Stretch marks are silvery or faded lines that appear on skin of abdomen, buttocks, thighs, calf muscles, upper arms and breasts. The lines appear as skin loses elasticity in those areas and as a result scarring happens. Stretch marks are basically formed in the middle layer of skin.
As the skin either expands or contracts beyond its stretching capacity, the the middle layer of skin or dermis tears off and the scar develops as stretch marks. Stretch marks appear due to sudden expansion or contraction of skin.
Symptoms Of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks first appear as dark pink or purple lines on the skin and then gradually fade to an off color hue. The lines are broken and are short lines. Stretch marks can either appear as few small lines or many small lines, depending upon the area of coverage.
The areas where stretch marks develop appear softer and sometimes saggier also. Stretch marks do not pose any kind of health risk. They are just like any other scar on the body.
Areas Prone To Stretch Marks
Usually the areas which are soft and have more fat deposit are more prone to develop stretch marks. Stretch marks occur in the second layer of skin which is known as dermis. Dermis helps the skin to retain its shape.
When dermis is stretched beyond its flexibility either due to rapid contraction or expansion, collagen gets weakened and the production of collagen is disrupted. It leads to appearance of fine lines on skin. Areas like abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arm holes, calf muscles and breasts are more prone to develop stretch marks.
Causes Of Stretch Marks
There are many causes of stretch marks. Pregnancy is one of the important causes of stretch marks. During pregnancy, as the size abdomen increases, abdomen wall loses its elasticity. After delivery the skin of the abdomen sags and hence develops stretch marks.
Sudden weight gain or weight loss is also a reason for stretch marks to appear. Sometimes, heredity also causes stretch marks. Other than this, stress is also related to appearance of stretch marks.
Home Remedies For Stretch Marks
Potato has got ingredients that helps in restoration of skin cells and also fosters growth. Take a medium sized potato and after peeling its skin, grate it.
Squeeze the juice out of grated potato. Apply the juice on the affected area every day. Wash after the juice dries off. After few days, stretch marks will fade.
Egg whites contain amino acids and protein. They are useful in curing stretch marks. Take one egg white and whip it till egg white becomes frothy. With the help of a makeup brush, apply a thin layer of egg white over the stretch marks.
Wait till it dries. Wash with plain water and the apply olive oil over the stretch marks so that the skin does not dry out. A regular application will yield positive result.
Cocoa butter is very effective in reducing stretch marks. Apply twice ever day on the affected area and massage gently so that the cream gets absorbed in the skin. Gradually stretch marks will become less visible.
Sugar, Almond Oil And Lemon
In a bowl, take a spoon of granulated sugar. Mix half a spoon of almond oil and a few drops of lemon to it. Apply this scrub on the marks and gently rub till the sugar granules dissolve. Wash with plain water. This scrub has proven effective within 2-4 fortnights.
As the skin stretches or contracts, it is necessary that the elasticity of the skin is maintained. The skin elasticity is maintained when the skin remains hydrated. A homemade moisturizer helps the skin remain hydrated.
Combine equal parts of olive oil, wheat germ oil and aloe vera. People with oily skin can add mineral clay to it. Apply this moisturizer regularly and the stretch marks will fade away in some time.
Aloe vera is very soothing for the skin. It also has healing and soothing properties. It also helps in skin contraction by contracting pores. Apply aloe vera juice on the affected area. A prolonged use will fade stretch marks.
Cucumber And Lemon
Both cucumber and lemon are very good for the skin. Cucumber restores skin elasticity. Take equal quantities of cucumber and lemon juice and mix them well.
Apply on the stretch marks and let the mixture seep into skin for 10 minutes. Wash with warm water.
Almond Oil And Coconut Oil
Mix equal quantities of almond and olive oil. Apply on the affected area and gently massage for a while. Regular application will lighten stretch marks. Almond oil has got vitamin E which nourishes skin.
Castor oil is quite effective in treating various skin ailments. Apply castor oil on the affected area and massage for some time. After the oil absorbs in the skin, put a thin cotton cloth over the area.
Apply heat over the cloth either with the help of a warm water bottle or a hot bag. Continue for 5 minutes. Repeat the process every day. Stretch marks will reduce in some time.
Lavender And Chamomile Oil
These essential oils prove effective in fading stretch marks. In one ounce of almond oil, put seven drops each of lavender and chamomile oil.
Healthy lifestyle is essential for maintaining a good body and soul. Consume a healthy diet that includes vitamin C, vitamin E and protein on a regular basis.
These vitamins increase the production of collagen in the body which in turn increases skin elasticity. These vitamins in turn also help the tissues to repair and grow. Also, drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.
Exercise plays as important role in fading stretch marks. As you will exercise, your muscles will get toned up. Saggy skin will regain its shape and thus stretch marks will also appear faded. Toned muscles will further reduce the chances of developing stretch marks.
Practicing a set of yoga postures known as ‘surya namaskar’ has proved helpful in keeping the body toned. This yoga involves various stretching movements which will keep the body toned and hence stretch marks will keep at bay.