Stretch marks are narrow, off-colored streaks that appear on the skin when it expands or contracts too quickly. When skin stretches or shrinks quickly, its collagen and elastin may rupture. As skin heals, scars sometimes form. These are called striae, or stretch marks. Pregnancy is the best-known culprit, but growth spurts, dramatic weight loss or gain, and even rapid muscle growth can cause them.
Standing in front of the mirror, body turned to the side, checking out the skin on our thighs and butts for the latest stringy addition. And it’s not just the thighs and the behind, it’s sometimes even our waists, backs, bellies and even arms. Reddish, pink, or even dark lesions running around your body like lines on a map marking the height of the terrain. Ugh. Sometimes the stretch mark is barely visible so we sigh with relief, but other times it’s as if someone ran a knife along our body, and we flinch with worry. In this article, we describe what stretch marks are and who tends to get them. We also look at ways to diminish their appearance, including home and natural remedies.
If it’s any consolation, stretch marks are completely natural. Stretch marks, also known as striae by the medical community, occur when your skin stretches faster than natural skin elasticity permits. They may first appear as dark purple or red lesions. Depending on your skin color, however, that can vary. A simple way to understand this is to compare it with a cotton t-shirt when you pull it out of the washer: the fabric gets full of lines because the machine forces it to assume a different shape.
The same process is true for the human body, if your skin is forced to stretch over a larger area of your body, it will obey, but not without leaving a mark as a sing of protest. Simply put, there is only so much skin to go around at a given time.
So, see, stretch marks are completely natural. They are the result of the skin’s occasional inability to follow with the changes your body is going through. Sometimes, the body changes faster than the skin is able to react. Our skin has its own natural rhythm, a tempo in which it creates skin cells and tissue, then those skin cells and tissue grow old and die, and then finally, the old, dead skin cells become replaced with new, fresh skin cells. That is how the skin builds itself and molds itself around our bodies. And when the skin doesn’t have enough time to react to the changing body shape, stretched areas appear. Those stretched areas where the skin didn’t manage to cover the tissue correctly are called stretch marks. But here are simple ways to clearing stretch marks without difficulty;
- Aloe vera:
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used plants in today’s skin care and anti-acne industry. Not only that, but the leafs and juices of this amazing plant finds great use in the beauty care industry, as well as a number of uses in conventional medicine. Aloe vera is somewhat of a miraculous cactus – its flesh contains dozens of healing and anti inflammatory ingredients that help our body and skin heal faster. Due to its many healing and soothing properties, Aloe vera can help you fade stretch marks over time. Its high reputation is well deserved, and it should encourage you to try it for treating your stretch marks before you go and waste a ton of money on some expensive treatment that might, or might not work.
This might seem slow to you, but remember – the natural process of them disappearing takes much, much longer. A couple of weeks is pretty much the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally. So, be patient.
- Lemon juice:
The and citric acid in lemons is a well-known substance that finds wide use in the skin care and cosmetics industry. That is mainly due to the astringent properties of lemon juice. Astringent means that a substance is causing the contraction of skin cells and tissues. In layman terms, for something to have astringent effects, it means that it has tightening effects. Like, you know how your mouth feels when you bite into some intensely sour fruit? Besides the taste there is also this feeling of tightening going around. That is exactly due to the astringent properties of the fruit you’re eating (and you’re probably eating something from the citrus fruit family).
The astringency in lemon juice comes primarily from the citric acid, which is also found in a number of other citrus fruits – including grapefruits, oranges, limes, red oranges, and actual citrons. Paired up with Vitamin C, lemon juice can combat skin conditions and make the skin tighter, brighter and more elastic. But when it comes to getting rid of stretch marks, astringency is what we need. That is specifically why lemon juice can be so helpful – because it works as a tightener of the stretched skin that makes your stretch marks.
- Always drink plenty of water:
It’s so important to stay hydrated! If you drink enough water, your skin stays soft and more elastic. Water keeps your skin moisturized, while dry skin tends to be more prone to the appearance of stretch marks, scars and wrinkles. Studies show that it’s important to drink about eight to nine glasses of water on a daily basis.
- Argan oil:
Chances are you’ve heard people singing the praises of argan oil hair products. But the Moroccan import is also gaining traction as a skin treatment. Made from argan tree kernels, the oil can help your skin when used topically or taken orally. And since a study found that argan oil helped increase skin’s elasticity, some researchers believe it may help reduce or even prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
- Vitamin A:
Retinue have been known to remove stretch marks and give you youthful skin. Vitamin A, retinol, helps repair the skin cells and makes the skin softer and younger-looking, and that is the reason why it is widely used in many skin care creams and lotions. Intake or use of Vitamin A can help make the skin firmer and fade away the stretch marks.