Stretch marks appear when the skin is stretched beyond its natural capacity. It usually happens due to sudden weight gain, weight loss and pregnancy.
Stretch marks, also called striae, are basically scar tissue that forms where the connective tissue was broken due to abnormal stretching. They are usually red, pink or purple, although they can fade with time and become light brown or beige.
Those who want to get rid of the stretch marks through medical treatment can choose between microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser surgery. However, these procedures are often quite expensive and most people decide to try to eliminate stretch marks naturally, using home remedies.
Natural treatment for stretch marks
The basic principle behind every natural treatment is an overall healthy lifestyle, and stretch marks are no exception. It all starts with a proper diet, the one based on fresh, healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, foods rich in fiber, in vitamins and minerals.
Drinking plenty of fluids is also very important, especially water, fruit juices and green tea. Coffee, alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided.
Stretch marks can be aggravated due to certain nutrient deficiencies and it is particularly important to maintain normal levels of zinc, protein, vitamins A and C.
Exercise is also a vital part of natural treatment for stretch marks. It improves circulation and makes the skin cleaner, more elastic and firmer.
Tanning cannot eliminate stretch marks but it can definitely make them less visible. It is important, though, to be careful and avoid sunburns and other types of sun damage.
There are many remedies that, if applied topically, can significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks. The best ones are those containing vitamin A. This vitamin can also be used individually, by opening the capsules and applying their content directly to the stretch marks. Olive oil is also very good for this purpose. The same goes for lavender oil and aloe vera gel or juice.
Shea butter and cocoa butter are two of the best natural remedies for stretch marks. They deeply nourish the skin, moisturize, make it more elastic and repair the broken connective tissues. They should be applied as often as possible, at least once a day, after showering and exfoliating.
There are creams, lotions and moisturizers that contain active anti-age ingredients. They increase the amount of elastin in the skin and thus make it less susceptible to stretch marks. These are particularly recommended for women who have just found out they are pregnant.