Weight gain and weight loss are two of the main reasons for the development of stretch marks. When you gain or lose weight rapidly, the body struggles to adjust and this can lead to tears in the dermis.

However, there are still many questions surrounding the appearance of stretch marks. So, let’s answer some of them in this article.

A Pregnant stomach with stretch marks

Is Itching A Sign Of Stretch Marks?

In pregnant women, yes it is. Multiple pregnant women have reported feeling itchy in areas of their body that later developed stretch marks after they scratched them.

However, if you already have stretch marks and eventually they start to itch, there are few causes.

Pruritic Urticarial Papules And Plaques Of Pregnancy (PUPPP) Rash

This is an itchy rash that appears in stretch marks of the stomach of a pregnant woman. It usually occurs in her third trimester of her first pregnancy or when she’s pregnant with multiple babies.

This rash appears as small, pink pimple-like spots in the stretch marks and can sometimes look like hives. Overtime, they might come together and form large, red, plaque-like areas.

Being overweight or obese, having frequent hormone fluctuations or Cushing syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can also cause your stretch marks to itch.

If you suffer from itchy stretch marks, here are home remedies and natural ingredients that offer relief.

Cocoa Butter

This thick natural butter serves as an ultra-moisturizing cream help keep your skin hydrated while also reducing itchiness.

Topical Corticosteroids

Although, it has been stated countless times that corticosteroids can cause stretch marks. However, if they are used for the amount of time stipulated, cortisone will not put you at the risk of stretch marks.

Coconut Oil and Vitamin E

These plant-based oils can alleviate itchiness when taken in from supplements or lotions.

Almond And Olive Oil

These plant-based oils are also good at moisturizing skin and curing itchiness.

Jojoba Oil

If you have oily skin jojoba oil is best for you. This may help to cause less oil accumulation from your skin. 1

Are Stretch Marks A Sign Of Pregnancy?

No, stretch marks aren’t a sign of pregnancy. Stretch marks can occur due to pregnancy, puberty, rapid weight gain, rapid weight loss, muscle building and medical conditions. So, stretch marks are not a sign of pregnancy but can appear because of pregnancy.

Here’s what you can do to improve stretch marks during your pregnancy.

Massage With A Moisturizer

Massaging a stretch mark oil, cream or oils like almond oil and olive oil into your belly, hips and thighs may improve stretch marks appearance. Although, research suggests that formulations with the herb centella or hyaluronic acid may help prevent stretch marks, there isn’t complete evidence that it works.

Hydrate From The Inside And Outside

It is important to keep the skin adequately hydrated by drinking half your weight in water. Also by pairing your moisturizer with a hydrator to keep the skin soft and healthy.

Eat Sufficient Vitamins

Aside from the vitamins you take for your baby, eating plenty of vitamin C and D rich foods are important. You can get your vitamin C from peppers, citrus and strawberries. Vitamin C promotes collagen and tissue production, which helps keep skin strong and elastic, thereby improving stretch marks.

Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, fortified dairy or dairy substitutes, eggs, omega-3 fatty acids and choline.

Keep Your Weight In Check

Preventing yourself from putting on too much weight during pregnancy reduces your chances of developing more stretch marks.

What Stretch Mark Cream Is Safe During Pregnancy?

When choosing a stretch cream it’s is essential that the cream of your choice contains – cocoa butter, shea butter, or jojoba oil, vitamins A and E, hyaluronic acid, coconut, argan, or rosehip oil, aloe vera and peptides.

Mustela Stretch Marks Cream

Mustela stretch marks cream is dermatologist-tested and free of parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol. It’s made of 96 percent plant-based ingredients– avocado oil, peptides, passion fruit polyphenols, and witch hazel extract.This cream improves elasticity and prevent stretch marks. It also improves the appearance of existing ones, leaving the skin soft and supple skin.

Earth Mama Belly Butter

The earth Mama Belly butter cream is a creamy body butter is made with herbs like aloe vera and butters like shea butter. It’s aim is to prevent and relieve dry, itchy skin without leaving a greasy residue. It does not contain petroleum, parabens, and artificial fragrance.

Glow Organics Belly Butter

This organic skin butter is formulated to prevent stretch marks and improve skin elasticity. It ingredients includes macadamia nut, shea butter, cocoa butter, grapeseed and sweet almond oil.

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter

It’s formulated using 99 percent natural ingredients and is free of phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).In addition to moisturizing ingredients like cocoa, shea, and jojoba butter, this cream also contains sweet almond, sunflower, and coconut oil, which makes it ideal for soothing sensitive skin.This unscented drugstore find from Burt’s Bees is great for moisturizing your skin both during and after your pregnancy

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks

This popular lotion does not contain mineral oils, parabens, and phthalates just like other creams. It was created specifically to prevent and treat stretch marks. Its ingredient are cocoa, shea butter, sweet almond and argan oil. This lotion moisturizes your skin to improve its elasticity, texture, and appearance. 2

Mederma’s Stretch Marks Therapy Cream

This product is super safe to use during pregnancy and even when breastfeeding. Mederma’s stretch marks cream helps prevent stretch marks. It is paraben-free, and has a unique blend of ingredients including cephalin, hyaluronic acid, and Centella plant extract.

Mutha Body Butter

This whipped body butter is made with shea, cocoa, and mango butters, along with vitamins, fatty acids, and pure seed extracts. This butter hydrates and moistures the skin, it also helps prevent stretch marks.

What Is The Best Stretch Marks Cream After Pregnancy?

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

Retinoids gradually help with the increase of collagen and elastin production in the skin. Retinoids are the golden product when it comes to preventing aging, fine lines, and stretch marks, too.

Erbaviva Stretch Mark Cream

This stretch mark cream come with a delicious arrangement of organic essential oils, like carrot seed oil. Carrot seed oil is used to help tighten and repair damaged skin. It also contains rose, sandalwoods, cocoa butter and sea buckthorn. All these ingredients work together to maintain the skin’s pH balance, promote skin cell regeneration and ensure hydration.

The Honest Company Rock The Bump Body Butter

This body butter is USDA-certified. It has a creamy and nutritious blend of shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E. Not only does it help heal postpartum skin, it also soothes itchy baby bumps during pregnancy.

Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Vanishing Cream

This cream contains a delectable combo of vitamin E, jojoba, cocoa, and shea butter. it’s reduces the harshness of deep stretch marks and makes them less textured, pronounced, and visible.

Is Stretch Marks Caused By Scratching?

No, stretch marks are not caused by stretching. If you find yourself constantly scratching, it could be as a result of:

  • Very dry skin
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Shingles
  • Bug bites
  • Chicken pox
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Folliculitis
  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
  • Hives
  • Psoriasis
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Ringworm
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

For a specific diagnosis, it is best to consult your dermatologists, as constant scratching or itching could be a sign of a serious issue.

Are Stretch Marks Caused By Weight Gain Or Loss?

Yes. Rapid weight gain and weight loss are the two major causes of stretch marks.

When your body experiences rapid weight changes, it struggles to adjust to these changes. In the process of stretching to accommodate the new change the dermis can tear, causing collagen and elastin which give the skin its elasticity to be ruined. This tear in the skin, appears as small scars which become stretch marks.

Stretch marks caused by weight gain can appear on the arms, thighs, breasts, stomach and other parts.

When these stretch marks first occur, they can be red or purple but with time they fade and can be a light pink, sliver or white.

Are Stretch Marks Caused By Fat?

Stretch marks occur when your body experiences rapid weight gain or in simpler terms when you get fat or bigger really fast. If you recently added a few pounds rapidly, you might be seeing stretch marks real soon.

Are Stretch Marks Caused By Dry Skin?

No, stretch marks are not caused by dry skin. Dry skin can however aggravate stretch marks by causing them to be itchy and irritable.

Individuals with moisturized and soft are less likely to develop stretch marks. If you suffer from dry skin here are home remedies and ingredients that can help.

Petroluem Jelly

Petroleum jelly heals skin with dry and irritated patches, locks in moisture and softens skin. It covers the skin a protective layer which helps it stay nourished.

Coconut Oil

Emollients which are contained in coconut oil, fill the spaces between skin cells, creating a smooth surface. Coconut oil also has saturated fatty acids that hydrate and smooth the skin.

Why Do Guys Get Stretch Marks On Their Stomach?

Stretch marks can appear when your skin pulls apart quickly due to rapid weight gain or lose. Guys develop stretch marks on their stomach for the following reasons.

  • Puberty. Puberty can cause the chest and stomach areas to broaden causing stretch marks.
  • Muscle or weight building
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids
  • Medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome…etc.
  • Genetics

There are several ways to rid you stomach of stretch marks if you find them unattractive. Most people recommend home remedies but do not always work or have the desired effect, so it’s best to use cosmetic procedures to greatly reduce their appearance.

Collagen Induction Therapy

Collagen Induction Therapy refers to microneedling, dermarolling and skin needling is a cosmetic procedure that involves repetitive puncturing of one’s skin with tiny sterile needles. This procedure triggers a healing response that will produce new collagen and elastin.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic treatment in which the face is sprayed with exfoliant crystals to remove dead epidermal cells. These two procedures a good treatments for stretch marks as studies have shown over 50% reduction in stretch marks, especially in areas with thick skin.

Laser Therapy

This involves using a strong beam of light to cut, burn, or destroy tissue. Studies has showed 50%-70% reduction in stretch marks due to laser therapy.

Chemical Peel

This process involves removing the outer layer of skin cells, leaving smoother, softer skin behind. Chemical peels stimulate the body’s own healing process, compelling the body to produce more collagen to support the underlying skin structure. A glycolic or TCA chemical peel works in the reduction of stretch marks.

Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound Therapy is a treatment that uses an ingenious ultrasound machine to lessen scars, stretch marks and cellulite, rejuvenate complexions, improve skin elasticity and even reduce pain and stiffness. The improvement of skin elasticity is what makes it a great treatment for stretch marks.

Citations In This Article

  1. Taking the Itch Out of Stretch Marks (Healthline).
  2. The Best Stretch Mark Creams for Pregnancy (Healthline)

Published by Peace Eke-Efeme

Hey, I am Peace. I discuss health, beauty and skincare related issues with hopes of helping my readers pave their way through a stress-free life, one article at a time.