Stretch marks are a skin condition that many people suffer from at some point in their life. These lines, can happen for many reasons like weight gain or pregnancy. Stretch marks are mostly found on the abdomen and thighs because these areas have the most elasticity to stretch. They’re also more common in women than men because of hormonal changes during pregnancy and puberty.
Stretch marks can be embarrassing when you wear tight clothes but they’re not something you should feel self-conscious about because so many people have them! You may have heard horror stories about treatments being painful or expensive but it doesn’t have to be this way! There are plenty of remedies available without having to pay a lot of money for them!
What are stretch marks and what causes them?
Stretch marks are thin, parallel lines that develop on the skin. They’re a result of the skin being overstretched and damaged. The shearing force causes not only the uppermost surface to tear but also a proportion of underlying tissue as well. This increases the chance of stretch marks appearing because there is less healthy tissue under your skin. The lighter or thinner you are, the more likely stretch marks will show up because there is less fat under the skin to cushion it.
Stretch marks usually develop on areas of your body that are rich in subcutaneous fat like chest, breasts, upper arms, thighs and buttocks. But they can also occur on your back if you’ve gained a lot of weight. Or if you’ve had large amounts of abdominal scar tissue removed, stretch marks might appear on your abdomen.
Stretch marks are also common in people who have lost or put on weight quickly or during puberty (when hormone levels alter dramatically). They can be hereditary and often cover the entire area that was overstretched. If you have stretch marks on your thighs or abdomen that are red in color, it’s likely that they’re scar tissue.
How to prevent stretch marks
Protecting yourself from getting stretchmarks is not about avoiding gaining weight, but rather about losing weight at a slower pace. If you gain weight quickly with no change to your diet or exercise, it’s likely you’ll have stretch marks.
It’s also wise to wear sunscreen if you are exposed to excessive sunlight. Some people claim that tanning can help remove stretchmarks but this isn’t true at all! If anything, the sun damages your skin even more and any stretchmarks you already have are more likely to get darker.
Wearing sunscreen on your stretchmarks is also a good idea because they’re more sensitive to sunlight and can easily burn. Make sure you wear one with at least an SPF 30 (higher numbers offer better protection) both day and night. Also, try not to tan because it could make things worse.
What is the best way to get rid of stretch marks?
There are a few different treatments you can do for stretch marks. The first one is called microdermabrasion and it’s a procedure that uses fine crystals to gently sand the outer layers of skin. This process stimulates collagen production and new cell growth, which reduces the appearance of stretch marks on the surface.
Another option is laser treatment . There are two types: fractional light pulse lasers and non-ablative lasers. Fractional light pulse lasers pass deep through the skin to enable reshaping of collagen fibers and improve elasticity by restoring your skin’s natural elasticity. Non-ablative lasers only affect the uppermost tissue layer but can help reduce discoloration or dark pigmentation that stretch marks sometimes cause.
Light chemical peels can also help with scars and stretch marks. Chemical peels usually do not rid you of the problem entirely, but they can make it less noticeable so you can feel better about your skin when you go out in public.
What ingredients should I look for in a stretch mark cream?
One of the most important answers to this question is whether or not the product contains retinol. Retinol is an antioxidant that stimulates cell turnover to help increase collagen production and reduce discolouration like stretch marks can bring about.
It’s also wise to look for vitamin E, cocoa butter, shea butter, green tea extract, beeswax and glycerin. Vitamin E is one of the best moisturizers and it helps to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks by stimulating collagen production. Cocoa seed butter, shea butter and beeswax also help with healing skin because they contain antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
Home remedies for stretch marks
If you’re not keen on shelling out for expensive treatments, use this list of home remedies instead! There are several natural ways to get rid of stretchmarks using ingredients you can find in your kitchen so give them a try before visiting the salon.
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years as a moisturizer and skin treatment. Not only does it work as a great moisturizer because it’s rich in lauric acid and capric acid that stimulate collagen production, but it also offers plenty of antioxidants and vitamins that can protect your skin from free radicals. This makes it an effective remedy for stretchmarks because it contains powerful antioxidants that can help fade any marks you already have.
2. Olive oil
Olive oil is rich in vitamin E which stimulates collagen production and helps your skin naturally regenerate itself. The antioxidants in the olive oil work to get rid of any free radicals that could damage your skin while simultaneously moisturizing and nourishing your skin.
3. Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants that can help brighten up any marks you already have while nourishing the surrounding skin cells to promote natural renewal of healthy tissue. It also has a pleasant scent which makes it a good choice if your stretchmarks are on your chest or breasts.
4. Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E is great for treating stretch marks because it’s full of antioxidants that help to fade them over time by preventing free radical damage which can cause discoloration in the skin. If you don’t want to buy pure vitamin E, look for creams with added Vitamin E or other antioxidants like green tea.
5. Shea butter
Shea butter contains several vitamins and fatty acids that nourish your skin while softening stretch marks to make them less noticeable. It’s also very moisturizing which can help even out the texture of your skin once the scars have gone away.
6. Cocoa powder + rosewater or glycerin
This is a homemade stretchmark cream that is very easy to make. Just mix cocoa powder with rosewater (or glycerin if you don’t have rose water) until you get a paste then apply it onto your skin twice per day. The cocoa will nourish your skin while the rosewater hydrates and softens the skin.
7. Egg whites
Egg whites tighten and firm your skin as well as strengthening it against stretchmarks so they’re less noticeable. They also contain an enzyme called Lysozyme which can help fade away marks by speeding up cell renewal in that area of the body. If you want to give this remedy a try, separate the egg whites from the yolk then whip them up to make a meringue. Once you have your egg white meringue ready, apply it to your stretchmarks using circular motions for about 5 minutes. Rinse off with cold water and repeat twice per day for best results.
8. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is excellent for hydrating your skin and rejuvenating it. It’s also very soothing which can help reduce the itching or irritation that you might feel when using some of the other remedies on this list. If you want to give this a try, just cut open an aloe vera plant leaf then apply the clear gel onto your stretchmarks for about 10 minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this once per day or a few times a week depending on how much time you have.
9. Sugar scrub
Sugar is great for exfoliating dead skin cells which can help rejuvenate healthy skin cells to make your stretchmarks less noticeable. Mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of oil (olive or coconut), and a few drops of rosemary essential oil to make this scrub then massage it on your stretch marks in circular motions for about 5 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and repeat 2 times per week for best results.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
Prevention is much better than cure when it comes to treating stretch marks so do your best to keep your skin healthy and strong by following a good skincare regime.
- Wash with Dove soap for dry skin
- Moisturize with cocoa butter lotion or Shea Butter Lotion
- Drink water daily
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise each day
- Use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays
How to get rid of the redness associated with stretching skin
As mentioned earlier, stretch marks are scars that occur on your skin when it is stretched too far due to rapid weight gain (or loss) over a short period of time. When the skin moves beyond its normal limits, it gets damaged and tears. The damage can show up as scarring in the form of strech marks which tend to be a different color from your regular skin tone.
That’s why stretch marks often look reddish or purplish at first then gradually fade to either a silvery white or brown color depending on the original skin tone. When you gain weight rapidly, there isn’t enough time for the skin to adjust so it breaks down and causes scarring in the form of stretch marks.
What this means is that it’s possible to reduce the appearance of stretchmarks by making your skin less prone to tearing and damage. One way to do that is by improving blood circulation in your body which carries fresh nutrients and oxygen that help rejuvenate your skin cells faster. This can improve elasticity, giving you stronger skin that is less prone to damage.
Other ways to improve elasticity include drinking lots of water (at least 8 glasses per day) and giving up smoking which is proven to cause wrinkles and premature aging . It also helps prevent excessive wrinkling in the stomach area during pregnancy which makes it more likely for stretch marks to show up due to weaker skin.
Getting rid of stretch marks is easier said than done but the best way to improve your chances of success is to use a combination of remedies that can work together for faster results. Just remember to be patient and consistent with whatever remedy you choose.
Tips for after you’ve gotten rid of your stretchmarks
When your stretchmarks are gone, that’s when the real challenge begins because it’s much harder to ensure that they never come back after you’ve gotten rid of them.
That said, there are some things you can do to keep your skin strong and healthy and reduce the recurrence of stretchmarks including:
1. Keep your skin hydrated
When you have more stretchmarks on the surface of your skin, it’s easier for them to show up so keeping your skin moisturized can help prevent further damage. Using a good moisturizer on your stomach area every day will also keep future stretch marks from showing up so try some cocoa butter lotion or Shea butter lotion if you want to keep your skin healthy and stretchmark-free.
2. Eat nutrient-rich foods to improve blood circulation
Eating more fruits, vegetables, milk products and lean meats will give you the right balance of nutrients that your body needs for better cell growth which helps rejuvenate your skin cells faster.
3. Reduce stress levels to reduce wrinkles and premature aging
When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones that eventually cause wrinkles, age spots and other signs of premature aging. When you take steps to reduce stress levels through exercise or meditation, it helps your skin regenerate faster which keeps it looking young for longer.
4. Protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays to prevent premature aging and wrinkles
Exposure to sunlight can cause your skin to wrinkle faster due to the ultra violet rays that penetrate deep into your pores causing damage over time. To prevent this from happening, wear sunblock or use a clothing covering when you’re going to be outdoors for longer periods of time. With these simple tips and remedies, you should be able to get rid of stretch marks and keep them from coming back.
As you can see from the article above, there are many ways to get rid of stretch marks and keep them from coming back. While there is no magic bullet for this condition, improving blood circulation and strengthening your skin against damage will eventually make your stretch marks fade away. The sooner you start working on it, the faster you’ll notice results but if you really want to get rid of stretch marks, that takes time and patience.
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