Stretch marks are scars-looking lines on the skin. They occur as a result of sudden weight changes and physically swift stretching of the skin. They are dermal scars, characterized by degeneration of the outermost layer of the skin called epidermis. Stretch marks are also called striae. Depending on skin color, striae lines can be pink, red or purple colored, and fade over time to leave pale marks. Connective tissue is stretched due to the expansion of the skin, stretch marks begin to develop in the middle layer of skin (dermis). Collagen is weaker, and the elastin fibers are tearing apart. This results in the formatting of thin scars under the top layer of skin (epidermis).
A large percentage of women are affected by the appearance of striae, from 40% to 90%, depending on race, color and age. Men are also susceptible to stretch marks.
Areas that are commonly affected by stretch marks are stomach, chest and thighs, but they can appear on arms too, following excessive muscle build up, or any area where skin can be stretched for some reason.
Causes of stretch marks appearance
The physical stretching of the skin
Stretch marks can appear during:
- After a sudden weight gain
- Sudden weight loss
- Medical conditions
They can occur during various medical conditions like:
- Adrenal gland diseases
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Use of drugs like Corticosteroid creams, and steroids can cause appearance of striae
- Genetic disorders and heredity
Remove stretch marks with home remedies
The best way to quickly remove the stretch marks is to provide a lot of moisture, anti-oxidants and vitamins, so that cracks in the skin can heal. Olive oil, Aloe Vera gel, honey, lemons, potatoes, coconut oil, cucumbers and eggs are some of the natural medicines with good experiences in the rapid removal of stretch marks. Choose one of the home remedies or combine them, they will naturally improve quality of your skin and can help quickly heal stretch marks.
Use water to remove stretch marks
Skin is made up of cells, just like any other part of the body. And skin cells, like any other cell in any other organ, are made up of water. When you drink water, it will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is well known carrier for oxygen and nutrients to all cells of the body. Well-hydrated skin will allow regular detoxification of skin pores and help stretch marks heal naturally and fast. Dermatologists suggest drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep skin well hydrated.
Sugar, almond oil and lemon juice mixture for stretch marks
Sugar can be used as a home remedy to naturally exfoliate the skin. Mixture of sugar, almond oil and lemon juice is one of the proven ways to get rid of the stretch marks.
Tablespoon of sugar will be enough for one treatment. Add few drops of almond oil and lemon juice. Stir it well and apply, with your fingers, directly on the stretch marks.
Rub the area for 8-10 minutes and then wash it off. As the stretch marks are placed commonly on body places that are not easy to rinse, the best way is to apply treatment before taking a shower. Taken daily, sugar paste can help remove stretch marks in one month, approximately.
Potato juice treatment for stretch marks
Potato juice is one of the home remedies that can help in removing stretch marks rapidly. It promotes renewal and growth of skin cells because of the richness in minerals and vitamins including Vitamin-C, B-complex, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. Potato can help to stimulate synthesis of collagen and elastin which leads to effective healing of stretch marks. One medium sized potato cut in thick slices. Rub potato slice gently on the stretch marks for a few minutes. Let it dry on the skin for 10 minutes. When the juice gets dried, wash the area with lukewarm water. Wash off with lukewarm water. It could be messy so the best way for treatment is to be applied before taking a shower.
Use olive oil to remove stretch marks
Olive oil to remove stretch marks is best to be slightly warmed. Rub it gently on the stretch marks to improve circulation and feed the skin. Doesn’t really need to be washed off, leave it on skin as much as you can and let the skin absorb oil. Appling olive oil on daily basis can help remove stretch marks and restore and rejuvenate skin.
Lemon Juice treatment for stretch marks
Lemon juice is natural bleaching acid. The alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and vitamin C in lemon juice can efficiently and fast remove stretch marks. Juice from one lemon, gently rub into stretch marks for about 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. Lemon juice can be mixed with other natural remedies for stretch marks removal. Mix equal amount of lemon juice and cucumber juice, or equal amounts of lemon juice and tomato juice, or equal amounts of lemon juice and potato juice. Mixture use just like lemon juice, gently rub for 10 minutes.
Alternatively, use lemon sliced in half. Put 2-3 drops of glycerin on lemon and rub into stretch marks twice a day, before shower.
Aloe Vera home remedy for stretch marks
Aloe vera gel is rich in anti-oxidants , and is considered as the most effective home remedy for stretch marks. It is well known for its healing properties. For its nutritional skin benefits and antiseptic properties, aloe vera gel is widely used in skin care products to treat and also medical products to heal burns, cuts and rush. Apply aloe era gel to stretch marks, let it dry for as long as you can and then clean it with lukewarm water.
Use cocoa butter to remove stretch marks
Cocoa butter is famous in skin care world for its anti-wrinkling and anti-aging properties. It helps in enhancing the blood circulation, has excellent moisturizing ability which penetrates deep and fast into the skin and help to reduce stretch marks. Massage cocoa butter to area affected with the stretch marks at least two times a day.
Cocoa butter mixtures to remove stretch marks
Half cup of cocoa butter, one tablespoon of wheat germ oil, one teaspoon of tea kernel oil, two teaspoons of grated beeswax, and vitamin E oil. Warm the mixture until the beeswax melts. Use it on stretch marks affected at least twice a day. The mixture can be in the refrigerator, in sealed box. Melt Shea butter and cocoa butter in equal amounts and mix together. Add vitamin E oil to the melted butters. Once cooled down mixture will become solid. Keep it in container in refrigerator and use to massage stretch marks at least twice a day after having a bath.
Egg whites home treatment for remove stretch marks
Egg whites are rich in proteins and amino acid, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. It has high content of retinol which maintains elasticity of the skin and keeps it firm. Whip 1 or 2 egg whites. Apply a thick layer off whipped egg whites with the help of a brush with fingers. Let it dry completely before washing it off, or taking a shower. After this treatment, skin will need moisturizer. Apply any of the oils mentioned in this article, or just use your regular moisturizer.
Use apricots to remove stretch marks
Apricot can be used as a home remedy to remove stretch marks naturally and rapidly. Make mash from apricots, rub it into stretch marks and leave it 20 minutes for optimal results. Wash it off while you taking your daily shower.
Oils as a home remedies to remove stretch marks
Listed below are oils that we often have in our homes. Each of them has natural properties to stimulate skin healing process.
- Castor Oil
- Almond oil
- Lavender Oil
- Chamomile Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
Oils that can also help to remove stretch marks but not that often present in household listed below. They still deserve to be in the list as they all has natural skin healing properties.
- Rose oil
- Frankincense oil
- Myrrh oil
- Geranium oil
- Helichrysum oil
- Calendula oil
Make your own mixture of this oils, few are suggested below.
- 2 tablespoons of almond oil with 1 tablespoon of castor oil
- 2 teaspoons of almond oil, 1/2 teaspoon of lavender oil and 1/2 teaspoon of chamomile oil
- equal amounts of tea tree oil and castor oil
- 1 tablespoon of almond oil and 2 tablespoons of calendula oil
Whichever mixture or oil you decide to use, stir it to get consistent solution. Warm it to a body temperature and gently massage into stretch marks on daily basis. It is best to apply after taking a bath or shower and let it soak into skin.
Herbal Solution for stretch marks
Herbal solution is a mixture of one tablespoon of wheat germ oil and one tablespoon of calendula oil. Rub it into stretch marks daily for best results.
Alfalfa leaves for stretch marks
Alfalfa leaves is rich in amino acids, vitamin E, K, and proteins. It has anti-fungal properties for detoxification of the skin. It will improve skin texture and increase elasticity.
Mix 1 teaspoon of alfalfa powder with a 3-4 drops of chamomile oil to form a paste. Gently rub the paste on the affected area thrice a day for the results visible within a week.
Food that helps to heal and remove stretch marks
Vitamin K is helpful in preventing stretch marks. Eat green vegetables, like spring onions, pickled cucumber, cabbage, broccoli etc. Vitamin A increases collagen production. There for is very helpful in any treatment for removing stretch marks. Eat carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, and bell peppers. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Foods with high contents of vitamin C are bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwis, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas. Mineral Zinc has a vital role in protein synthesis and helps regulate the cell production in the immune system. It is important for the healing stretch marks. Foods rich in mineral zinc are Seafood, beef, lamb, spinach, pumpkin.
Other useful guidelines to prevent stretch marks and help successfully remove them
- Regular light physical exercise, to maintain elasticity of the skin.
- Keep area affected by stretch marks, moisturized.
- Don’t scratch itchy stretch marks. Take a warm shower and oil massage of itchy area.
- Slow and gradual gain or lose weight. Avoid yo-yo kind of diets.
- Don’t forget to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.