Pregnancy is a beautiful thing! But for some women, stretch marks can be a constant lifetime reminder of your pregnancy. In a recent review from the British Journal of Dermatology, the topical prevention of stretch marks was explored.
It was concluded that reliable methods for preventing stretch marks, also called “Striate Gravidarum” by some doctors, are scarce. Stretch Marks affect up to 90% of women during pregnancy. While not medically dangerous, they can be disfiguring and in many women, may cause emotional and psychological distress about their bodies.
There is limited evidence that Centella (an ingredient found in most drug store stretch mark creams) prevents the development of stretch marks or reduces the severity of your stretch marks. There is also weak supporting evidence that hyaluronic acid (also found in common drug store creams) prevents or fades existing stretch marks.
Stretch mark creams including the ingredient Tretinoin hold promise for reducing the severity of new-onset stretch marks that some women may have recently endured because of pregnancy. Safety in pregnancy is extremely important and creams/gels with Tretinoin should NOT be used during pregnancy, but for treating stretch marks later on.
Tretinoin may be started after pregnancy in a non-nursing mother. For nursing mothers, start using after you are completely done nursing. Always make sure you are researching any new products/chemicals you are using or cleaning with while pregnant! You always want to make sure the safety of you and your baby come first!
Lastly, natural remedies such as olive oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter are not effective methods for preventing or reducing the severity of stretch marks. These methods, however, may make your skin softer and more luminous, which is always a bonus, and it’s also a safe method for soft moisturized skin during pregnancy. To carry a baby to full term is a miraculous thing, and women should do their best to embrace that fact, as well as embracing the beautiful new changes to their body!