In today’s world, people try as much as they can to focus on inner qualities. But sometimes it is almost inevitable to be preoccupied with the way we and others appear.
There’s nothing satisfying as having a great looking body. Some people emphasize appearance to boost their self-esteem.
Physical appearance is so important that you may face rejection or become less confident, however much comfortable you feel under your skin!
Stretch marks can deny you so much happiness, can make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about your appearance.
Learning why and how to get rid of stretch marks is all you need to restore the entire look of your sleeveless top or knee-length dress.
Are you ready to learn how?
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks:
Causes and risk factors
It’s time to find out why these conspicuous marks come about. Stretch marks can develop on anyone’s skin. Research says 80% of people (both male and female), experience stretched skin at least once in their lifetime. There are a number of reasons why visible lines occur over your thighs, upper arms, stomach, buttocks or breasts.
It’s easy to tell the cause.
Stretch marks occur when the skin is overstretched that it cannot keep up with the rapid growth or increase in the mass of the body tissues.
The physical manifestation of torn or scarred skin is prominent during pregnancy. As an expectant woman, you will gain more weight. And you can’t help but observe the cracks as they emerge.
Do you work out? You are developing the mass of your muscles quickly. It’s not bad. But that’s the reason for a stretched skin.
That’s not all!
Hormonal changes that occur during puberty affect the level of production of collagen and elastin. In turn, the skin’s elasticity will vary. So that, the skin will tear when their quantity in the body is low.
Genetics and ethnicity are just but other factors that increase the likelihood of stretch marks appearance. Did you know that light-skinned people are most likely to develop stretch marks?
Stretch marks have a number of risk factors that expose one to the probability of having them occur on the skin. With the variation in the evidence available, more confirmation research needs to be done. However, in most cases, chances of developing stretch marks are linked to family history.
Research findings and conclusions are also drawn from variables such as age, which affects the variation in collagen production and the elasticity of the skin.
Risk factors can vary from person to person. The causes mentioned in the previous section also serve as risk factors.
Do you pack on pounds fast? You’re likely to have stretch marks if you don’t check on that.
Signs of stretch marks
Since stretch marks pose no serious long term threats to the body, some people ignore the symptoms. They are characterized by visual appearance, regardless of the cause and where they occur. When they first emerge, they appear as red/pink raised lines or dark brown lines in black complected people. After some time, they become scarrish, changing in color from reddish-pink to silvery lines.
Types of stretch marks
Depending on color and appearance, stretch marks that occur on our bodies can be broadly categorized into two: the red and white stretch marks.
The red stretch marks form as a result of the dermal layer of the skin stretching. As such, the blood vessels just below the layer can be seen through. Hence, the term “red” stretch marks.
On the other hand, where blood vessels recede deep beneath the dermal layer, they are covered by fat, which is responsible for the silvery white appearance. Cracks that develop in these areas are referred to as white stretch marks.
Remedies for stretch marks
Now that we understand why stretch marks form, let’s shift our attention to the possible ways of removing them; both naturally and medically.
1) Aloe vera
For many years, aloe vera has been predominantly known for its natural skin healing properties. No side effects! You can be sure to achieve positive results, like a moisturized and soothed skin. If applied regularly on the skin, it can help fade stretch marks.
The succulent aloe vera leaves contain gel that can be rubbed directly onto the affected area of the skin after you shower. You can stay with the gel applied for as long as you want. Better yet, rinse it with lukewarm water after 15 minutes. For favorable results, do this twice a day, and you’ll will be amazed at how fast the stretch marks vanish.
2) Castor oil
You’re not surprised that castor oil is a natural solution for making stretch marks disappear. It is the most favored treatment for most skin diseases, wrinkles, pimples, and hair fall. Actually, it is the skin conditioning element, ricinoleic acid in castor oil, that hastens the repair of the skin.
Preparation and application is pretty straight forward. Just massage it gently for 15 minutes, until it is fully absorbed into the skin. Some people find it effective to use a heating pad or hot bottle around the area for half an hour. What is important is to repeat using castor oil twice everyday, for improved results.
3) Olive oil
Olive oil is yet another trusted, excellent skin moisturizer. Packed with anti-inflammatory ability, nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, it is the best bet for a healthy skin. However you want to use olive oil, remember to warm it slightly for enhanced performance. Doing so will ease blood circulation, thereby reducing the appearance of cracks on skin surface. There’s no need to wash it off.
4) Cocoa butter
Many would argue that cocoa butter should top the list. It’s worthy. Because of its anti-aging properties, it comes in handy as an unrivaled skin care. Other benefits are: a hydrated and smooth skin. Beauty experts recommend to apply one tablespoon of cocoa butter at least twice a day, for two months.
5) Almond oil
If you’re bothered about nasty marks on your skin, then almond oil is a natural effective way of addressing the problem. What’s important about almond oil is the generous amounts of vitamin E it contains. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, meaning that it prevents free radicals from damaging the skin. Continuous use of almond oil guarantees nourished and healed skin. Use 1-2 tablespoons of almond oil daily and experience a smooth skin with reduced scars and improved complexion.
6) Lemon juice
Considered as a home remedy, lemon is known for its bleaching and whitening acidic juice. This versatile juice helps heal acne, scars, and even reduce stretch marks. With high amounts of vitamin C, lemon juice can boost the level of collagen in the body, and in turn improve the skin texture.
7) Vitamin A (retinoids)
As regards a healthy skin, nutritious diet cannot be overemphasized. A meal loaded with vitamin A is a decent choice for smooth and rejuvenated skin. According to a study published in the Jama Dermatology Journal, vitamin A is particularly effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Carrots and sweet potatoes are rich sources of retinoids. Make a habit of incorporating them into your meals to boost your vitamin A levels.
If you don’t mind about using an abrasive on your skin, then sugar could be worth a try. Sugar is a wonderful, natural exfoliant, whose granular texture can be helpful in shedding dead skin and making stretch marks fade. You may want to scrub a mixture of sugar with lemon juice, coconut or almond oil, for 8-10 minutes. Afterwards, use water to rinse the mixture off. Just remember to do this consistently, two times a day, and avoid overabrasing the skin.
Talking to your dermatologist may add to the number of options you could go for, apart from the home remedies already mentioned. At the moment, the recent clinical methods of treating stretch marks are laser therapy, microdermabrasion and collagen injection.
1) Laser therapy
Laser therapy patients are subjected by a skin surgeon to intense pulsed light that increases collagen production, while improving the appearance of the stretch marks.
If your doctor recommends that you undergo the microdermabrasion procedure, then the outermost layers of the skin will be removed by use of fine crystal spray. New skin cells will replace the dead cells and eventually fade the stretch marks. It’s important to know that more than one microdermabrasion treatment is needed to clear away stretch marks.
3) Collagen injection
Collagen injection is regarded as both a medical and a cosmetic treatment. Fresh collagen is injected directly to the affected area of the skin by use of fine needles. This procedure does not guarantee complete removal of stretch marks. But can jump start the natural production of collagen by the body. Afterwards, you will need two or more injections a year to maintain a smooth skin.
Prevention against stretch marks
At this point, you must have realized the importance of keeping your skin moisturized and elastic. You need to take care of your skin always.
If any of your close relatives – mom, dad, grandparents – have these marks, you are at a higher risk. Why not learn how to prevent them now? It could save you a ton!
1) Keep your weight in check
Weight loss and gain are the worst risk factors you need to watch out for. You want to stay healthy. Be keen to notice changes that arise due to pregnancy, bodybuilding, and weight loss. Take control. Healthy diet and regular exercise are the recommended weight management practices. It is even a good idea to find out from your doctor why you have suddenly gained or cut weight.
2) Water your thirst
Do not stay dehydrated for so long. It is bad for your skin. Stretch marks tend to develop on dry skin. Keep your skin soft and hydrated by drinking enough water. The Institute of Medicine dietary recommendations on water intake suggests that 3 litres of water is enough to meet the body’s daily fluid needs.
3) Oil treatments for prevention
There are many oil treatments, creams and body lotions that feature vitamin E, essential oils and olive oil. Take advantage of them. Do not wait until stretch scars form. Every time you take a shower, apply these oils that have powerful antioxidant properties. This will go a long way toward ensuring your skin’s elasticity is improved and therefore prevent stretch marks.
4) Choose nutritious meals
Lack of necessary nutrients can cost you an optimized and fully functioning body organs, including the skin. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen development. Alternate meals that are also packed with vitamins D and E, zinc, and protein. If you’re wondering which food sources supply these nutrients, think of nuts, vegetables, eggs, wholemeal, fresh and citrous fruits, cereals, and dairy products. Go for unprocessed – not fatty foods.
You can do it!
Prevention is better than cure. You may take preventive measures, but fail to stop stretch marks from appearing. Don’t lose hope. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk. So, it’s up to you to take the initiative before the lines emerge.
Stretch marks should not be a big deal anymore. You can get rid of unwanted lines on the skin. Every time you try to remove stretch marks, you are enhancing your appearance and self image.
Eat meals with the right nutrients. Drink a lot of water. Look after your skin, don’t leave it dry. Keep it protected with moisturizing oils and proven home remedies.
Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you.
Author bio: ” I’m Zebedee Nambaleo, a health writer and I’m enthusiastic about healthy living.