Stretch marks are natural life-long signs of the change our bodies have gone through and they happen to everyone. However, you can reduce their appearance with a few easy home remedies.
Many men and women around the world have stretch marks, are also called striae, which are stubborn marks similar to scars that tend to affect people’s confidence levels. They’re typically found on the following areas:
Normally, they form as a band of lines that run parallel to each other on your skin, and the texture is different than your normal skin. Color-wise, they range from purple and bright pink to light gray.
Types of Stretch Marks
There are two main colors that distinguish the type of mark you have: red or white.
Red marks are also known as striae rubra, and they can appear red or purple in color when they first make an appearance. These form when the skin stretches to show blood vessels under the skin, and people with this type often experience a lot of itching around the area. They’re also easier to get rid of, especially when they’re new.
White marks, on the other hand, are striae alba. They’re the most stubborn type and appear silvery white. These are tiny tears on the skin that occur when your blood vessels reduce in size and the fat under the skin becomes visible, and they’re more mature and harder to treat.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
The most likely cause for these marks is sudden weight gain, which can be caused by another reason like puberty, pregnancy, or bodybuilding. Uncommon to popular belief, they don’t mean you have poor health or that there is anything wrong with you. They’re a natural part of life for nearly everyone.
In fact, 88% of people are affected by these marks worldwide.
They’re caused when the dermal layer of the skin stretches suddenly. The dermis allows your body to stretch as your body grows, but sudden changes can overstretch the skin and the fiber wind up tearing and blood vessels under the skin become visible, allowing the red or purple color to show through initially. After the blood vessels become smaller and your body heals, the marks become silvery white.
These are the most common reasons people gain stretch marks:
The most common reason for these marks, gaining a considerable amount of weight in a short time causes the skin to stretch too suddenly. However, they are also common to appear in those on a diet or with fluctuating weight. Rather, you should lose or gain weight gradually to reduce straining the skin.
Youngsters experience sudden growth spurts as adolescents that can cause them to gain or lose weight or grow rapidly, or sometimes both in some cases. This happens to everyone, from males to females. Females will get marks from their developing bodies, often on the hips, thighs, or breasts, whereas males might not show as many.
When women become pregnant, their bodies suddenly change and grow in new ways. Most come out of the experience as new mothers with new marks from their skin stretching to house the baby. Marks from this cause typically pop up on the stomach, thighs, and breasts from the continual tugging and stretching of the skin over a 9-month period.
Many times, if your parents have these marks, you are more likely to develop them as well.
A range of health conditions, some rare, are known to cause marks due to different reasons. Cushing’s syndrome, for example, is a rare disease that causes the body to overproduce the hormone cortisol that’s known to cause these marks. Others happen because they reduce the skin’s elasticity. Some other diseases that may give you these marks include:
Corticosteroids come in lotions, pills, and creams. They’re often used to treat skin diseases, but they can cause marks because they lower the natural collagen levels in your skin, which changes your body’s ability to stretch.
The most common reason men develop these marks, rapid muscle mass growth still causes weight gain that makes the skin stretch. Bodybuilders can be males or females, and some even cause this problem head-on by misusing steroids to gain more muscle faster.
Home Remedies to Help the Appearance of Stretch Marks
No matter the cause of your marks, their appearance is normal in the majority of people’s lives. If you want to get rid of them, you’ll find you can’t completely banish them through natural cures. A professional dermatologist can help prescribe medications to help reduce mature marks or go through several techniques like laser therapy, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion.
However, these treatments are costly and often scary to undergo. If you’re looking for a natural cure you can try in the privacy of your own home; you can use home remedies to help minimize the appearance of the marks and help them fade quickly.
Aloe plants are great for skin health, and all you need to do is remove the outer layer of an aloe vera leaf to extract the sticky gel. Rub it on your marks and wash it off with water after a couple of hours for the best results. Aloe is a natural healing agent and softens the skin, making it a great home remedy.
Great for reducing the development of marks during pregnancy, Cocoa butter can make them disappear in no time. The best way to apply it is just before bed. Massage the butter into your skin, and over a period of time, you can watch the marks fade away.
Know for containing natural bleaching properties; lemon juice can help reduce the visibility of marks with just a few small drops of the juice. You can also rub a lemon wedge on your marks to see results.
Almond and Coconut Oil
When used in equal parts, almond and coconut oil can be regularly massaged onto the skin to help reduce the appearance of marks. It’s totally natural and contains no harmful side effects, but you do need to apply daily for best results.
Remove the seeds and grind a couple of apricots down into a smooth paste, applying the mixture directly onto your skin and allowing it to sit for at least 20 minutes before rinsing. You can also add sugar to make it into an apricot sugar scrub or receive the same benefits from the oil itself.
Marks need moisture and nourishment, and castor oil will smoothen and help heal the skin slowly. Massage a small amount of castor oil into your skin using circular movements for 15-20 minutes, then cover the area with a cotton cloth and apply heat from a heating pad once per month.
High in Vitamin E, Argan oil helps to boost the elasticity of the skin. It can also heal broken tissues to help newer marks begin to fade.
A superfood for the skin, egg whites are high in amino acids and proteins that help lighten and tighten the skin. When applied to the skin directly, they can help the skin heal and take on a more youthful appearance. Whip up two organic egg whites into a foamy substance and spread it onto your skin until it dries, then simply remove the eggs.
When applied regularly, potato juice has been effective are reducing the appearance of marks, spots, and blemishes from the skin. It can even lighten dark circles, as it works to bleach the skin.
Rich in moisture, antioxidants, and other skin-repairing nutrients, Olive oil can be applied at home using cold pressed olive oil to help the marks fade over time.
Loaded with helpful minerals and vitamins, like Vitamin B12 that control skin pigmentation, Black Tea is perfect for stretch marks. Just boil a few tablespoons of black tea with a dash of salt and allow it to cool before placing the solution on your marks.
Some Other Helpful Ways to Help Stretch Marks Naturally
There are a few other easy things you can do at home to help your skin restore and reduce stretch marks, including:
Try out a few remedies to see what works best for you. You should begin to see serious results within 6 months to a year, as the marks become less visible over time. Find the best option for you, or try out a combination of remedies for the best results.