Stretch marks are a scarring of the skin when it is stretched beyond its elastic capacity. They can be caused as a result of pregnancy, obesity or from weightlifting. They may be red, pink, brown or purple in color. Stretch marks are caused when the fibers of the skin are stretched and lose their elasticity and break. They usually form on the legs, buttocks, stomach and breasts, but can appear anywhere else on the body.
• Massaging: The main technique for stretch mark reduction is usually through massaging. There are several substances which are to be used while massaging.
• Moisturizers: Moisturizing lotions or creams which contain cocoa butter are believed to help to reduce and finally remove stretch marks altogether. There are several creams which are specifically manufactured for the treatment of stretch marks. These will contain all the above mentioned ingredients. A word of caution however for pregnant or breastfeeding ladies – do consult your doctor before using such lotions, as some of the ingredients may be harmful if passed on the unborn baby or breast milk
• Olive Oil: The affected areas are rubbed gently with warm olive oil. This improves the circulation, minimizes stretch marks and helps in overall relaxation.
• Calendula Oil: This is considered to be an efficient substance for the reduction of stretch marks. It also helps in improving the circulation. Calendula oil can also be used in combination with wheat germ oil to get more effective results.
• Almond Oil: Almond oil is mixed with chamomile and lavender oil. This mixture is gently massaged into the areas affected by stretch marks.
• Cod Liver Oil: This oil is considered to be an effective remedy for stretch marks.
• Exfoliating Agents: These are quite effective in reduction of stretch marks, if used on a daily basis. An exfoliating cream may be used or conversely, a scrunch or loofah can be used
Before actually going into what to do or not do with stretch marks, please keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. There are just so many things which can be done to actually prevent this from happening in the first place. So, many of the precautions which are given below can help to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks.
1. Do drink plenty of water as this helps to keep the skin hydrated.
2. Do maintain a balanced and healthy diet. A well nourished skin will have more flexibility, reducing chances of stretch marks.
3. Do eat lots of green vegetables and fruits such as papaya, apple and oranges which contain high levels of antioxidants.
4. Don’t expose the skin to an excess of sunlight.
5. Do drink lots of fruit juices but avoid consumption of coffee and tea.
6. Do consume foods which have a high level of vitamins E and C. Eat lots of eggs, fish and dairy products.
7. Do exercise regularly, after consultation with a doctor, of course. This will tone up the skin and muscles to provide a better flexibility.
These are just a few of the remedies which can be used for reduction of stretch marks. Though it is not possible and indeed not necessary to use all of these methods at once, through trial and error, one can arrive at a suitable combination of a few remedies for effective results. Remember, however, time is the best remedy for stretch marks. As time passes by, stretch marks will fade automatically.