposure or repeated skin injury can cause the wear and tear of the skin, which makes it more prone to stretch marks.
- Low production of collagen – this protein forms and nourishes the skin. However, in today’s Western diet, more people experience nutrient deficiencies. Most people are deficient in amino acids and certain vitamins which serve as precursors to collagen.
- Overuse of topical corticosteroids – corticosteroids of anti-inflammatory drugs provide short-term benefits in the prevention of stretch marks, however, prolonged use can yield opposite effects. It can cause permanent streaks because it hardens the skin which increases the risk of breaking.
- Underlying medical conditions – certain diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome, adrenal insufficiency, and diabetes increases inflammation in the body. This, in turn, affects the skin, which increases the risk of stretch marks.
Science says stretch marks are challenging to eliminate once they start, so prevention is the best option. However, hope is not lost for those who already have stretch marks as skin experts say you can definitely minimize it with a natural stretch mark cream.
When to Start Using a Stretch Mark Cream During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, but it sure does come with a lot of changes, and stretch marks are one of them. There are many do’s and don’ts during this period. You might be curious if it’s safe to use stretch mark creams, and if yes, when is the best time to use it?
Unlike oral solutions, topical products are absorbed directly through the skin, which means they don’t pass through major organs like the stomach, kidneys or liver. Because they don’t pass the body systematically, they rarely cause disruptions in body functions. Stretch mark creams don’t affect pregnancy adversely.
Stretch mark creams are good to use as early as pregnancy. Massaging the skin with cream is the best stretch mark prevention during pregnancy. This provides the skin with necessary nutrients, increases blood flow, releases tension and improves elasticity. All these can increase the production of collagen and other skin amino acids.
If you have special conditions or health concerns, be sure to visit your OB or skin doctor for proper advice about stretch mark remedies.
6 Best Stretch Mark Removal Cream Reviews!
There are plenty of stretch mark creams advertised in the market, but there are 6 creams that stand out when it comes to using reviews.
Pick out the best cream to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy from any of these top-notch products!
Mederma is dermatologically recommended and pregnant women can use it as early as in the second trimester. Women can even continue using it while breastfeeding. The best thing about this cream? It’s paraben-free and has natural plant and botanical extracts – perfect for the mom-to-be! Grab a Mederma stretch mark cream to keep your skin flawless during pregnancy.
- Palmer’s cocoa butter for stretch mark cream
Palmers stretch mark cream is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. With regular use, these creams boast of improved skin elasticity by 97%! It’s great for application on the belly, hips, thighs and even the breast area. It’s paraben and phthalate free, so it’s safe for the unborn baby! Get your Palmers stretch mark cream today.
Do you have sensitive skin? Trilastin is a hypoallergenic stretch mark cream that gives amazing results in as fast as 3 weeks! It’s effective in reducing all types of stretch marks and is safe for pregnant women. Trilastin is unscented and paraben-free. Buy Trilastin now and stop stretch marks on its tracks!
If you want beautiful and fragrant skin, Belli elasticity belly oil is for you. It combines science and the power of aromatherapy to achieve healthy skin. Belli is hypoallergenic and chemical-free, so it doesn’t have any harmful effect on pregnancy or breastfeeding. For maximum effects, use morning and night throughout pregnancy. Have your very first Belli elasticity belly oil here.
Womenswear by Mustela as the best cream to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy! It’s specially made for expecting mothers and is 100% safe for breastfeeding women. Mustela is gentle, quick-absorbing and effective. This cream is made from natural ingredients, mainly from avocado peptides. Women can use it in as early as the first month of pregnancy, preferably in the morning and evening. Don’t miss out on the wonderful effects of Mustela stretch marks prevention cream!
Sellhealth has numerous stretch mark creams in store for pregnant women. KollagenIntensiv and Skinception are fantastic stretch mark creams formulated with clinically proven ingredients to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These creams boost collagen, improve skin elasticity, and fade discolorations and even skin tones!
Stretch marks are a normal change during pregnancy. With the body embracing a new life, skin changes are bound to happen. There’s nothing wrong with your body or skin, it’s uniquely beautiful. While you may feel a little self-conscious about your lines, don’t let it kill your self-confidence.
With a few lifestyle tweaks, self-care products, and topical treatments, you can prevent stretch marks from happening. Support the body’s natural healing process and keep your skin healthy with the best cream to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Every skin is different and you know your the best.
- Are pregnancy stretch marks different? https://americanpregnancy.org/your-pregnancy/are-pregnancy-stretchmarks-different/
- Stretch marks in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stretch-marks-pregnant/
- Stretch marks: Why they appear and how to get rid of them. https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/stretch-marks
- Stretch marks. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stretch-marks/symptoms-causes/syc-20351139
- Skin conditions during pregnancy. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Skin-Conditions-During-Pregnancy?IsMobileSet=false
- Stretch mark science: What happens to your skin when pregnancy gives you a stretch mark? https://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201511/stretch-mark-science-what-happens-your-skin-when-pregnancy.