Stretch marks, known as striae in dermatology, are a very common form of skin scarring that involves the tearing of the dermis, a layer of skin just below the surface. The tearing of this connective tissue results in purple colored ridges that are visible from the surface. Although they normally fade with time, without treatment they will typically remain permanently visible.
Stretch marks are usually caused by rapid weight gain or weight loss which can either be attributed to gains or losses in body-fat or muscle. They are most common among bodybuilders and pregnant women although anyone can get stretch marks on almost any area of their body. Between 75 and 90 percent of women develop stretch marks to some degree during pregnancy.
The best way to be stretch mark free is to avoid getting them in the first place by regularly applying natural ointments to any area that may potentially be vulnerable to stretch marks. If you are pregnant or in the process of any workout regiment that you expect to quickly change your body, it is important to apply these treatments daily to the most commonly affected areas including the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs (both inner and outer), hips, and buttocks.
Although more serious methods of removing stretch marks such as plastic surgery and laser removal exist, these can be dangerous and costly, which is why it is highly advisable to instead utilize one or more of the remedies listed below for the safe, natural treatment and prevention of stretch marks.
1. Oils, vitamins and creams – Most store bought stretch mark creams will contains fragrances, colors and other undesirable ingredients, plus they are typically less pure than a homemade remedy. By using any combination of these proven ingredients, you can make your own powerful stretch mark removing concoction. Each of these treatments can be used on its own as well.
Aloe Vera – Fights inflammation, regenerates skin tissues and restores moisture to skin
Coconut oil – The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil reverse damage and soften skin
Cocoa butter – One of the most utilized stretch mark treatments, cocoa butter firms, tones and hydrates skin
Olive oil – Olive oil incorporates four types of antioxidants that protect skin
Mink oil – Highly recommended for its palmitoleic acid (omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid) content which closely matches sebum, the natural skin oil
Avocado oil – High concentrations of skin essential vitamins A, E and D, as well as fats that improve skin elasticity
Vitamin E oil – The most utilized oil for scars, a powerful antioxidant that improves skin elasticity
Lavender oil – Has been proven to prevent and reduce scars and stretch marks
2. Tone your muscles – Exercise is often overlooked as a stretch mark treatment. However, it can be among the most effective of remedies.
3. Diet – Healthy foods promote healing and tissue regeneration. By consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables, you give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to regenerate new skin cells. Supplementing vitamins A, C and E can also be effective, as they are among the most important vitamins for ridding the body of stretch marks.
4. Exfoliate skin – Exfoliating skin frequently allows dead skin cells to be removed and speeds up the healing and regrowth process.
5. Massage your skin with oil – Massaging your natural oil remedies into the skin for 10-20 minutes daily will improve absorption and blood circulation which will promote faster healing.