Puberty, pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, all result in rapid stretching of the skin. This leads to several unwanted lines called stretch marks on the skin. This article dwells on getting rid of stretch marks naturally…
Corollaries of rapid stretching of the skin; stretch marks are linear scars that affect the thin layer of skin. Connective tissues in the skin consist of a protein called collagen, which when overstretched gets damaged. This results in the onset of reddish purple lines which later on turn into whitish marks. These stretched areas of the skin are soft to touch and appear empty. Moreover, the skin texture of the stretched skin differs from the surrounding skin. Throughout the stretching and texture change of the skin, a person feels no pain.
Both men and women experience stretch marks, however, it’s more prominent in women, especially after major changes in their lives such as puberty, weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, etc. Moreover, weightlifters and body builders who oft undergo rapid weight loss, also experience these stretch marks. These unwanted lines are commonly found on the hips, thighs, buttocks, lower back, upper arms, belly or breasts. There are various ways to get rid of stretch marks. Various cosmetic and plastic surgeries are available to erase these ugly streaks. However, these techniques are pretty expensive and results are not guaranteed, which makes one wonder as to how to get rid of stretch marks naturally.
Home Remedies for Getting rid of Stretch Marks Naturally
The different ways to reduce stretch marks on the skin are as follows:
Exfoliation or removing dead skin cells on a regular basis helps reduce the stretch marks, and brings a refreshing glow to the skin. One can use a loofah to carry out exfoliation on a daily basis. Exfoliation creams are also available which can be used while taking a bath.
Hot Baths and Massages
Frequent hot baths and massaging the stretched area of the skin also helps reduce stretch marks naturally. This is because increased blood circulation causes faster healing of the skin, thereby resulting in the reduction of stretch marks. Olive oil or cod liver oil for massaging and moisturizing the skin also helps.
•Vitamin E Gel
The gel present within vitamin E capsules, when rubbed on the stretched skin daily reduces these streaks on the skin. This vitamin E gel should be applied for 2 weeks on a regular basis to obtain results. It will encourage the healing process of the damaged skin cells.
•Vitamin C and Glycolic Acid Mixture
Glycolic acid increases collagen production, thus when Vitamin C supplements (500 mg) are combined with glycolic acid doses thrice a day, stretch marks are considerably reduced.
Cocoa butter, the fat extracted from cocoa beans has several skin benefiting properties. It comprises powerful anti-oxidants that can repair the skin’s damaged elastin and collagen fibers. When applied on the skin, cocoa butter sinks into the deeper layers of the skin, and begins to repair damaged skin tissues. However, application of cocoa butter has to be done every alternate day, for effective results.
•Aloe Vera Gel
The Aloe plant is loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and a very special plant collagen, that is capable of penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin, nourishing it and repairing the damage. You can buy aloe vera gel from the drugstore or scoop it out from the real plant. Expectant mothers should apply aloe vera gel all throughout their pregnancy to avoid stretch mark formation.
There are scores of stretch removal lotions and creams present in the market today. You can opt for them or prepare a lotion for yourself using natural ingredients. To prepare the lotion all one has to do is take 3 cups of unrefined butter (cocoa, mango or aloe butter), and to it, add ½ cup of jojoba oil and stir well. Next add ½ cup of coconut oil and continue to stir well. This mixture is to be applied thrice a day on the affected area for substantial results. Another lotion you can prepare is with olive oil, aloe vera gel and vitamin supplements. In a blender, add ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of aloe vera gel, gel from 6 vitamin E capsules and gel from 6 vitamin A capsules. Blend the mixture and apply it thrice a day on all stretch marks, or stretch mark prone areas.
The therapeutic properties of honey is not something unknown. Honey is also beneficial in reducing stretch marks. Place a damp piece of cloth on the stretch marked area and pour a little honey evenly on to it. Once it starts drying, wash it off using a warm cloth. You can also prepare a honey-glycerin scrub by mixing together equal amounts of glycerin and honey, along with half the amount of salt. Apply the mixture on the stretch marks and wash after five minutes with tepid water. Carry out this natural stretch mark remedy twice a day.
Since rapid weight gain, weight loss and obesity can conduce to formation of unsightly stretch marks, exercising regularly and keeping oneself fit can help prevent the occasion for stretch mark occurrence. Exercising on a daily basis tones up the skin, making it more firm. Loosening and stretching of the skin causes stretch marks, thus toned skin is less prone to stretch marks.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Consuming a nutritious diet is essential for the development of collagen fibers in the skin. The diet should be rich in vitamins, proteins and zinc content. It is also essential to drink lots of water. Adequate water content in the body keeps the body hydrated, thereby maintaining skin elasticity. This will further reduce the risk of stretch mark formation.
The Bitter Truth
The truth, no matter how bitter it is, has to be revealed. The fact here is that it is impossible to remove stretch marks completely. One has to understand that stretch marks are scars etched onto the surface of the skin, which can only be reduced to some extent, but cannot be completely erased. The reason behind this can be better understood by understanding the anatomy of the skin. The skin is made up of 3 layers: epidermis (outer), dermis (middle) and subcutaneous stratum (inner). It is the middle layer, dermis that is responsible for keeping the skin in shape. The corollary of rapid stretching of this dermis over a period of time, results in loss of elasticity of the dermis. The dermis loses its support and leads to tearing of dermal and epidermal layers, resulting in stretch marks. This is why it’s best to prevent stretch marks from streaking the skin, rather than worry all the time about how to get rid of stretch marks naturally.
Hope this article was informative and helpful. The phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ is relevant to stretch marks as well. Thus, it’s best to avoid the onset of these marks, rather than struggle to get rid of it!