Being pregnant, breaking the news to your partner, having a baby – most of us vividly and fondly remember these things. And definitely stretch marks are not one of those!
Stretch marks are visible lines on the skin surface, with an off-color hue. Stretch marks are mainly found in the abdominal wall, but can also occur over the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breasts. Sometimes stretch marks can cover large areas of the body. While pregnancy is the main cause behind stretch marks, other reasons can be sudden gain or loss in weight, rapid growth, heredity factors, stress and changes in physical conditions.
The skin consists of three main layers: Epidermis (the outer layer of skin), Dermis (the middle layer of skin) and Subcutaneous or Hypodermic (the deepest layer of the skin). Stretch marks form in the dermis or middle layer of the skin when the connective tissue under the skin is “stretched out” beyond the power of its flexibility due to rapid expansion or contraction of the skin. As the skin is stretched out, the collagen becomes weakened and its normal production cycle is interrupted and damaged. This ultimately results in the development of fine scars under the top layer of the skin. Initially the marks look pink or red but with time a thin silvery line appears on the skin surface and a stretch mark is born. Stretch marks appear on the skin surface when someone grows quickly, or puts on weight quickly.
Stretch marks can make you feel self conscious and uncomfortable about your appearance. There are several natural ways to overcome this.
Preventing Stretch Marks
There are a number of helpful tips to prevent stretch marks and to reduce the appearance of stretch marks on your skin.
- Eat a healthy food that will help to maintain healthy weight and prevents the stretch marks.
- Gaining weight slowly will also reduce your risk of getting stretch marks.
- Eat Vitamin C and E, Zinc and silica containing foods to keep your skin healthy.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin well hydrated and glowing.
- Moisturize your skin with natural oil or cream to prevent stretch marks.
- Coconut oil massage on stretch mark areas reduces the marks.
Top 10 Ways to Erase Stretch Marks Fast
1) Potato Juice
The best and the easiest way to get rid of ugly stretch marks is to use potato juice which contains vitamins and minerals which help a lot in the growth and restoration of the skin cells. Take a medium sized potato and cut it into thick slices. Take one of the potato pieces and rub it gently on the skin with stretch marks for a few minutes. Make sure the liquid from the potato pieces get in touch with the skin. Allow the potato juice to dry for some time and later on clean the skin with lukewarm water.
It is very essential to keep the body well hydrated in order it safe from any kind of skin problem. Well hydrated skin results in regular detoxification of skin pores and restores elasticity, which will help a lot in getting rid of stretch marks. Try to drink one to two glasses of water several times during a day. Experts say a minimum of ten glasses of water a day is the best way to keep the skin tissues hydrated.
3) Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is naturally acidic which helps a lot to deal with stretch marks, skin injuries, acne, and other scars. Take fresh lemon juice and rub it gently onto the stretch marks using circular motions. Allow the lemon juice to soak into your skin for at least ten minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Another option is to mix equal quantities of cucumber juice and lemon juice and then apply it on the stretch marks.
4) Olive Oil
Olive oil contains a lot of nutrients and antioxidants that can help a lot in dealing with various skin problems including stretch marks. Take slightly warm pure olive oil and use it to massage the affected skin area. This will improve the blood circulation and reduce the stretch marks to a great extent. Leave it for half an hour so that the vitamin A, vitamin D and also vitamin E present in the oil get dissolved inside the skin properly. Else mix olive oil with vinegar and water and use it as a night cream. This will keep your skin well moisturized and will also exfoliate the skin.
5) Cocoa Butter
You must apply cocoa butter over the affected area at least two times a day. After one to two months, the ugly marks will be less visible. Another option is to make a mixture using half cup of cocoa butter, one tablespoon of wheat germ oil, two teaspoon of grated beeswax and one teaspoon each of apricot kernel oil and vitamin E oil. Heat this mixture for sometime so that the beeswax melts down. You can store this mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator and apply to your stretch marks daily two to three times a day. This mixture will make your skin more hydrated and smooth.
6) Castor Oil
Castor oil which is used in the treatment of a number of skin problems such as wrinkles, age spots, moles, dark spots, fine lines and pimples can also be used to quickly get rid of stretch marks. You can simply apply some castor oil to the stretch marks and gently massage the area in circular motions with the help of your finger tips. Massage for at least fifteen minutes and then wrap the area with a thin cotton cloth. Now with the help of a hot water bottle or a heating pad apply some heat to the affected area for at least half an hour. Repeat this process daily for a minimum of one month to notice positive results.
7) Egg White
Eggs are a rich source of protein and it can be used to get rid of stretch marks. Take the egg whites of two eggs, whip it gently with the help of a fork. Now first clean the affected skin area with water and then apply a thick layer of egg whites with a makeup brush. Allow the egg whites to dry completely and then only rinse the area with cold water. Finally apply some olive oil on the skin to keep it well moisturized. Repeat the process daily for at least two weeks in order to get positive results.
8) Aloe Vera
Aloe vera leaf has got various essential nutrients and active compounds that can be used in the treatment of minor burns, while its healing and soothing properties can be used to get rid of stretch marks. You can directly rub aloe vera gel on the affected skin area and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing the skin with lukewarm water.
Alfalfa leaves contain eight essential amino acids which are good for overall health of the skin. At the same time, alfalfa leaves are also rich in protein, vitamins E and K which can help in restoring and increasing body tone. The anti fungus agent present in alfalfa leaves alkalizes and detoxifies the skin which helps a lot to deal with top scars on the skin including stretch marks. Take some alfalfa power and add a few drops of chamomile oil to form a smooth paste. Now use this paste to massage the affected area two to three times a day. Within one week, you can notice positive difference.
- Regular moisturizing of areas prone to the development of stretch marks will be a good option to keep stretch marks at bay.
- Keeping your system well hydrated with plenty of water also aids in battling stretch marks. Minimum eight to ten glasses of water will keep your skin naturally moisturized.
- Gentle scrubbing of the parts affected with apricot scrub also helps in healing stretch marks.
- Application of anti-stretch masks produced from naturally available herbal extracts also serve to reduce stretch marks.
- Herbal concoction produced by blending aloe and jojoba can also be applied on areas wrought by stretch marks to achieve the desired results.
- Physical exercises focusing on crunches of abdomen also serve to tone muscle thereby contributing indirectly to reducing stretch marks because excess gain or loss of weight contributes to the formation of stretch marks.
- Even yoga with its focus on exercise and relaxation helps to ease stretch marks.
- It is advisable that women in their pregnancy do not opt for chemically prepared solutions and creams so as to remove the ugly formation of stretch marks. Even for others the chemical contents of the marketed formula may react with skin to produce damaging rashes.
- Stretch marks can appear to be itchy at times, but enough care should be taken not to scratch the parts affected.
- In order to get over itchiness, you can go for a warm shower followed by gentle oil massage.
- Plastic surgery may be an option. But considering the expense and certain risks involved in the procedure, it is always better to fall back upon natural home remedies because they are relatively cost effective and free from side effects.