Top 3 Home Remedies For Stretch Marks And Tips To Sooth Them
The red or purple marks that you notice on your skin, which slowly starts fading into white or silverish marks over time, are stretch marks. The ones red in appearance have red blood vessels just beneath the skin and can be treated more easily, as they are newer and more responsive. In contrast, the older white marks are generally not easy to treat because, with time, blood vessels become narrow, making it difficult to stimulate collagen production in response to treatments.
Stretch marks appear on your skin when stretched beyond its elastic limit for various reasons, such as damage or destruction to the collagen (the cementing material of the dermis). This occurs due to pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, and some other reasons as well. During pregnancy, the skin rapidly grows to accommodate a baby, thereby causing these unattractive scars. Thus, there’s a myth that only women get these marks. However, men too can develop these streaks, lines, or stripes on their skin.
The skin is composed of three layers, the epidermis (outermost layer), dermis (middle layer), and hypodermis (deepest layer), and stretch marks are formed in the dermis. As body growth takes place or when the skin is stretched tremendously due to various reasons, damage to the collagen leads to the formation of these marks.
Stretch Marks Causes:
- Pregnancy: As the belly gets enlarged, the skin gets extremely stretched, leading to stretch marks. Also, during this phase, hormones are erratic; therefore, some of them also contribute to the likelihood of acquiring these marks.
- Puberty: A girl may notice these scars around her breasts and hips, while boys may witness the same around their thighs and arms.
- Heredity: This aspect too plays an important role as it can predispose the occurrence of these marks.
- Weight Fluctuation: Rapid weight gain or weight loss is also a contributing factor
- Corticosteroids: These hormones are often used in over-the-counter fairness creams, steroid injections for bodybuilding, etc.; they make the skin thin and decrease elasticity.
- Medical Conditions: Cushing’s Syndrome, Marfan’s Syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome increase the level of cortisone in the body, thereby causing stretch marks.
Tips To Not Aggravate Stretch Marks:
Like any other scars, these marks, too, are permanent, but the right treatment can make them less noticeable. Also, treating them at an early stage offers promising results but with little effect on mature marks. Here’s what you can do:
- Avoid Scratching: This can aggravate redness and worsen the indented streaks on your skin, so apply coconut oil for any itching you may experience and consult a dermatologist for medication.
- Apply Anti-Stretch Mark Creams: Massage gently into the marks for best results. However, please don’t lose your patience, as it could be months before you see any results. Moreover, topical medication is known to show the least effect on old marks.
Home Remedies For Stretch Marks:
Fresh gel from an aloe vera leaf added to the oil from the vitamin A and E capsules is quite beneficial. Mix the gel with the oil well and massage it into your skin until it’s fully absorbed. Don’t rinse it off. You can also try applying just the aloe vera gel. After massaging it into your skin, leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
Before going to bed, heat castor oil and massage it on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes to see some fast results.
Grind coffee and water to paste and use this scrub over the affected areas daily to get effective results. Scrub in a gentle circular motion for about five minutes before washing it off with warm water. Apply moisturizer after you are done.
Stretch marks usually fade with time but may never disappear totally — for they are the result of the skin losing its elasticity. However, you can apply olive oil or til oil and massage (using long strokes) your thighs. Mix besan with curd and a little turmeric and apply on the area thrice a week. Wash off after half an hour.