What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are the off-colored stripes or streaks formed on the skin as a result of swift stretching of skin or weight changes. They mainly appear on the abdomen due to pregnancy or obesity. In dermatology, they are termed as Striae. They are formed due to hormonal changes related to pregnancy, puberty, hormone replacement therapy, etc. Stretch marks can be commonly seen on waist, thighs, lower backs, hips, breasts, arms, and buttocks. How are these stretch marks formed? The skin of the human body consists of three main layers:
- Epidermis (the outer layer)
- Dermis (the middle layer)
- Hypodermic (the deepest and third layer)
When the connective tissue is stretched due to the expansion and contraction of skin, the stretch marks starts developing on the dermis or the middle layer of the skin. With the stretch in skin, the collagen gets weak, and the elastic fibers start tearing. Due to this, its normal production cycle gets damaged or interrupted. This results in the formation of fine scars under the epidermis or the top layer of the skin. Initially, they appear red or pink, but gradually, they turned into thin silvery line.
Causes of Stretch Marks:
The causes of stretch marks are several. Here we have listed out a few common causes.
- Stretch marks are common during pregnancy.
- Rapid weight gain during a short period of time.
- During puberty stretch marks appear on the boy’s shoulders and back and in case of girls they appear on their hips, thighs and breasts.
- Heredity conditions.
- Medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
Symptoms of Stretch Marks:
What are the signs of stretch marks? No one would ever like to have stretch marks on their skin. They commonly appear on the places where a large amount of fats is deposited. Some of the symptoms which help to recognize the development of stretch marks are as follows:
- The skin becomes pink, flattened and thin before the development of stretch marks.
- Development of red, pink, or purple lines of skin.
- Affected area becomes soft to touch.
- At the initial phase, these lines appear wrinkly and somewhat raised.
- With the passage of time, these lines convert into silver or white in colour.
- They may also appear in patches of parallel lines.
- They appear as scar.
6 EFFECTIVE NATURAL REMEDIES TO GET RID OF STRETCH MARKS:
1. Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera is one of the most well known remedies for stretch marks. Aloe Vera leaves secrete a clear gel when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied to heal wounds and it also contains plant collagen which immensely helps repair the skin. Collagen is one of the most important proteins that make our skin elastic, supple and youthful. Collagen is really beneficial to the skin as they help to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, reverse age of skin, tighter skin, plump up skin and also improve the elasticity of skin.
- Aloe Vera leaf
Remove the outer layer of the aloe vera leaf and bring out the sticky gel from the inside of the leaf. Then use the gel on stretch marks and wash off with water after two or three hours.
Sugar is one of the best home remedies to get rid of stretch marks. Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxic acid that stimulates the skin and helps generate younger and fresher looking skin. Sugar’s small particles are used in a number of body scrubs to exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells. Alpha hydroxic acids are used to treat extremely dry skin, a condition that causes darkening of the skin. It reduces acne and sun burn.
- Sugar – 1 tea spoon
- Almond oil
- Lemon juice
Mix sugar, almond oil and lemon juice and stir it for 5 minutes. Apply it to the stretch marks and rub it for 10 minutes and there after wash off with water.