Stretch marks, otherwise known as striae are irregular streaks that appear on the skin when it gets stretched too quickly. They can be found on the arms, thighs, lower back, stomach, buttocks, hips, legs, breasts, etc. Anyone can develop stretch marks be it women or men but it is more common among women. Though they pose no danger to one’s health, they sure can cause a reduction in self-confidence and unnecessary anxiety for some people. If you are suffering from stretch marks and are tired of them, you should keep reading this article to know about the natural remedies to get rid of stretch marks.
The appearance of stretch marks on the skin can be very frustrating. If you are the type who loves to show off some skin, stretch marks can prevent you from doing this especially if it occurs on a part of your body you love to flaunt. Many people have tried different kinds of chemical products just to get rid of stretch marks. This may seem helpful but most of the time, these products come with their side effects. Your best bet is to opt for natural remedies to get rid of stretch marks knowing full well that there are no risks to be scared of.
Types of Stretch Marks
There are different types of stretch marks based on how long you’ve had them and their causes. They include:
Striae atrophica are very common stretch marks. When there is a breakdown of elastin or collagen components in the skin, this type of stretch marks appear.
Vergetures are long, patterned stretch marks that look like lashings from a whip.
This type of stretch marks often appear during puberty. The lines are linear and look like stripes.
This type of stretch marks occur during pregnancy.
Causes of Stretch Marks
When the dermal layer of your skin is stretched, stretch marks occur and the blood vessels under your skin show. Usually, the lines are of different colour and texture from your skin. They could be red, pink, purple or dark brown when they first appear, all depending on your complexion. Later they fade to a silvery or glossy appearance when the pale fat under the skin becomes visible instead of the blood vessels. Before proceeding to the natural remedies to get rid of stretch marks, it is important to know the causes and avoid the ones that can be avoided. Therefore, stretch marks are caused by a number of factors and they are:
Most women develop stretch marks on their stomach, thighs and breasts during pregnancy. This occurs as the skin becomes softer and stretches to accommodate the growth of the baby. Even after lactation, stretch marks still appear on the breasts.
2. Body building
Body building is one of the causes of stretch marks in men. When there is a rapid growth in muscle mass, stretch marks appear.
3. Rapid Weight Gain or Loss
Putting on much weight in a short period of time can cause stretch marks to appear on your body. Also, if you are dieting to lose weight, stretch marks may occur as a result of your fluctuating weight.
During puberty, many girls experience stretch marks in different parts of their bodies most especially the breasts, hips and thighs. This happens because they tend to rapidly gain or lose weight in their pubescent period and when the skin suddenly contracts or stretches, stretch marks appear.
5. Use of Corticosteroids
Bleaching creams, pills, lotions or soaps with corticosteroids cause stretch marks to appear on the skin. When used too often, they reduce the collagen levels in your skin and this affects the skin’s ability to stretch, making you more susceptible to stretch marks.
6. Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery can stretch the skin by adding implants or repositioning tissues. Getting a breast implant, for instance, will bring about stretch marks on your skin especially if the implants are more than one cup size larger than your normal breast size.
Although stretch marks aren’t hereditary, if your parents have them, then you are likely to have stretch marks too.
8. Medical Conditions
Medical conditions such as Marfan Syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome can cause stretch marks. Marfan syndrome reduces the skin’s elasticity and weakens the skin tissues. Cushing’s syndrome, on the other hand, causes the body to produce too much of the hormone Cortisol that makes the skin fragile and increases weight gain. When these conditions happen, stretch marks occur.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
1. Egg whites
Eggs are natural sources of protein. When egg white is applied on the skin, it helps tighten your skin while lightening the marks.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is a very good plant that enhances skincare and repairs skin tissues. To get rid of stretch marks, apply aloe vera gel on affected areas then wash off with lukewarm water after two or three hours.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil helps to smoothen out stretch marks when applied on the skin. Apply castor oil on the part of your skin with stretch marks and massage in a circular motion for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then cover the massaged area with a light-weight cotton cloth and apply some heat. Doing this repeatedly for a month will lead to desired result.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has both healing and beauty benefits. When applied on your stretch marks every day, they help in reducing the discoloured appearance.
Applying a sugar scrub on the part of your skin with stretch marks will exfoliate the area. Simply mix sugar with lemon juice and coconut oil to form a scrub. Scrub the mixture on affected area for about ten minutes. Repeat consistently several times a week for quicker results.
6. Cucumber and Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has bleaching properties that help in reducing the scars of stretch marks. On the other hand, cucumber makes your skin fresh by providing a soothing effect. To get rid of stretch marks, mix cucumber juice and lemon juice equally then apply the mixture on affected areas. Leave on the skin for ten minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains antioxidants that repair the skin. Applying olive oil on the part of your skin with stretch marks will help fade out the marks as time goes on.
How to Avoid Stretch Marks
There you go with some natural remedies to get rid of stretch marks. While working on your skin with these remedies, it is advisable to further prevent an outbreak of stretch marks. This you can do by regularly staying hydrated. Water helps in maintaining the skin’s elasticity, making it soft always. Therefore, you should drink eight to ten cups of water every day to prevent and reduce stretch marks.
Besides drinking water regularly, you should also exfoliate and moisturise your skin regularly too. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as sardines, shrimps, cod liver, beef, soya beans etc., and foods rich in Vitamin-C such as pineapple, cabbage, broccoli orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tomatoes, etc., to fight toxins and further avoid stretch marks.