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Does anyone know how to help your body heal stretch marks? I gained about 50 pounds of fluid very rapidly with my first pregnancy (toxemia). I also gained stretch marks practically everywhere, even one behind each ear. I am desperate for help. They are so ugly, and I am sick of looking at them. I know that there are creams out there, such as Mederma, but they are so expensive that I can't afford to use them. Also, I don't know if they truly work. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Shea butter is a great moisturizer to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. It softens and smoothes the skin. You can find it at a health food store or an ethnic market in your area. I've used it for years and you can barely even see my stretch marks. Just remember that you have to faithfully use it every day over a period of time before you really start to see results.
Vitamin E is one source. It will heal them fast. You must remember that these came about with time and they will heal with time. They won't go away, but they will fade. The following mixture of oils may help. Your skin will love it too because it will become very soft.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup aloe vera gel
10 vitamin E caplets - prick & drain into mixture
5 vitamin A caplets - prick & drain into mixture
Mix all of the above together and store in the refrigerator.
B & L
Use pure emu oil, found at health food stores, to fade and even remove scars and stretch marks. Per my Kinesiologist, emu oil penetrates all layers of the skin and can even help scars that are years old.
KW in Garland, Texas
My husband calls them "honor badges." And I help diminish these "honor badges" with extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. When you finish with your shower, before drying off, apply about 1/2 teaspoon over the marks, like a bath oil. You should begin to notice a difference in a few weeks. I also use a high quality olive oil and aloe lotion on them twice a week. The bottle lasts me about a year so it doesn't impact my budget. My husband noticed a difference too.
I used to have stretch marks years ago. I had seven pregnancies and the Gynecologist told me to use baby oil after bathing while the skin is still wet.
Denise from Missouri
My tip is one my mother taught me after she carried her three pregnancies. It may not help existing marks on the skin, but mom never had a single "birth related" stretch mark because she would massage cocoa butter into the skin of her breasts, abdomen and thighs every evening. She told me it "had" to be pure cocoa butter, and she used the Hershey's brand. I've used this stuff and I'll admit that you smell like chocolate when it's on the skin, but it's one of the best, 100% natural skin lubricants around. It's good stuff and it is fairly inexpensive compared to current creams or surgery.
The term "stretch marks" is really a misnomer. They are caused by hormonal changes and not just the skin stretching. Creams and other topical "treatments" can make the skin softer and more elastic, but they will not prevent stretch marks, nor make them go away. After pregnancy, these marks can look particularly red and dramatic, but they tend to fade and soften on their own with a little time.
I had very dramatic, reddish-purple marks on my lower abdomen right at the end of my pregnancy and just after. Now, after several years, they are almost unnoticeable. They don't disappear completely, but do fade quite a bit. For general skin health and healing, I would suggest making sure to get plenty of vitamin C and E in your diet, as they are used by the body for healing and new cell production. Also, plenty of water to hydrate the skin and "plump" the cells. These will also help if you are breastfeeding as the body needs lots of water and obviously great nutrition to have the extra needed to feed your baby.
Leigh in Los Angeles
After my gall bladder operation, I would rub vitamin E oil (cut open a capsule and used just a small amount on the tip of the finger) several times a day on the suture line. At my six-week check up with the surgeon, he commented on how thoroughly the wound had healed. The vitamin E oil also worked for me on pregnancy stretch marks in years past. But alas, it now doesn't seem to do a thing for my fat stretch marks!
I worked for a plastic surgeon for two years and women were constantly calling our office hoping for help with your question. Stretch marks are a tear in your skin and no over-the-counter cream will work. The only procedure that can work is a tummy tuck, but this is a major surgery and only works for the stomach area. Sorry to break the news. Eventually they fade from red to white and are less noticeable. Hopefully, they will come up with a laser procedure in the future.
Michele of St. Clair Shores, MI
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