Stretch marks are very unsightly and are usually seen on the abdomen, thighs, and upper arms. The causes include drastic and sudden weight loss or gain, a sudden change in the body size, hereditary factors, and stress, and when the skin stretches, the skin’s collagen becomes weak and causes the formation of fine lines under the topmost layer of the skin.
Initially, stretch marks are red or pink in color, but with time, a silver, thin line occurs on the surface of the skin, which gives birth to stretch marks.
Stretch marks are also called striae and aren’t a sign that anything’s wrong with your health. Both men and women can get stretch marks, but pregnancy and puberty are the two most common times stretch marks may appear.
Types Of Stretch Marks
Red stretch marks (Striae Rubra) are fresh and appear reddish or purplish at the initial stage. They are formed when the dermal layer of the skin is stretched, letting the blood vessels show, and you may experience a lot of itching around these stretch marks at this stage.
White stretch marks (striae alba) are the most stubborn and appear white or silverish in color. The tiny tears on the skin occur when the blood vessels reduce in size, making the fat under the skin visible.
Causes Of Stretch Marks
Most women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. This is as a result of the fibers in the skin becoming soft and stretches to make room for the developing baby. As the baby develops, stretch marks appear on the tummy, thighs, and breasts due to the continual tugging and stretching.
Teens experience a sudden growth spurt and might rapidly gain or lose weight. This sudden stretching and contracting of the skin may lead to stretch marks on hips, thighs, and breasts.
Weight gain and Obesity
Stretch marks may also occur due to weight gain in a short period of time as the skin stretches out of the blue.
Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills used to treat certain skin diseases can also cause stretch marks to appear. These products bring down the collagen levels in your skin, and decrease the skin’s ability to stretch, making you prone to developing stretch marks.
If your ancestors (parents) have had stretch marks, then you are likely to have them too.
Rare health conditions can cause stretch marks due to various reasons. Such conditions include Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos and other adrenal gland disorders. In Cushing’s syndrome, the body tends to overproduce the hormone cortisol, which causes these marks while; the Marfan syndrome is the result of a faulty gene that makes the body’s skin and connective tissues weak, with reduced elasticity.
Home Remedies To Treat Stretch Marks
Drink Plenty Of Water
This is the quickest and most efficient way to minimize the appearance of stretch marks, as properly hydrated skin is softer and suppler. Thus, your skin will appear more toned and eliminate some of the rutted qualities of stretch marks. Staying hydrated will also help prevent new stretch marks from forming. Consider drinking up to ten glasses of water daily to keep your skin hydrated and minimize the appearance of stretch marks.
Administer aloe vera
Aloe vera is an effective home health remedy for treating stretch marks. Aloe vera is known for its soothing and healing properties, and many people use it to treat sunburn.
To use, break off a leaf from an aloe vera plant and apply the broken surface directly to your skin; rinse with lukewarm water after a few minutes. Alternatively, you can use a preparation made using aloe vera gel.
Combine aloe vera gel with the oil from vitamin E and Vitamin A capsules. Apply this mixture once a day, rubbing it into your skin until absorbed.
Vitamin E enriched Argan oil increases the elasticity of skin and rubbing it on the stretch marks might help heal the broken tissues gradually, helping the marks fade.
Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties and helps reduce the visibility effectively. Use fresh lemon juice or simply rub a sliced lemon wedge on your marks daily to see results.
Employ egg whites
The amino acids and proteins in egg whites can be used to repair damaged skin. Gently whip two egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form, and then, use a makeup brush or sponge to apply a thick layer of whipped egg white to your stretch marks and let dry completely. Rinse with cold water, and watch this treatment produce fast results in just a couple of weeks
Apply a light cover of olive oil to hydrate your skin after rinsing off the egg whites.
Exfoliate with sugar
An exfoliant is a substance that rubs away dead cells to rejuvenate your skin, and Sugar is a natural skin exfoliant. It is also among the best home remedies for stretch marks.
Create a rub from granulated sugar, by combining one tablespoon of sugar with a few drops of almond oil and lemon juice. Stir well, and apply directly to your stretch marks, rubbing the mixture into your skin for eight to ten minutes.
Shower afterward, and follow this regimen each time you shower for up to one month.
Apply castor oil directly on the stretch marks and massage it in a circular motion for 20 minutes. Cover the area with thin cotton cloth afterward, and apply some heat using a heating pad. Do this as often as you can for best results
Shea Butter For Stretch Marks
Massage shea butter on the affected areas and leave it on, remembering to reapply a few times during the day. Apart from being highly moisturizing for the skin, shea butter possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and a regular application will keep your skin healthy and repair any damaged cells.
Vitamin C: vitamin C is antioxidant that helps our bodies to fight the toxins or free radicals, and with adequate Vitamin C intake, the skin scars heal faster. Foods like berries, raw cabbage, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, melons, peas, peppers, broccoli, pineapple, spinach, and tomatoes provide the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C
Vitamin E: this is also an antioxidant that fights free radicals while deeply nourishing the skin. Daily consumption of these foods like almonds, raw seeds like pumpkin and sesame, Swiss chards, hazelnuts, pine nuts, spinach, avocado, broccoli, parsley, papaya, and olives are rich sources of Vitamin E and will help to get rid of stretch marks.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids also help increase elasticity in the skin, and foods like flaxseed, chia seeds, salmon, sardines, cod liver, walnuts, soybean, beef, tofu, shrimps, and cauliflower can go a long way in controlling the stretch marks.
Laser therapy, needling, and microdermabrasion are three clinical treatments for stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion involves exfoliating the skin, and clinical studies have shown that microdermabrasion improved the appearance of stretch marks.
Needling is a relatively new treatment in which collagen is injected underneath the top layer of your skin to aid elasticity. It is also effective.
Apply tretinoin cream, which is often called retinoid creams. Although products containing tretinoin may not completely eliminate stretch marks, they work by helping your body rebuild the collagen in your skin, and scientific evidence does indicate they improve the appearance of stretch marks. These products can sometimes irritate sensitive skin.
Always consult your doctor before using creams containing this substance if you are pregnant or nursing.