In this article, let’s talk about the different causes and remedies for stretch marks and itchiness.
Stretch marks are the lines that appear on your body as a result of pregnancy, puberty, sudden weight gain or loss, and other similar conditions.
Loss of elasticity and skin tearing are the leading causes of stretch marks.
The breast, hips, thighs, and the stomach areas are where stretch marks usually form.
They are common and does not pose a threat to the body. The only harm stretch marks do is that they cause an itching sensation and they can be unsightly.
Why Are Stretch Marks Itchy?
When there is stretching of the skin, the dermis, found one layer below of the epidermis tears. The tearing in the dermis fills in, and this forms into stretch marks.
Puberty and pregnancy cause rapid growth in the body at the shortest amount of time. These two, along with some medical conditions and sudden weight gain or weight loss because of dieting all contribute to the causes of stretch marks.
As stretch marks heal, the nerves on the body respond by sending itching sensations. The itchiness usually begins during the new stages of stretch marks or when it is still pink or reddish.
As time goes by, the itchiness would subside, and the stretch marks would heal completely. They would then become greyish to whitish.
Relationship Between Pregnancy And Stretch Marks
Pregnancy can often be associated with stretch marks. The reason is that the belly overgrows. There is always a case of weight gain in women especially in the breast, hip, and thigh areas.
These areas, unfortunately, are stretch-mark-prone and will itch during pregnancy. Some even develop PUPPP or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.
These are sometimes called PEP or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy. These look like reddish rashes that appear above stretch marks and are common in the final stages of pregnancy.
These PUPPP usually doubles the itchiness and discomfort in pregnant women.
9 Major Factors That Affect the Formation of Stretch Marks:
Pregnant women aren’t the only ones that can get stretch marks. Other causes or factors affect this and here are some of them.
- Sudden fluctuations in weight regardless if it is weight loss or weight gain.
- Undergoing the puberty stage.
- Rapid development and growth of muscles.
- Genes or Family history of developing stretch marks.
- Females are more prone to stretch marks.
- Regular use of topical hydrocortisone which thins and stretches out your skin.
- Obesity or being overweight
- Hormone fluctuations which occur regularly.
- Medical conditions such as Cushing Syndrome, Marfan’s Syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Stretch marks are itchy, and dryness of skin only contribute more to the itchiness. Make sure you use products that prevent dryness of the skin on the stretch mark area.
3 Products That Give Relief From Itchiness Caused By Stretch Marks:
When you get stretch marks, itchiness is inevitable. Try your best to prevent scratching. Scratching may cause cuts and infections on the skin. Instead of scratching, use topical products and other home remedies to stop the itching.
Here are some products that help give you relief from stretch mark itching:
Cocoa Butter is very soothing on the skin, especially during pregnancy. Not only will it alleviate the itchiness, but it would also help your skin from dryness.
Topical Creams And Moisturizers
Ask your dermatologist for topical creams for your PUPPP and stretch marks. These creams may contain corticosteroid and antihistamines. These substances target the histamines that release that itchy feeling.
Just be sure not to overuse these products. Overusing these products can be counterproductive and could cause future stretch marks because of skin thinning.
Vitamin E & Coconut Oil
Vitamin E creams and capsules as well as coconut oil help with the itchiness and the health of your skin. Almond Oil and Olive Oil also help reduce itchiness from stretch marks. If your skin is oily, you can opt to use jojoba oil instead.
4 Tips On Using Home Remedies & Other Treatments:
Here are some options that will help maximize the use of home remedies on your itching stretch marks.
- Use it on newly formed stretch marks. Home remedy topical creams are more effective when the stretch marks are still fresh. Unfortunately, stretch marks become completely healed once the stretch marks turn into a whitish hue. The area with the whitish stretch marks no longer react to topical creams and moisturizers. Make sure to use home remedies at the onset of stretch marks.
- Use it immediately and routinely. Home remedies and cream only work when you use them regularly. Use these at the onset of stretch marks appearance because home remedies take several weeks for them to work.
- Massage the area with stretch marks. Massaging makes the products and creams work better.
- Medical treatments are more effective than home treatments. Consult your dermatologist about possible laser therapy, microdermabrasion, and acid peeling.
8 Ways to Prevent Stretch Mark Itchiness:
Here are some tips to prevent itchiness of stretch marks.
- Hydrate and drink plenty of water rather than flavoured juices.
- Moisturize your skin well especially in the area where you have stretch marks.
- Maintain your body weight.
- Diagnose rapid weight gain or loss immediately and consult your doctor for prompt treatment.
- Apply cold moisturizer on the skin. Keep your moisturizer inside the refrigerator to further reduce the itching.
- Do not use products with drying ingredients or alcohol content.
- Try not to dive into heavily-chlorinated water.
- Use a humidifier.
As your stretch marks heal, you will experience less and less itching. The healing of stretch marks become more noticeable as the stretch marks start to change to lighter and paler colors (whitish hue).
Prevention is better than cure, so make sure you follow the tips mentioned here. However, if you still feel a lot of itchiness even though you’re using home remedies and you see signs of rashes developing on top of your stretch marks, it is better to consult your dermatologist.