Stretch marks which are visible lines on the skin surface, with an off-color hue. Stretch marks is what when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. Almost all women have to deal with with this problem at some point in their lives; most will develop stretch marks during puberty, often around the hips and thighs, and 90% of women get stretch marks during pregnancy.
They first appear as reddish or purple lines, but tend to gradually fade to a lighter range. The affected areas appear empty and are soft to the touch. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but are most likely to appear in places where larger amounts of fat are stored. Most common places are the abdomen (especially near the navel), breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs (both inner and outer), hips, and buttocks. Our skin consists of three main layers: Epidermis (the outer layer), Dermis (the middle layer) and Subcutaneous or Hypodermic (the deepest layer). Stretch marks form in the dermis or middle layer of the skin when the connective tissue is "stretched" beyond the power of its flexibility due to rapid expansion or contraction of the skin. As skin is stretched, the collagen is weakened and its normal production cycle is interrupted and damaged. This ultimately results in fine scars under the top layer of the skin. Initially the marks look pink or red, but over time a thin, silvery line appears on the skin surface and a stretch mark is born. Stretch marks appear on the skin surface when someone grows quickly, or puts on weight quickly. Stretch marks pose no health risk in and of themselves, and do not compromise the body's ability to function normally and repair itself.
Causes of stretch mark on skin :
Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched extensively over a short time period. They occur in the strong middle layer of your skin (the dermis), which supports your skin's outer surface (the epidermis). Stretch marks often occur in the following situations:
1) During pregnancy : Stretch marks are common during the later stages of pregnancy, affecting up to 80% of pregnant women. Hormones that are produced by your body during pregnancy help to soften the ligaments (strong bands of tissue connecting joints) in your pelvis, so that they give more when you come to deliver your baby. However, these hormones also soften the fibres in your skin, making you prone to stretch marks.
2) Rapid weight gain : You may get stretch marks if you put on a lot of weight over a short period of time. The stretch marks may remain even if you lose the weight that you have gained. However, they should fade over time.
3) During puberty : Young people tend to grow very quickly during puberty. During puberty, the body often develops very quickly in growth spurts. As a result, males may get stretch marks on their shoulders and back, and females may get them on their hips, thighs and breasts.
4) Family history : If you have close relatives who have stretch marks (such as your mother) you may be more likely to develop them yourself. Stretch marks may affect both male and female members of your family, although they are more likely to occur in women.
5) Underlying health conditions : Stretch marks can sometimes be caused by rare, underlying health conditions, such as Cushing's syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
6) Certain medications : You may find that you develop stretch marks if you use corticosteroid medicines, such as creams, lotions or tablets for eczema (a skin condition that causes itching and redness).
7) Cushing's syndrome : Cushing's syndrome occurs when the body produces an excess amount of cortisol, the same hormone that may make some people more prone to stretch marks than others.
How to get rid of stretch marks naturally :
There's no way to prevent stretch marks. There's not a cream, lotion, balm that can prvent stretch marks. Marks often will disappear after the cause of the skin stretching is gone. Creams and ointments that claim to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy are of little value. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
1) Potato Juice : Potato juice contains vitamins and minerals that foster growth and restoration of skin cells.
2) Exfoliation : Regular exfoliation is extremely useful for treating a number of skin problems, including stretch marks.
3) Sugar : Natural white sugar is one of the best natural remedies to get rid of stretch marks. You can use the sugar to exfoliate your skin.
4) Massage : Regular massage aids the skin’s healing process and helps remove toxins, reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. For best results, massage your skin with almond oil.
5) Aloe Vera : Aloe vera is effective in the treatment of many skin problems. It has various essential nutrients and active compounds that can be used in the treatment of minor burns, while its healing and soothing properties can be used to get rid of stretch marks.
6) Moisturizing : Keeping skin moisturized is an essential part of reducing the appearance of stretch marks and preventing new ones from developing.
7) Water : Keeping your body well hydrated helps protect the skin from many kinds of problems. Well-hydrated skin results in regular detoxification of skin pores and restores elasticity, which will help a lot in getting rid of stretch marks. Try to drink one to two glasses of water several times during a day. Experts say a minimum of 10 glasses of water per day is the best way to keep the body hydrated.
8) Coffee grinds with olive oil : To stimulate the area where you have stretch marks apply some coffee grinds mixed with olive oil and massage this paste into the problematic section of your skin for about 5 minutes. Do this about 3 times a week and you will soon notice significant positive difference.
9) Lemon Juice : Another simple ways to lessen stretch marks is to use lemon juice. Lemon juice is naturally acidic which helps heal and reduce stretch marks, skin injuries, acne, and other scars.
10) Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica, commonly known as centella) : Gotu kola is an herb and has been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. Well known for its healing benefits and improving circulation, gotu kola works wonders with stretch marks and has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of scars. It can be applied directly on the skin or can be added into your homemade stretch marks masks and treatments. (Don't use gotu kola orally without consulting your doctor.)
Disclaimer*: This article is only for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.