Stretch marks: causes and home remedies
Stretch marks are long, narrow strips, streaks or lines, which develop on the thighs, stomach, breasts, butt and hips. They are not harmful to the health, but they do not appear good.
However, they will never really go away, but they may fade with time or with the assistance of some procedures and products such as serums. Otherwise you can use some home remedies for stretch marks such as massaging coconut oil, consuming vitamin A, using sugar scrub and administering hyaluronic acid to fade these marks.
In this article we will discuss:
Causes and risk factors of stretch marks
Stretch marks occur when the body grows rapidly and skin stretches due to any reason in both men and women. Collagen is a protein, which is responsible for making the skin more elastic. If the skin doesn’t have sufficient collagen then these marks may appear. Read about collagen rich food to avoid its deficiency.
Common causes of stretch marks include:
- Pregnancy: Most of the women experience stretch marks during their pregnancy or after delivery.
- Puberty: Rapid growth during puberty can lead to stretch marks.
- Rapid weight gain: Putting on a lot of body weight in a short period of time can cause the stretch marks.
- Medical conditions: Some of the medical conditions can cause stretch marks, like Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome can cause reduced elasticity in the skin tissue, and Cushing’s syndrome can cause excess production of hormones which leads to rapid weight gain.
- Corticosteroid use: Prolonged use of corticosteroid lotions and creams can reduce the collagen levels in the skin. Collagen is required to strengthen and support the skin, and its decreased amount can elevate the risk of stretch marks.
How to remove the stretch marks:
They will never really go away, but they may fade with time or with the assistance of some procedures and products such as serums. Otherwise you can use some home remedies for stretch marks such as:
- Vitamin A: It is referred to as a retinoid, which makes the skin look smooth and young. That’s why they are used in various over-the-counter topical creams.
You can take vitamin A in your diet through foods, such as sweet potatoes and carrots to enhance the vitamin A levels in your body.
- Sugar: Sugar scrub can be rubbed on the skin to exfoliate the affected area. You can use sugar scrub at your home to fade marks.
To use sugar scrub, follow the following steps:
1. Mix one cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of coconut or almond oil.
2. Add a little amount of lemon juice.
3. Scrub the mixture on the affected body part.
4. Use this scrub regularly.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera has healing agents and skin softening properties. Therefore, it is good to use it as a home remedy for stretch marks. Applying pure aloe vera to the marks in routine can be helpful.
- Hyaluronic acid: Collagen, the protein in skin that keeps it elastic decreases as we age. The production of collagen can be promoted with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can be consumed through its capsule. Read more about Hyaluronic acid.
- Coconut oil: Stretch marks are the scars that take place due to skin damage. Coconut oil has healing properties. Application of virgin coconut oil to the marks every day may help in stretch marks removal.
- Almond oil: Almond oil is an excellent ingredient for skincare. It can help to fight many skin conditions such as stretch marks, dry skin and dark circles. Almond oil is rich in vitamin E and many other essential nutrients that moisturizes the affected areas deeply, supports cell health, decreases the redness of the marks and fades the marks over time.
To use almond oil for fading these marks follow following steps:
1. Heat a little amount of almond oil.
2. Massage it on your skin in a circular motion
3. Let it get absorbed to the skin.
4. Use this oil for massage two times every day.
- Baking soda and lemon juice: Baking soda is a natural exfoliant and the lemon has bleaching properties that lighten the skin. Baking soda assists in the elimination of the dead skin cells.
Therefore, it fades the pregnancy stretch marks or stretch marks on hips, stomach & more. Lemon juice decreases the redness and makes the marks less visible. They both when combined are efficient to remove the marks.
To use baking soda and lemon juice to fade stretch marks follow following steps:
1. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and fresh juice of half a lemon.
2. Apply the mixture on stretch marks. If you have sensitive skin, first test it on your arm and leave for 10 minutes. If you do not feel itching, then apply it to all the affected areas.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a known remedy to remove acne scars and it can remove other skin scars including stretch marks with the help of its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
The regular application of tea tree oil prevents the marks. To get rid of stretch marks, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a half teaspoon of olive oil. Massage the oil on the marks.
You may also add little amounts of vitamin E oil or coconut oil in it. Leave it overnight and wash off the next day.
- Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid use is not a very popular but a successful method to reduce stretch marks. It is a natural fruit acid that moisturizes the skin and enhances collagen. Therefore it helps to treat these marks and make them less visible.
How to reduce stretch marks using Glycolic Acid?
Massage a small amount of glycolic acid on stretch marks before going to bed and wash it the next morning. Avoid sun exposure with this acid on skin, as it can cause sunburn on sun exposure. Therefore, it should be applied in the night.
- Potato juice: It is a helpful remedy for the treatment of dark circles and it can help you get rid of stretch marks too. Potatoes are rich in starch and other skin lightening enzymes, which help to lighten the scars and blemishes.
To use potato juice to fade the stretch marks follow the following steps:
1. Grate one potato and extract the juice by squeezing.
2. Mix the juice with the grated pulp.
3. Apply the pack on the marks.
4. Keep it for 30 minutes
5. Wash it off with cold water.
The regular use of potato juice decreases the visibility of marks and provides you flawless, healthy-looking skin.
The best treatment for stretch marks is their prevention. You can prevent the stretch marks in number of ways
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins. Consuming sufficient vitamins A and C helps to support the skin.
- Keep your body hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. It will help to keep the elastic.
- Keep your skin moisturized. This will help to prevent the stretch marks.
The above mentioned prevention tips will help you to reduce the risk of getting stretch marks. Otherwise if you get stretch marks due to any cause, take the help of above mentioned home remedies to fade them.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How to get rid of stretch marks?
It is impossible to get rid of 100 percent stretch marks. But you can use some products and home remedies to decrease their appearance, by rebuilding the collagen in your skin.
Why do I have stretch marks?
A stretch mark is a type of scar, which develops when the skin shrinks or stretches quickly. The sudden change causes the elastin and collagen to rupture.
What happens to stretch marks when you lose weight?
It usually develops when you lose or gain weight rapidly. The marks develop when collagen and elastin are damaged. Losing weight lowers the chances of developing stretch marks.