''Stretch marks are very common and cannot be prevented altogether."
When it comes to the one thing that men and women hate about their bodies, stretch marks usually come on top of the list.
Stretch marks affect men and women of all ages and sizes. Causes for them can vary but nevertheless both men and women experience the same trouble of imperfect looking skin.
In the medical world, stretch marks are referred to as striae distensae. But why do they happen? Our skin consists of soft elastic tissues making the skin stretchable. Over-stretching of skin damages elastin tissues causing stretch marks.
Stretch marks appear to be deep red, dark or purplish on the skin, gradually these marks will modify to white or silver in colour.
Stretch marks can occur due to several reasons such as sudden weight gain or loss, rapid body growth during teenage years and a common cause, pregnancy.
As the dermis layer of the skin tears apart, the dermis and the collagen fibres in the skin break entirely so the area seems striped and rough.
For men, obesity is a common cause for stretch marks but also they can appear in men who do lots of weight training, where skin is stretched.
Stretch marks can also visibly appear on the skin as consequence of a disease. These diseases can include diabetes and where there is an over use of steroids.
NHS choices states: “Stretch marks are very common and cannot be prevented altogether.” So, the key thing is to try and reduce stretch marks if they do occur. Ideally, using natural methods compared to expensive prescription methods which may not yield the expected results.
In South Asia where medicines are often too expensive and difficult to obtain, treating stretch marks are done by using home and natural remedies. Massaging natural oils and butters are a common treatment.
These simple and natural remedies are a great way to tackle those stubborn stretch marks. It’s very important to understand that these kind of treatments need to be done over long periods of time and if used correctly, they can help reduce and possibly, even eliminate the stretch marks.
There are a number of known natural remedies which have proven to be very effective. One popular option is Cocoa butter, which essentially moistens the skin leaving it hydrated and well-toned.
Massage your marks regularly with Cocoa butter for 5 to 10 minutes after cleansing the skin. Make it part of your everyday skincare regime.
Other organic and natural treatments for stretch marks include the use of Rose Hip oil, Olive oil, Almond oil, Emu oil, Jojoba oil, Castor oil and Shea butter. Massaging with any of these can be very beneficial to visibly fade the appearance of stretch marks.
Better still, by combining some of these oils together can help you create an effective moisturiser for stretch marks. Mix equal quantities of Almond oil, Avocado oil and Jojoba oil with some drops of Chamomile or Lavender oil for a daily massage to cut down the noticeability of the marks.
Another great way help fade the look of stretch marks is to exfoliate the skin regularly. Exfoliating the skin can gradually lift away the appearance of the marks.
Bio-Oil is a well known product for addressing post-natal stretch marks and scars which does require long term use, and is available at most health stores and online (Amazon UK £10 for 200ml).
You can find several shower gels available particularly to help minimise the look of stretch marks such as Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm from Cowshed (£21.00).
Glycolic acid is another superb way to exfoliate the affected skin especially stretch marks. The skin layer is exfoliated away appearing the marks to be visibly reduced.
Moreover, a blend of Vitamin C with glycolic acid is considered to be one of the most trusted remedies for fading stretch marks.
Not only Vitamin C, but also Vitamins A and E are answerable for your stretch marks. The use of essential vitamins is very beneficial as it helps to increase the elasticity and capability of the upper skin layer, further preventing the encouragement and expanding of the stretch marks development.
Here are some of the most successful tested natural remedies that can help return you to your original skin tone.
Fading by using Apricots
- Cut and remove seeds of 2-3 apricots
- Crush to form a paste
- Apply directly on the stretch marks
- Leave the paste for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water.
- Repeat regularly for few weeks.
Fading by using Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera plants have been used for centuries for skin care and have been evaluated to be a fantastic factor to help revive and repair affected skin.
- Remove the thorns and outer skin of a few Aloe Vera leaves to extract the gel from inside
- Apply this gel on the stretch marks for approximately 2 hours.
- Then wash the skin thoroughly.
Top Tips to prevent and deduct the look of stretch marks:
- Take a hot bath on a regular basis to help increase blood circulation in the skin and help reduce the appearance of any stretch marks.
- Use a body brush when cleansing the skin, as it will gradually help lighten the appearance of stretch marks.
- Considering zinc in your diet encourages natural strength and elasticity in the skin, therefore helping to minimise the chances of stretch mark’s appearance on the skin.
- Petroleum jelly on the abdomen during pregnancy can help to prevent stretch marks. However, results may vary so do not attempt this remedy without consulting to your doctor.
Other forms of stretch marks are more permanent than others and treatment results vary from men to women of different ages. Men-science blog advises:
”Have patience. Stretch marks don’t appear overnight you have to be realistic: Some will go away and others won’t, but they’ll definitely be less noticeable. It just takes time.”
Over-treatment of stretch marks will not promise effective results. Therefore, try and limit the uses of various types of remedies to one at a time to treat the stretch marks, and give it time.