Signs and Symptoms of Stretch Marks
Stretch Marks are a form of scarring which occurs as a result of rapid stretching of the skin.
They initially appear as red or purple lines, and then eventually fade to a light pink or white hue. The affected area is
usually very soft to the touch.
While stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, they usually appear in locations where the body stores more fat. Common places therefore include the stomach area, breasts, arms and armpits, thighs, hips, and buttocks. In most cases, stretch marks do not pose any health risk and are mainly an annoyance.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are caused by rapid stretching and tearing of the skin, usually as a result of rapid growth. Common reasons include:
- Rapid weight gain or obesity
- Fast muscle growth due to exercise
While the scarring is permanent, a stretch mark can diminish slightly over time. Some home remedies can also be used to reduce the visual appearance of affected skin areas.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Stretch Marks
Cocoa Butter Massages
While it is not known why, many people have found that massaging cocoa butter into skin areas
affected by stretch marks can help reduce the appearance of the scars. This works particularly
well for individuals with darker skin tones. A suggested remedy is to massage cocoa
butter over the stretch marks once a day. The stretch marks should begin to appear lighter in about a month.
Researchers speculate that the massaging of scarred areas helps stimulate blood flow and distributes collagen evenly in the affected areas. Collagen is a protein responsible for skin strength and elasticity.
Many women have found that Coconut Oil is an excellent natural treatment for stretch marks. The oil can be massaged into the affected areas 3 times per day. This can also be combined with the Cocoa Butter remedy listed above.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps reduce scar tissue on both the inside and the outside of your body. Therefore, a simple home remedy is to massage Vitamin E oil onto the stretch marks each day after showering. Many women have found this treatment to work well on stretch marks after a pregnancy, although results vary significantly.