My breasts! What a love-hate relationship we have shared over the decades.
Every study ever done indicates that a great deal of a woman's feminine identity is tied up in her opinion of her breasts. We hate guys staring at them, but I think we hate even more feeling like they are no longer interested in looking at all.
And along comes pregnancy.
I was nearly a full cup size bigger by the end of my fourth month (first pregnancy), and beginning to push into a D cup by delivery. My husband loved it and I couldn't help but spend some extra time in front of the mirror admiring the effect.
Then came that inevitable day when I began to see just the smallest amount of discoloration on the underside of one of them. Just a couple days later, I saw the same on the other.
As most of you know, I was already using cocoa butter because I really didn't know anything better to try. I was applying it very liberally a couple of times a day, and it just wasn't working.
I don't know if it sounds shallow to you, but I do love my husband and I do love our sex life. I do what I can to keep my body in shape for both his benefit and mine.
But here's the thing.
Pregnancy causes such rapid expansion in our bellies, breasts and hips that it can be really difficult to prevent stretch mark damage. In percentage terms, breasts probably expand the most in a typical pregnancy!
That means you can ignore them when taking normal preventive measures on your stomach. We'll talk about some of the best ways to avoid them, and I'll tell you little bit about how I got rid of mine.
I promise you, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
I've tried at least six or eight stretch mark creams throughout my pregnancies. And in the process of doing all these reviews for the website, I've come to understand a lot more about why some work and some are not effective.
Most of the difference has to do with the quality of ingredients. And it can be small things. Did you know that Shea butter absorbs into your skin 100 times better than cocoa butter?
Before I tell you about my favorite prevention creams, let me talk a little bit about how to use these.
First of all, order something literally the moment that you find out you are pregnant. You will thank me later.
As far as usage goes, your best bet is to apply the cream liberally twice a day. At some points in my second trimester of both pregnancies, I was probably putting cream on about three times a day.
As I've already alluded to, stretch marks do not just happen on your stomach. Slather the cream on your hips, your breasts and your backside.
If you're going to put cream on after a shower, towel off really well first. Post shower skin is definitely absorbent, but you don't want excess moisture on your skin because it interferes with the way some creams work.
My list of favorites is pretty short. I'm sure there are other good ones out there that I don't know about, but I feel pretty safe recommending the ones below.
First up, my number one favorite is Basq Intensive Treatment Stretch Mark Butter. Here is a link to the full review I did about it.
I like several things about it.
A 5.5 ounce jar lasts a very long time. For me, two jars was enough to carry me all the way through to delivery. You can read the review that I did for yourself, but I gave it five stars and I am so grateful that I stumbled upon it.
TriLASTIN Maternity is specifically aimed at preventing stretch marks while you're pregnant. It's also perfectly fine to use if you're concerned about getting stretch marks from puberty/growth, weight gain or workouts.
Here's my review of the Maternity cream, which I think is a great value.
Using one of these two moisturizers alone is a definite possibility. I would certainly pick Shea butter over cocoa butter because it is absorbed into the layers of your skin much better.
The moisturizer will help your skin stretch further, but doesn't simultaneously stimulate your body to fill in the stretched areas with more collagen and elastin. Both of those are vital to avoid the type of internal skin tearing that leaves you with stretch marks.
My only caution is to tell you that a good stretch mark prevention cream will contain active ingredients that can help your skin repair itself as the pregnancy goes on. I think you'll notice a big difference.
Just getting past a pregnancy and noticing stretch marks on your breasts from where they grew a cup size or more? Or maybe you recently lost a good bit of weight and your boobs have quickly decreased in size? Either way, having breast stretch marks can be incredibly frustrating. Luckily it is possible to get rid of those hideous marks on your breasts in a relatively short amount of time.
Even though it's significantly tougher to get rid of stretch marks, it can still be done. If they're really extreme, your options might be limited to medical treatment.
A very popular, but costly, method of removing stretch marks from anywhere on the body (including the breasts) is through laser treatment sessions. This service is typically offered by dermatologists and medical spas and involves using a specialized laser to remove the layers of skin around the stretch marks.
This process quickly gets rid of the marks and grooves while simultaneously revealing a brand new, healthy layer of skin. This not only completely eradicates stretch marks but it can also help greatly improve your skin complexion overall.
While this treatment method is definitely effective, it is rather pricey. A single session can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 and up depending on where you have it done.
Health insurance almost never reimburses for stretch marks treatment because there's no "medical necessity" to get rid of them. It's basically cosmetic surgery.
There is also a high probability that you'll experience side effects. I haven't had it done but patients who've written about their process have reported burning, reddening and even some temporary blistering. These effects are usually temporary but can also be long-term issues.
If you're looking to remove stretch marks on your boobs this probably isn't a good idea considering how sensitive breast tissue and skin are.
Another downside with laser stretch mark treatments is that after the procedure is done you'll need a few days to recover. You'll want to plan some time off from work.
In most cases people heal quite nicely within 2-4 days after the treatment but some individuals may take 7-14 days depending on how severe the stretch marks were.
Some spas offer various treatments that may not exactly be specified as being designed to get rid of stretch marks, but they can still help. These treatments include things like blue light therapy, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Unfortunately, these methods aren't common practices for removing stretch marks on tender areas like breasts. They are probably better used on areas such as the legs, thighs, and stomach.
Specialized creams, gels, and various ointments should always be the first option you try. Why? Well because a) They generally work well for most people and b) They are by far the most cost-effective method of getting rid of stretch marks.
Said creams typically cost $40 to $65, are applied topically daily for a 4-8 weeks, and can take care of most newly created marks.
We recently revealed a list of the best stretch mark removal creams that we've reviewed ourselves. These products have been clinically proven to provide real, visible results in a timely manner, are affordable, and will work for most individuals.
To reiterate, the best topical treatments we've reviewed so far are TriLASTIN-SR, SkinCeption's Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy, Revitol Stretch Mark Cream, and Dermology Stretch Mark Removal Cream.
These products have consistently worked well, showing clear improvements in the skin and fading of marks in roughly 3-6 weeks of daily use.
Without a doubt the first thing you should try is a solid stretch mark removal cream. 80% of the time these topical treatments will fade marks on your breasts away within 4-6 weeks. And they are by far the most affordable option available.
It can be frustrating having to wait several weeks to really notice the effects but creams are still the best solution for stretch marks on boobs as of right now.
IF you find that a cream doesn't work for you or doesn't completely fade marks after 2 months of daily use then you should consult a dermatologist and try a laser treatment.