Stretch marks can be stubborn if you have it once. You would probably wish they must disappear quickly. Stretch marks on your body can give your skin an unpleasant look and often leads to less confidence. But, through some natural remedies and treatments, diminishing stretch marks from your body is possible to a greater extent.

Stretch marks (striae) is a type of scar which shows up when our skin stretches or contracts suddenly. Lack of collagen production can decrease our skin’s elasticity which can lead to stretch marks.

Stretch marks can happen to both men and women. In the beginning, stretch marks appears to show as a thin red or purple line on your skin. These stretch marks will eventually fade away and appear as stretch marks and becomes shiny.

Why stretch marks appear?

Stretch marks can show up if your body suddenly grows up or shrinks for some reason and if your skin is unable to stretch enough to keep up then thin, long, rippled marks can occur.
 
The skin is stretchable if it has enough elasticity and for elasticity the production of collagen is essential. If your skin doesn’t have enough collagen, the stretch marks can occur.

Where do they occur?

Stretch marks can occur on many parts of your body, they are:

  • Buttocks
  • Hips
  • Stomach
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Breasts
  • Shoulders
  • Thighs
  • Flank
  • Abdomen

Causes of stretch marks:

1. Sudden weight gain/loss

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Stretch marks can also show up if your body suddenly gains weight or loses weight in a short period of time. And if the skin does not have enough collagen (elasticity) the skin stretches and your body can get stretch marks.
 

2. Pregnancy

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When a woman is pregnant, the fibers in the skin stretches to make room for a growing baby. As the baby starts growing, stretch marks appear on stomach, breasts and thighs.
 

3. Puberty

Experiencing a very sudden growth spurt/rapid weight gain/rapid weight loss is a very common problem in puberty. Therefore, the sudden stretching and contracting of the skin fibers results in stretch marks on breasts, thighs, buttocks, stomach, abdomen, etc. 
 

4. Body building

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Sudden growth in muscle mass can also lead to stretch marks.

5. Corticosteroids

Certain skin diseases are treatable using corticosteroid pills, lotions and creams which also cause stretch marks on your skin. These cortocosteroids brings down the collagen levels and reduces the skin’s ability to stretch and results in stretch marks.
 

6. Genetics

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If your parents have stretch marks, then there’s also a chance that you might have stretch marks too.
 

7. Health conditions

Health conditons like Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome can cause stretch marks due to the weak connective tissues which reduces their elasticity and makes your skin prone to stretch marks.
 

Types of stretch marks:

1. Red stretch marks

Red stretch marks are the ones which are easier to treat as they are the freshly occurred stretch marks on the skin. Their color is red due to the presence of functioning blood vessels present under the skin which proves to be more responsive to any other treatment. 

2. White stretch marks

White stretch marks are the ones which are difficult to treat as they are older. And with longer duration, our blood vessels get narrow which makes it hard stimulate collagen production. But, still with some patience and natural remedies or treatments, they can be diminished from the skin.

 

Natural home remedies:

1. Shea butter

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Shea butter is highly moisturizing for your skin and filled with many goodness such as they are anti-inflammatory, contains Vitamin A, E, F , antioxidant, fades dark spots, scars, protects against free radicals and also restores skin elasticity too.

Ingredients : shea butter

Method :

  • Apply shea butter on the stretch marks.
  • Massage it for 4-5 minutes daily and leave it on for about 15 minutes. 
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this method twice a day.

2. Aloe Vera

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Aloe vera gel has been used in cosmetic industry for many years due to many benefits it has provided for skin. The compounds glucomannan and gibberelin present in aloe vera, increases collagen synthesis in your skin and also helps in diminishing stretch marks.
 
It also gives natural glow to your skin, hydrates the skin and also slows the ageing process.
 
Ingredients : Aloe vera Vitamin A/E capsules

Method :

  • Extract the aloe vera gel from the herb.
  • Add Vitamin A/E capsules or both in it.
  • Mix it well.
  • Apply the mixture and massage it on the stretch marks until it gets fully absorbed.
  • Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  • Now, rinse it off with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this process twice a day.

3. Sugar

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Sugar exfoliates the dead skin cells over your stretch marks area and helps them in getting rid of the dead skin cells and replacing them with the new ones. 
 
By rubbing this scrub over your skin, it will improve the blood circulation in that particular area which will increase its chances of healing stretch marks.
 
Ingredients : Sugar, lemon juice, coconut oil/olive oil/almond oil/jojoba oil.

Method :

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with few drops of lemon juice and few drops of coconut oil/olive oil/almond oil/jojoba oil.
  • Massage this mixture on the stretch marks till it gets fully absorbed in the skin.
  • Let it stay for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse it with lukewarm water.
  • Follow this method twice a day.


4. Lemon

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As lemon juice is highly acidic in nature, and known for its natural bleaching properties it helps in diminishing the stretch marks, dark spots, acne, scars and many more.
 
Ingredients lemon juice, gram flour

Method :

  • Mix 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp curd in 1 tbsp of gram flour.
  • Apply the mixture on the stretch marks.
  • Massage the area well, in circular motions for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse it with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this process daily twice a day.

5. Potatoes

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Potatoes are effective in reducing the visibility of the stretch marks due to the skin lightening enzymes contained in it. These lightening enzymes also brightens the dark circles, blemishes, scars and many more.
 
Potatoes are a safe and natural way of brightening up the skin.
 
Ingredients : potato juice, coconut oil, lemon juice. 

Method :

  • Grate the potato and extract the juice out of it.
  • Add 2 tbsp of potato juice in 1 tbsp coconut oil/any oil and few drops of lemon juice.
  • Mix it well.
  • Massage the mixture on the stretch marks for 5-6 minutes.
  • Rinse it with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this process twice a day.

6. Coffee scrub

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Coffee, rich in caffeine has the ability to increase the blood circulation which will result in lessening the appearance of stretch marks. Coffee scrub results in smoothening the skin texture, purifies skin, attracts dirt accumulated on the skin and heals dry skin too.

It in enriched with minerals and antioxidants and stimulates the degradation of fats under the skin.

Ingredients : Coffee powder, honey.

Method :

  • Mix 1 tbsp of coffee powder and 1 tbsp of honey.
  • Massage this mixture on the stretch marks in circular motions for 4-5 minutes.
  • Rinse it with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this process twice a day.

7. Vitamin E oil capsule

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Vitamin E oil is used for producing many cosmetics. It acts as a cleansing agent and also contains antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties thus, results in reducing the appearance of stretch marks, dark spots, scars, blemishes, slows ageing process and rejuvenates your skin too.
 
 
Ingredients : Vitamin E oil capsule, aloe vera gel, honey.
 
Method :
  • Add 2 vitamin E oil capsules, 1 tbsp aloe vera gel, 1/2 tbsp honey.
  • Massage it on the affected area for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse it with lukewarm water.
  • Follow this method twice a day.

8. Cocoa butter

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Coca butter extracted from cocoa bean is effective in treating stretch marks. It is high in antioxidants and smoothens your skin, soothes irritation, moisturizes the skin. It treats your skin by penetrating deep in your skin and repairs damaged cells.

It also helps in reducing the appearance of the scars, dark spots and many more.
 
Ingredients : cocoa butter.
 
Method : 
  • Apply cocoa butter to your stretch marks.
  • Massage it for 7-8 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Repeating this process for twice a day, might help in reducing the stretch marks in a few months.

Other treatments:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser therapy
  • Microneedling
  • Topical Treatments
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Ultrasound treatment
  • Radiofrequency treatment
  • Chemical peels
  • Abdominoplasty

Prevention:

The best way to prevent stretch marks is to keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water. The elasticity of your skin can be maintained by drinking 3-4 litres or more of water, daily at regular intervals of time.