Stretch marks are visible lines on the skin surface, with an off-color hue. Stretch marks are mainly found in the abdominal wall, but can also occur over the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breasts.
Sometimes stretch marks can cover large areas of the body. While pregnancy is the main cause behind stretch marks, other reasons can be sudden gain or loss in weight, rapid growth, heredity factors, stress and changes in physical conditions.
The skin consists of three main layers: Epidermis (the outer layer), Dermis (the middle layer) and Subcutaneous or Hypodermic (the deepest layer). Stretch marks form in the dermis or middle layer of the skin when the connective tissue is “stretched” beyond the power of its flexibility due to rapid expansion or contraction of the skin.
As skin is stretched, the collagen is weakened and its normal production cycle is interrupted and damaged. This ultimately results in fine scars under the top layer of the skin. Initially the marks look pink or red, but over time a thin, silvery line appears on the skin surface and a stretch mark is born.
Stretch marks appear on the skin surface when someone grows quickly, or puts on weight quickly.
Stretch marks can make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about your appearance. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.Treatments to get rid of stretchmarks and scars on the skin can sometimes be a challenge, but with consistency and patience, it is possible to reduce the appearance of stubborn blemishes.
There are several types of scarring that occurs after skin exposure to trauma:
- Keloidal scars – Elevated, dark, benign tumors that appears on ears, back, shoulders and chest. This can be very difficult to remove since it goes overboard the boundary of the affected area.
- Hypertrophic scars – Raised and dark scars. Disappears in a certain amount of time but causes intense itching while this is used.
- Atrophic scars – Creates indentation or sunken marks. One example of this type of scarring is stretch marks.
- Stretch Marks – A form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. They are caused by tearing of the dermis.
The following are natural remedies for lessening and eliminating stretch marks and scars:
- Egg Whites (specific to stretch marks). It may sound a little icky, but supposedly the proteins in egg whites help your skin rejuvenate. Try putting the whites on your affected areas three times a day and hopefully watch your stretch marks fade away.
- Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter (specific to stretch marks). Massaging cocoa butter or shea butter into your skin a couple of times a day will help moisturize dry skin and also help stretch marks to fade. And if you apply it throughout your pregnancy, you may have a better chance at warding off stretch marks in the first place.
- Flaxseed oil. You can buy this oil at almost any health food store. Rub the flaxseed oil on old and new scars a few times each day, including after you shower and again before going to bed.
- Olive oil. Apply 100% extra virgin) to scars at least twice a day. Within a week you should start to see scars and stretch marks starting to fade.
- Organic raw honey. Rub onto scars twice daily. The antibacterial properties in honey can help heal wounds and promote skin cell growth. With constant use, scars should fade. Using honey is not recommended if you have oily skin
- Castor oil. Use with a plastic wrap and a heating pad. Note: Be sure to use only food grade plastic wrap that contains no bisphenol A, a dangerous substance found in many plastics. Rub plenty of castor oil on the scars and then wrap it with plastic wrap. Place a heating pad turned on as high a setting as you comfortably stand and leave on for 20 to 25 minutes. You may see noticeable results in as little as a week or so.
- 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. Another option is to make a mixture with one-fourth cup of aloe vera gel, oil from 10 vitamin E capsules and oil from five vitamin A capsules. Rub this mixture onto the skin until fully absorbed. Repeat this process daily
- Sugar. Natural white sugar is one of the best natural remedies to get rid of stretch marks. You can use the sugar to exfoliate your skin. Mix a tablespoon of raw sugar with some almond oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Mix it well and apply it on the stretch marks and other skin areas. Gently rub the mixture on the skin for a few minutes every day before taking a shower. Do this for a month or so and watch your stretch marks become lighter.
- Potato Juice. Potato juice contains vitamins and minerals that foster growth and restoration of skin cells. 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.