The majority of women have experienced such a beauty problem as stretch marks after their pregnancy, especially, after the first one. Nonetheless, stretch marks are an issue, which can happen to men and women in different age.
The current article will tell you about the causes of this malaise as well as about the possible remedies. You will find here various forms of treatment for stretch marks, medical kinds as well as natural ones.
This article also comprises several tips, which will help women to avoid stretch marks while being pregnant.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks, as it can be understood from the term, are the marks left after increased skin stretching. Bluntly speaking, these marks are a kind of a scar, although it indicates the damage of internal skin layers rather than the external ones. This means, that as a result of rapid contraction or stretching of the skin, the middle skin layer called dermis is damaged.
These marks usually have the form of lines, covering the skin on buttocks, breasts, thighs and upper arms. Nonetheless, stretch marks can also appear in other parts of a body, sometimes covering a large part of it.
Unfortunately many people succeeding in loosing weight after being obese face the problem of stretch marks. Moreover, this skin change can effect young people in the period of intensive growth as well as the sportsmen, who are training hard on a regular basis.
Initially, stretch marks are red or pink, although after a period of time the scar appears as a thin silvery line.
Professional Treatment for Stretch Marks
As you will see, there is a great deal of methods proposed by retailers and cosmeticians, which can be used against stretch marks. There are some simple remedies, available in shops, for example, moisturizers. In addition to them, there are different professional approaches, for instance, surgical techniques. Nonetheless, the majority of these remedies are most effective while treating the stretch marks in their initial state, when they are red or pink.
The simplest and cheapest method for removing your stretch marks, available on the market, is with the use of commercial moisturizers. There is nothing strange, since as we have already said, stretch marks are developing because of extended skin stretching. Thus, you need to fix the elasticity of your skin and hydrate it.
Many moisturizers, offered in shops contain onion extract, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, although the ingredients may differ. Such moisturizers can be effective after around 12 weeks of daily utilizing. This remedy is mild and can help you to fix the general appearance of your skin, as well as to prevent new stretching marks.
You can visit a pharmacist in order to purchase glycolic acid. This is a substance from the group of AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids), which are widely known for their collagen-productive properties.
You may have noticed, that many modern cosmetics have such ingredient as glycolic acid, although it can be found in various food supplements for healthy skin too.
Apart from its strong revitalising activity towards your skin, it has another advantage: you can use it while being pregnant. Nonetheless, there are some restrictions on the use of this substance while being outdoors under intense sunrays.
Another extremely beneficial agent for your struggle with stretch marks is retinoic acid cream or Retin-A. Retinoic acid cream also increases the production of collagen, thus, healing stretch marks and helping to avoid new ones.
Unlike glycolic acid or moisturising lotions described before, this remedy can be very powerful for getting rid of old stretch marks. Nonetheless, there are some disadvantages of the use of this substance.
First of all, it is usually not available over-the-counter. Second of all, you shouldn’t use it during pregnancy or in case you are feeding with breast milk. In addition to it, retinoic acid cream can be harmful while being exposed to the sun, thus, you can’t use it all the time.
You can combine the use of retinoic acid cream with glycolic acid. If you choose such a strategy it is advisable to apply Retin-A first before using glycolic acid.
You can also buy a substance called egg oil, which will help you to prevent stretch marks and to heal your fresh scars. You can use it during your pregnancy and after the delivery.
Vitamin E Oil
Another remedy offered by retailers is vitamin E oil. There are different opinions on this substance, since some patients haven’t noticed any difference after the continuous use of this oil, whereas many women using it after their following delivers (not after the first one) consider the remedy effective.
Nonetheless, you can always try to use this substance, for example, by adding it to your daily moisturising lotion.
In order to increase the regenerating process of your skin it is highly advisable to supplement your diet with vitamin C. You can consume this substance with food, for example by eating fruit and vegetables, although you can purchase this vitamin in a pure form in order to speed up your healing process.
In case you can afford beauty procedures, you can conduct your stretch marks to a vascular laser, or else, a pulsed dye laser.
Although such an operation is generally effective, there is a whole host of disadvantages.
First of all, you can’t treat your old stretch marks with it. Second of all, it won’t show any results on the darker skin, as it is helpful only in case of a big difference between the amount of a pigment in the healthy skin and in the stretch marks. In addition to it, the procedure is rather expensive, whereas you should visit at least three sessions (sometimes even six) in order to have positive results.
There is another laser therapy, which can be used for treating stretch marks. It is laser resurfacing, or, as it is also known, a fractional laser treatment.
This procedure is advised for people with old stretch marks, although there are several inconveniences.
The use of a fractional laser treatment is twice as expensive as a pulsed dye laser treatment. In addition to it, you will need to visit up to three sessions, which make the price of the beauty procedure really high.
Unfortunately, despite the huge costs of this remedy, it again can’t be called perfect. Laser resurfacing usually leaves scarring and hyperpigmentation.
The most drastic and expensive method for getting rid of stretch marks is abdominoplasty, which is sometimes called tummy tuck. This surgical involvement can be the last resort for those, who have intense stretch marks, which haven’t been cured with the previous methods or home remedies.
Abdominoplasty is just a procedure of cutting out the stretch marks. As it is obvious, it can cause various health problems and needs a long time for recovery. The time you will need to spend in hospital can be up to 4 weeks, whereas the whole time needed for the full recovery can be up to 6 months.
The Best Home Remedies for Stretch Marks
As far as you have learnt from the previous part of this article, even the most expensive professional methods can’t guarantee effective healing of your stretch marks. Therefore, it is advisable to choose one of the natural remedies described below and start using it from the first day you have noticed stretch marks on your body without expectations that they will fade without your help.
The basic thing you need to do when you have decided to heal your stretch marks at home is learning to drink at least 8 glasses of water during a day.
Regular drinking is very important for many health issues as well as it is highly advisable for your beauty. Appropriate hydration of your organism will support the detoxification process in your organism and will help in collagen production.
Although water itself can’t guarantee you complete recovery from your skin malaise, it can speed up the process efficiently.
In order to help your skin regenerate on the area covered with stretch marks, it is recommendable to perform an exfoliating procedure each time you take a shower. There is a recipe for a quite effective homemade scrub.
You should soak one tablespoon of white sugar in almond oil. Sprinkle several drops of lemon juice into the substance. The scrub should be mixed well. You can use it for a gentle massage on the affected area of your skin. You will see your stretch marks fading away in a month.
As you have already learnt from this article, many commercial lotions for stretch marks contain the extract from aloe vera. This plant has extremely powerful healing properties, which makes it indispensable in your struggle with stretch marks.
You can perform a beauty procedure by applying a lotion made of aloe vera gel and vitamins A and E. You should just mix the contents of five capsules of each vitamin with some aloe vera gel. Cover the affected skin area with this homemade cosmetic and repeat the procedure daily.
Alfalfa has powerful collagen-productive properties, since this plant contains all eight the most important amino acids, which a human’s organism can synthesise itself. In addition to it, the leaves of alfalfa have a high concentration of vitamins K, E and proteins.
The best way you can use this magic plant for your skin is to make a powder from alfalfa first. Then, add several drops of chamomile oil to the powder in order to get a substance in the consistency of a paste.
This paste should be used as a lotion, thus, you should perform a quick and gentle massage on the affected area and leave the substance on your skin without rinsing it. You should repeat this procedure daily.
Since the recovery from stretch marks needs proteins for nourishing skin and producing collagen, it is reasonable to use eggs as a remedy.
You can make a simple mask for your skin from eggs. You will need only 2 egg whites, which should be whipped in a bowl. Then you should apply them on the affected area of your skin with your makeup brush or with a silicone brush for oils used in a kitchen.
The egg whites need to have some time to be dried. Then you can rinse them off from your skin. It is advisable to apply any moisturiser on your skin afterwards, for instance, olive oil.
This procedure should be followed on a daily basis.
The majority of women using home remedies for their stretch marks, admit, that cocoa butter is one of the best possible treatment. It is not surprising, since cocoa butter has extremely powerful moisturising activity, which is absolutely essential for the complete recovery from stretch marks.
Cocoa Butter can be used directly on your skin as a lotion or you can enrich its positive properties by adding extra ingredients.
For instance, you can supplement cocoa butter with vitamin E oil, grated beeswax, wheat germ oil and apricot kernel. The recipe suggests taking 25 g of the kernel, 25 g of wheat germ oil and up to 20 g of beeswax. These substances should be mixed with 120 ml of cocoa butter. The mixture should be warmed in order to change solid beeswax into a liquid.
The advantage of this homemade moisturiser is that you can keep it in your refrigerator for quite a long time and use it anytime you want.
Lemon juice is an effective remedy for any kinds of scars, for instance stretch marks and the scars left by acne. Such properties of lemon juice are the result of its acidic nature.
You can prepare a lotion from lemon juice mixed with the equal amount of cucumber juice. The mixture should be applied on the affected area once a day. In addition to it, you can just cut a lemon into thin slices, with which you should then cover your stretch marks.
After several weeks, you will see the effectiveness of this treatment.
Potato can help you in curing your stretch marks because it is rich in minerals and vitamins, which increase the speed of skin regeneration.
You can cut a raw potato into slices and apply them on the affected area. The slices should be left on your skin for several minutes. In addition to it, you can grate a raw potato in order to extract the juice from it. The juice can be applied on the stretch marks with a cotton ball.
In each case, you should leave the remedy on your skin until it dries. Afterwards, you will need to rinse it with water.
In addition to the remedies mentioned above, there are still several methods, which are using healing properties of natural oils.
One of the most effective oil, which can be used as a treatment for stretch marks, is castor oil. This is a multipurpose remedy for various skin problems, such as senile lentigens, dark spots, pimples and wrinkles. Moreover, it can help you in your struggle with stretch marks.
You can apply several drops of castor oil on your skin and leave it there up to 10 minutes. Then, you should wrap the oil with a cloth. However, in order to increase the healing effect, you should apply a warm bottle with water on your skin. It is advisable to warm this area for at least 30 minutes.
You should utilise castor oil during a month in order to recover from your malaise.
Olive oil has magic properties for your skin as well. It is full of antioxidants and nutritive substances, which will help your skin to get rid of stretch marks and will change its general condition.
Olive oil should be slightly warmed and then massaged into the affected area of your skin. It is advisable to leave the oil for at least an hour, although you can leave it for a longer time.
Moreover, if you mix olive oil with a bit of water and vinegar you will get excellent agent for healing your skin at night.
Many essential oils can support the recovery of your skin. You can massage your skin with myrrh oil, geranium oil, rose oil, helichrysum oil, lavender oil or frankincense oil.
Prevention of Stretch Marks
Sometimes it is rather difficult or even impossible to prevent the appearance of stretch marks. For example, if a child is growing too fast, it is obvious that stretch marks can be unavoidable.
Nonetheless, in the majority of situations you can help your skin to extend without being damaged.
Moderate eating and leading a healthy diet is important both for pregnant women, who don’t want to end up with stretch marks, as well as for those, who don’t want to gain too much weight which will lead to inescapable stretch marks.
It is advisable, especially for pregnant women, to consume the products with skin-nourishing properties. Such food should contain vitamins E, A, omega-3 acids and antioxidants. These ingredients will help you to protect your skin cells and make them elastic.
For example, carrots, mangoes and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A. Broccoli, seeds and nuts are full of vitamin E. Fish, eggs, and walnuts will help you to get omega-3 acids, whereas vegetables and fruits are the best natural antioxidants.
As you have already learnt from this article, water helps to get rid of stretch marks. In addition to it, water aids to avoid these skin changes. Not only will appropriate hydration of an organism help pregnant women to prevent stretch marks, but also it is also extremely important for active people exercising regularly.
In order to give your body enough water you need to drink at least 2 litres of water. Remember, that you shouldn’t drink too much coffee or tea, since these liquids work adversely. In addition to it, you should not consume packed juices or sweet drinks, since they usually contain a lot of sugar.
Regular Skin Nourishment
Moisturising skin regularly will help pregnant women to make their skin more elastic and resistance to the damage caused by gaining extra weight rapidly. You can use the homemade moisturisers described in this article since they are natural and harmless for your baby.
In case you are afraid of such lotions, you can always by a ready cosmetic. Nonetheless, it is advisable to use special products for mothers or cosmetic oils, since only these products are able to moisturise your skin deeply. Remember, that nourishing substances must get into the middle layer of your skin in order to be effective.
You should also avoid commercial lotions containing sulphates, which can dry your skin even more. In order to keep your skin soft and elastic you can resign from using soap each time you are taking a shower.
Regular Skin Exfoliation
In addition to these tips, it is highly recommended to exfoliate your skin with scrubs or dry brushing on a regular basis. This will speed up the regeneration of the skin layers and make your skin more resistant to the damage.
Pay your attention on the fact, that dry brushing is absolutely impropriate procedure for the skin on your breasts. This skin is extremely delicate, thus, it can be irritated easily with such a device.
Pregnant women can also help their organisms by doing special exercises for mothers-to-be. Even the movements, which are supposed to help you while delivering, will also aid the condition of your skin. Exercising is so important because it gives your skin appropriate blood circulation.
If you have finally end up with stretch marks despite all the attempts to avoid them, don’t worry. This is only a beauty issue, which has no negative impact on your health.