Stretch marks are the off-coloured stripes or streaks formed on the skin as a result of swift stretching of skin or weight changes. They mainly appear on abdomen due to pregnancy or obesity. In dermatology, they are termed as striae.
They are formed due to hormonal changes related to pregnancy, puberty, hormone replacement therapy, etc. Stretch marks can be commonly seen on waist, thighs, lower backs, hips, breasts, arms, and buttocks.
There are some things you can do to get rid of stretch marks, as well as reducing the appearance of both new and old ones.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are not a disease, which infects the human body, but are the scars formed due to contraction and expansion of skin. They are basically caused by stretching of the skin. Their appearance depends on the type of skin. These ugly stretch marks are caused due to:
- Adrenal gland diseases, Cushing’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Use of certain medications, including lotions, pills, Corticosteroid creams, and steroids
- Extraordinary weight gain, specially on arms, thighs, etc.
- The physical stretching of the skin at the end of pregnancy.
- Genetic disorders
- Hormonal changes during puberty
- Muscle building
Home Remedies for Stretch Marks
There are several effective home remedies to get rid of stretch marks.
1. Egg Whites
Egg white contains 40 different proteins. You can understand why it is so beneficial for skin health. Egg whites are also rich in collagen and vitamin A and thus can treat scars or burns too effectively. So go ahead with this remedy and apply egg white on your stretch marks.
- Whip the whites of 2 eggs gently with a fork. 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 rinse the area with cold water.
- Finally apply some olive oil on the skin to keep it moisturized.
- Repeat the process daily for at least two weeks and watch for positive results.
Sugar is used as a natural exfoliant for skin. It is one of the best home remedies to get rid of stretch marks.
- Take a tablespoon of sugar. Add some drops of almond oil and lemon juice in it.
- Stir it well and apply directly on the stretch marks.
- Rub it for 8-10 minutes and then, take a shower.
- Continue to use it for one month or so, until the stretch marks gets fade out.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is effective in the treatment of many skin problems. Its healing and soothing properties can be used to get rid of stretch marks. There are a couple of ways to apply it.
- You can directly rub aloe vera gel on the affected skin area, leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse the skin with lukewarm water.
- Alternatively, take a 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel. Extract oil from 5 vitamin A capsules and 10 vitamin E capsules. Mix both the oils with aloe vera. Rub this mixture carefully on the affected area until it gets fully absorbed. For better results, apply this mix daily.
4. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is also very beneficial in removing stretch marks. Being an excellent natural moisturizer, it helps nourish your skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- You must apply cocoa butter over the affected area at least twice a day for a few months.
- Another option is to make a mixture using half a cup of cocoa butter, one tablespoon of wheat germ oil, 2 teaspoons of grated beeswax and one teaspoon each of apricot kernel oil and vitamin E oil. Heat this mixture until the beeswax melts. You can store the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator and apply it to your stretch marks 2-3 times a day. This mixture will make your skin more hydrated and smooth.
5. Potato Juice
This is the least expensive and one of the effective home remedies for stretch marks removal. Potato is a super food because of its numerous segments like crucial fatty acids and a mixed bag of phytochemicals, in the same way as carotenoids and polyphenols. It likewise has loads of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Also, it includes calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus. Since a potato is equipped for empowering collagen and elastin union, it can effectively restore skin cells blurring away your stretch marks.
- Cut a medium-sized potato into thick slices.
- Take one of the potato pieces and rub it gently on the stretch marks for a few minutes. Make sure the starch from the potato covers the affected area.
- Allow the potato juice to dry for some time and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Alfalfa leaves contain eight essential amino acids which are good for overall health of the skin. They are also rich in protein and vitamins E and K, which help nourish the skin.
- Mix some alfalfa powder with a few drops of chamomile oil to form a smooth paste.
- Massage the paste into the affected area two to three times a day.
- Repeat this daily for a few weeks and you will notice great improvement.
7. Lemon Juice
Lemons have been recognized as fine natural fading executors certain. The alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and vitamin C in lemons can efficiently remove the dead skin and make your stretch marks vanish fast.
- Rub fresh lemon juice gently onto the stretch marks using circular motions. Allow the lemon juice to soak into your skin for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
- Another option is to mix equal quantities of cucumber juice and lemon juice and apply the mixture on the stretch marks.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil owns anti-viral, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective for all types of skin problems. Take some tea tree oil and massage gently on the affected area.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains a lot of nutrients and antioxidants that help improve various skin problems including stretch marks.
- Massage slightly warm extra-virgin olive oil into 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 vitamins A, D and E present in the oil are absorbed by the skin.
You can also mix olive oil with vinegar and water and use it as a night cream. This will keep your skin stay moisturized and also exfoliate the skin.
10. Castor Oil
- Apply castor oil directly on the stretch marks.
- Massage it in a circular motion for 15 minutes.
- After massaging, wrap the affected area with thin and clean cotton cloth.
- Then, apply some heat with the help of heating pad or hot water bottle.
- Continue the process for 30 minutes daily for one month to get best results.
Many people use apricot scrub to remove stretch marks from their skin.
- Take 2-3 apricots. Cut them and remove their seeds. Grind them to form a paste.
- Apply the paste directly on the stretch marks. Leave it for 20 minutes.
- Then, rinse it with lukewarm water.
- In order to see promising results, follow the process for one month.
One of the most commonly hailed home remedies for stretch marks involves the use of ordinary coffee grounds. Learning how to get rid of stretch marks with coffee may help you improve the appearance of your stretch marks in only a few weeks.
- Mix the coffee grounds with aloe vera gel. This will yield a thick paste consistency that will help you spread the coffee grounds onto your stretch marks.
- Apply the coffee and aloe vera paste to your skin. Ideally, your skin should be cleaned before applying the mixture. Use your fingers to spread the coffee paste onto your stretch marks, rubbing it in to ensure adequate coverage.
- Allow the mixture to remain on your skin for about 20 minutes.
- Wipe the coffee paste away using a clean cloth moistened with water.
- In order to see visible improvement, repeat the coffee remedy daily for at least two weeks.
Note: Exact proportions are not important when mixing the coffee grounds and aloe vera. Aim to use just enough aloe vera to hold the coffee grounds together in a paste.
No remedy will work effectively if your skin is not always hydrated and full of suppleness. Drink enough water (if enough means 8-10 glasses for you, have at least this much). Not only hydrated skin detoxifies your body but also restores the lost elasticity of the skin.
Eat Well to Remove Stretch Marks
Apart from keeping your skin well hydrated, you also need to keep it well nourished. Lack of nutrients inside your body can never give you full benefits of creams, lotions, oils, masks or any other thing that you apply externally on your skin.
- Avoid saturated fats in your diet as they make you gain weigh and obesity can cause stretching of the skin giving you those ugly stretch marks.
- Have seeds and nuts rich in mineral content (especially zinc) during your pregnancy. This tones up your skin well.
- Have foods high in Vitamin C and E to encourage growth of skin tissues. Peppers, guavas, dark leafy greens, broccoli, papaya, gooseberries, oranges, strawberries are high in vitamin C. Spinach, kale, nuts, olive oil, tropical fruits like papaya and kiwi, and wheat all are rich in Vitamin E.
- Have a good amount of proteins daily. Beans, fish, egg whites, yogurt, nuts and seeds like those of pumpkin, squash, watermelon seeds, peanuts, and almonds etc.
Physical Exercises to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
You must exercise regularly to get rid of stretch marks. Physical exercises like abdominal crunches, sit-ups, swimming, etc., tone the underlying muscles and help you remove the ugly stretch marks. Here are some exercises, which are beneficial to remove stretch marks:
For Stretch Marks on Bottom: Lie down facing the floor. Put your arms on the side. Lift your right leg up and then down. Repeat the same with left leg. Raise your leg at least 3-6 inches off the floor.
For Stretch Marks on Hips and Buttocks: Lie down flat on your back. Relax for a few minutes. Then, lift one leg creating a 90 degree angle. Lift it until you feel a pull on your buttocks. Try the same on the other leg. Slowly, increase your pace and strain on the hips, buttocks, and thighs.
For Stretch Marks on Thighs: Sit straight on the chair. Then, put your hands down to your sides, holding the chair. Swing your legs in up and down motion. This will help to firm your thighs.
For Stretch Marks on Stomach: Lie down flat on your back. Then, bend your knees keeping the feet flat on the floor. Keep your hands on the sides of your head. Then, lift your upper body somewhat off the floor, contracting your abs.
Other Treatments for Stretch Marks
Apart from natural home remedies, various other simple options are also available to remove stretch marks.
- Folic acid is effective for healing the stretch marks.
- For itchy stretch marks, take a warm shower followed by a gentle oil massage.
- Use Vaseline on the stretch marks.
- Use oats as a natural scrub on the stretch marks.
- Glycolic acid is useful to increase the production of collagen. It is safe to use during pregnancy.
- Use a moisturizer on the affected area.
- Retin-A (retinoic acid cream) can be used to lessen the stretch marks.
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- Consume protein, zinc and Vitamin C rich foods in abundance. Green salad, milk, fish, nuts and citrus fruits help a lot in diminishing stretch marks.
- Keep your skin moisturized.
- Do yoga and other physical exercises on the regular basis.
- Pregnant women should not use creams and solutions, prepared from chemicals. Instead of fading away stretch marks, they may result in skin damaging rashes.
- Don’t scratch the affected area.
- Stretch marks will naturally fade over time. Be patient.
- Love your body! Stretch marks are not becoming, sure, but hey, you have all your limbs!
- Be diligent. These natural remedies only stand a slight chance of working if you use them multiple times a day.