Most people have stretch marks once in their lives due to rapid weight gain, loss or pregnancy. Stretch marks are caused by rapid growth in the size of your belly and the rapid expansion of skin around it. The problem is that stretch marks can develop into unsightly scars if you don’t properly care. Stretch marks appear as red or purple furrows in the skin with a silvery-white or yellowish color. They may have a raised appearance and feel bumpy to the touch. A variety of treatments exist for improving the appearance of stretch marks, though some are better than others.
Types of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks fall into two categories: ones that only appear on the skin when you’re pregnant and those that appear on other areas of the body.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Pregnancy stretch marks are usually seen on the abdomen, but sometimes you can see stretch marks on your hips or thighs. The good news is that they typically go away after pregnancy and even after childbirth if you’re not overeating and don’t gain more pounds than is healthy. Your skin is a very active organ that repairs itself reasonably quickly, but in pregnancy, the increase in blood flow can cause stretch marks to form. In addition to that, the loss of collagen and elastin — two proteins that are important for skin elasticity — can also lead to stretch marks.
Weight-Gain Stretch Marks
Weight-gain stretch marks appear after gaining significant weight — either from gaining too much muscle or from putting on fat. Depending on how much fat you have deposited in those areas, they can look like white streaks or dark patches. Some women find them bothersome enough to cover up with makeup or clothing.
Ways to Reduce Stretch Marks
Vitamin E oil for stretch marks works by repairing damaged collagen and elastin, as well as helping to encourage new collagen production. Here are some tips for getting rid of the most common causes of stretch marks:
- Avoid products containing alcohol, parabens, phthalates and other harsh chemicals. These ingredients can strip your skin of its natural oils. They make it more prone to developing stretch marks. The same goes for products containing petroleum jelly or mineral oil — these ingredients aren’t necessarily harmful. Still, they can cause breakouts and clog pores, making your skin more susceptible to scarring from stretch marks.
- Moisturizing is essential because it keeps your skin hydrated and supple. You should apply moisturizer twice a day — once before bed and once just after showering in the morning — emphasizing areas where your skin has been stretched. This will help keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from becoming cracked, making any existing stretch marks worse.
- Losing weight slowly. Although it’s possible to lose a great deal of weight rapidly, it’s best to lose it gradually over time to prevent damage to your skin. It’s also important to use caution when doing so. Consuming too much protein can cause stretch marks. Plenty of water can slow your metabolism, and rapid muscle toning can trigger the condition.
Some other Ways to Reduce Stretch Marks
- Exfoliate: Exfoliating with coffee scrubs can help with stretch marks, as the caffeine in coffee is a vasoconstrictor. This means it works to tighten and constrict blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface. It may be better to use a coffee scrub before stretch marks appear, rather than once they have already formed. However, some people report that it helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks when used after they form.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice contains alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps regenerate skin and reduce the appearance of scars. This makes it an excellent treatment for stretch marks. You can use lemon juice directly on your skin or mix it with sugar to make a scrub. However, lemon juice may not suit sensitive skin due to its acidic nature.
- Aloe Vera: The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can help improve the appearance of stretch marks by reducing redness and itching. Apply the gel from an aloe vera plant directly onto your skin, or you can buy commercial aloe vera gel at a health food store or pharmacy.
Vitamin E Oil for Stretch Marks
Researchers have found that vitamin E oils improved several symptoms related to stretch marks, such as hyperpigmentation, dryness and sensitivity. You may want to try rubbing Vitamin E oil or taking supplements if you feel your diet is lacking in this nutrient. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your skin against oxidative damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help boost collagen production by stimulating stem cells in the dermis layer of your skin.
To use vitamin E oil on your stretch marks, first, wash and dry the area to be treated. Massage the vitamin E oil into the affected area thoroughly until it gets absorbed into the skin. The oil should be completely absorbed after a few minutes. If you are very sensitive to scents, you can mix a few drops of essential oil — like lavender — with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of vitamin E oil before application. You should be careful not to apply too much — less than one milliliter per day is enough to give you visible results. This oil has properties that allow you to regain skin texture and smoothness and remove the scars painlessly. Using Vitamin E oil for stretch marks may be better for those who have irritation or allergies.
The Final Word
Stretch marks are stubborn, and they sometimes take a while to fade. But if the tips above can’t help, or you just have an impatient streak. You may want to look into lasers or other professional treatments. Vitamin E oil for stretch marks is a popular remedy to help reduce their appearance by keeping skin soft and elastic.
Most visible stretch marks can be faded over time, though this will require some dedication. If preserving your skin’s elasticity is essential to you, then take the time to maintain that skin’s elasticity today. For those considering treating with professional help. Seek help from a licensed doctor or aesthetician and discuss the full ramifications of any treatment with them first. It will save you money in the long run!