Ayurvedic Treatment For Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Stretch marks during pregnancy are developed due to the stretching of the skin. Skin stretches due to the increase in the bulk of uterus. Pregnancy stretch marks can be usually found on the lower part of abdomen, sides of abdomen, buttocks, thighs and on the breasts. 

This condition is medically termed as Striae gravidarum. Striae means stretching or stretch marks. Gravidarum refers to pregnancy.

In Ayurveda we come across a condition called ‘Kikkisa’. While commenting on the word, the Ancient Ayurvedic expert commentator Indu (Shashilekha commentary on Ashtanga sangraha-shareera 3/9) explained that these are the linear demarcations over the skin surface of the pregnant lady.

striae gravidarum - stretch marks during pregnancy1

According to Sanskrit derivation, that condition which cause stretches, itching, burning or discomfort  is called Kikkisa.
Kikkisati anena iti Kikkisaha. 

Pregnancy stretch marks – Dosha involvement: 
According to Ayurveda, stretch marks have Pitta and Kapha imbalance in them.
Kapha involvement causes itching and Pitta causes burning sensation.

Usually in few of the individuals these stretch marks are subsided by its own, after few months of delivery. Whereas in a few, it remains for few more months or permanently.
Although, itching and burning are completely subsided after delivery, as a cosmetic point of view it needs to be attended to.

Ayurvedic Medicines and remedies for striae gravidarum:
‘Prevention is better than cure’ rule also applies here. Beginning with the pregnancy, if the mother applies Sesame oil over the prone areas, 10 minutes before bath, then the skin stretching will happen without leaving any marks behind. Sesame oil improves the quality of the skin.
For better results, following oils can be used to apply to the prone areas –
Parts where the oil is to be applied:
Lower abdomen, sides of abdomen, buttocks, thighs and breasts.
Oil combinations:
1. Sesame oil + almond oil – 50 % each. This will improve the skin tone, along with preventing the stretch marks.

2. Sesame oil – 100 ml + 5 grams of turmeric – Mix it. Heat it in low flame for exactly 2 minutes. Stop heating it. Keep it in air tight container. This is very useful in people with skin problems.

3. Sesame oil – 100 ml + 10 ml of Kumkumadi taila – It is also very good for improving skin complexion, to attend to skin diseases.

4. Nalpamaradi oil – a readymade oil available in the market for skin diseases. Very good to prevent stretch marks as well.

5. Jujube oil application. Also useful for good skin health.

External application remedies: to apply externally:
The below mentioned formulas are useful both for prevention and treatment purposes. Since these are meant for external application, they are safe to apply during pregnancy. However seek your doctors advice before trying them.

1. A diluted decoction prepared with Khadira (Acacia catechu) is used for bath daily. Learn how to prepare it easily

2. 10 grams of each of neem, Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia) and Tulsi (Holy basil) mixed with 1 liter of oil, boiled and reduced to 500 ml. Filtered. This liquid is used for irrigation over breast and abdomen.  Or the tub bath can be added with 25 grams of each of the above.
The tub bath or washing may be carried with the decoction licorice and tree turmeric.
In case of severe itching, fine powder mix of sandalwood, neem and Khadira (Acacia catechu) can be rubbed over these lesions. A thick paste of the above can be made by adding small quantities of water.
Any one of the following medicated paste can be applied over stretch mark areas:
Fine paste of Sandalwood, Usheera (Vetiver).
Oil prepared out of the leaves of Karaveera (Nerium indicum) and Karanja (Pongamia pinnata).
Fine paste of the stem bark of Shirisha (Albizia lebbek), flowers of Dhataki (Woodfordia fruticoa), Sarshapa (Brassica juncea) and Yastimadhu (Glyccirrhiza glabra).

Oral medicines:
Consult your doctor before trying any of the below. 
100 grams of butter mixed with 20 grams of jujube fruit / fruit powder – administered in a dose of 5 – 10 grams per day. The same can also be used for external application.
Butter added with licorice powder.
Ghee mixed with Daruharidra (Tree turmeric) powder.
Sugar candy powder mixed with ghee and turmeric powder.
Chandrakala Rasa
Kamadugha with mouktika.
Pravala bhasma
Muktashukti pishti etc.

Wholesome diet to get rid of striae gravidarum: 
The diet should be sweet and light in nature. All Vata pacifying measures are encouraged. Regular application / massage of medicated oils like Neem oil, Karanja oil or plain sesame oil is found to be beneficial.
Fat and salt free or reduced amount of these are recommended. Intake of small amount of Luke warm water repeatedly is advised throughout.
Vitamin E rich foods – Sunflower seed, almond, pine nuts, peanuts, spinach, taro root, flaxseed oil, soyabean, pistachio, Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers.

Precautions in case of Kikkisa (Striae gravidarum)
Do not scratch on the area. It worsens the stretch marks and it may cause wounds which may leave white scars.

Overall, if you can apply a very thin layer of above-said oil combinations, then you can prevent getting stretch marks. If you already have got them, some oral administration of herbal remedies along with external application can help you get rid of them.
Avoid self medication and seek your doctor’s advice.


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Comments

  1. Hi,it’s nice to read your article.it’s very beneficial.
    a small request, can you tell and guide us , how to get rid of black spots on the body and face.it’s the pimple marks that turns out to be dark black spots. Any medicine or lotion to apply . I am grateful and thankful for your help.
    Thanks & Regards
    sima

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Try Kumkumadi taila application, 10 minutes before bath everyday, or consult a doctor directly.

  2. Nena Ubr says:

    I am 35 year old husband and I feel bad about my wife pregnancy stretch marks. I should do something to help her to make beautiful belly lady without stretch marks. I asked her to do lot of exercises to reduce her stretch marks, but it’s not worked. Finally I saw one article about Dermelastic serum and that intend my wife should try with this product. My wife told nothing happen in few days and she is fighting with me but she continued the usage. But after 3 weeks, we both happy with final result she got. You should give it a try!

  3. Hi sir,
    How to get rid of stretch mark after c section(10 month after delivery).

    Thanks,
    Vani

    • Dr Malini Bhat says:

      Hello Madam, Here are some remedies you can try:
      •Massaging stretch marks with Olive Oil improves blood circulation in the affected areas
      •Moisturizing your skin daily with natural moisturizers like cocoa butter, almond oil, Vitamin E…
      •Applying Aloe Vera gel to stretch marks lightens them and finally reduces them to nothing.
      •Neem leaves can be used in bathwater or grinded into a paste which can be applied directly to the affected areas or even consumed orally to eliminate stretch marks.
      •Using Sandalwood to cure stretch marks is considered as one of the most effective remedies. Sandalwood cools the skin and strengthens its elasticity. The use of sandalwood even before stretch marks can occur is useful in the complete prevention of stretch marks. Sandalwood paste helps lighten and get rid of stubborn stretch marks.

  4. Eileen Horschler says:

    I used dermalmd stretch mark cream while I was pregnant and after and never got any stretch marks. And my baby was 9.5 lbs when he was born! Would definitely use again.

  5. Hello sir,
    Licorice root contains Glycyrrhetic acid.Glycyrrhetic acid may decrease testosterone and increase cortisol. It increases cortisol by preventing its breakdown. So it increases circulating corticosteroids.
    Using Topical corticosteroids and the cushing syndrome ( the endocrine disease in which corticosteroid level in blood is elevated) cause stretch marks.
    Depression and stress also cause stretch marks. Because in stress and depression above mentioned cortisol which is known as stress hormone is elevated in blood.
    Cortisol makes skin more prone to stretch marks.
    Licorice extract increases cortisol.
    Then how can it prevent stretch marks?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi,
      As per this study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2161425, 500 mg of glycyrrhetinic acid per day resulted in blockade in the conversion of cortisol to cortisone.

      If you can tell me the percentage of glycyrrhetinic acid in licorice root, that will be helpful to know if the traditional Ayurvedic dose of licorice contains the required amount of glycyrrhetinic acid to cause such an effect.

      In the article, licorice is advised for external application. Hence, the amount glycyrrhetinic acid, if at all absorbed through skin would be very less.
      Regarding second email – all stretch marks are not silver coloured. Most of them are reddish to purple, where, external application of licorice is useful.

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