Get a Confidence Boost with These Handy Tips to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks

What are Stretch Marks?

Before we delve deeper into the tips on how to remove stretch marks, let’s first understand what they are and how they form. Stretch marks, scientifically known as striae, show up when the shape or size of your skin changes rapidly(1) due to growth, weight loss, or weight gain. It could also happen due to stress, pregnancy, or genetic constitution.

Due to the sudden stretching or shrinking of the skin, the protein called collagen and elastin become weak or rupture. As a result, the topmost layer of the skin develops fine lines that look like scars. These are usually seen in the abdomen, upper arms, thighs, and behind the knee.

Types of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are normally classified either on the stage of development, the cause, or the appearance. The different types of stretch marks are:

1. Striae Rubrae

This type of stretch marks is categorised as an acute and primary stage of stretch mark formation. It is coupled with the earliest symptoms of overstretched skin, such as the flattening of the epidermis and the loss of rete ridges. As a result, the collagen fibres become thick and align themselves in a perpendicular or parallel fashion.

As the skin inflammation is in the early stages, the affected skin could turn pink, red, or even violet. The scarring could either be flat or slightly raised. The markings could increase in length and width, and while they are asymptomatic, it may cause slight itching.

2. Striae Albae

Striae Albae is a more mature stage of stretch mark formation. It may take months for Striae Rubrae to transition into Striae Albae. In this stage, the stretch marks gain a silver or white colour (hyperpigmentation) that resembles a scar.

The markings are irregular. Some stretch marks may develop a wrinkled appearance. As your skin begins to lose its tensile strength and elasticity with age, these stretch marks become more prominent.

3. Striae Gravidarum

Striae Gravidarum(2) is a result of Striae Distensae and is caused due to pregnancy. These are characterised by parallel white striations. They normally appear in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. However, they could show up as early as the second month!

These stretch marks are localised on the abdomen, thigh, and breast. Some pregnant women may also notice the formation of stretch marks on their hips, lower back, buttocks, and upper arms.

Much like every other stretch marks, they start as Striae Rubrae. Fortunately, these stretch marks may mature further and fade within a year or two after delivery. However, for some individuals, these stretch marks do not disappear.

4. Striae Nigrae

These stretch marks are characterised by dark grey or black markings, which could be a result of darker skin complexion.

5. Striae Caerulea

Striae Caerulea results in deep blue, purple, or violet stretch marks, which may be commonly seen in those with a darker complexion.

6. Striae Atrophicans

These types of stretch marks may be accompanied by the thinning of the skin. It could be a result of a condition like Cushing’s syndrome, a result of any surgical procedure, or due to the prolonged usage of corticosteroids.

Factors That Cause Stretch Marks

One of the primary factors that cause stretch marks is the increase of a hormone called cortisone in your system. The adrenal glands secrete cortisones, and higher concentrations of this hormone could cause your skin to lose its elasticity.

Other factors that cause stretch marks are:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Growth spurt during puberty.
  • Sudden gain or loss in weight.
  • Muscular exercises.
  • Usage of corticosteroids cream or lotion(3) or consumption through pills.
  • Adrenal gland disorders (such as Cushing’s Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or Marfan’s Syndrome).
  • Stress.

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

Let us have a look at how to remove stretch marks naturally. Some of these tips may help you by reducing the prominence of stretch marks. However, you may have to use a combination of one or more remedies or treatments to get rid of stretch marks completely.

Cure 1: Regular and Essential Oils for Stretch Marks

Several regular and essential oils have been proven effective for stretch marks. So far, the following are some oils that have been researched and that stood their claim.

1. Coconut Oil

coconut oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

The properties of coconut oil can help in fading scars. As such, you may use coconut oil for getting rid of stretch marks. It is particularly effective against Striae Rubrae and also brings down the itchiness.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Virgin coconut oil.
Steps
  1. Clean your skin by washing it with warm water and pat it dry.
  2. Apply some coconut oil to the scarred and reddened area.
  3. Gently massage it into your skin.

Frequency

Do this every day to let the stretch marks fade.

Why Is It Effective?

Coconut oil has skin healing properties(4). This is due to the presence of antioxidants, which allow it to repair the damage caused to your skin. Further, the anti-inflammatory(5) properties of coconut oil have been effective in soothing the irritation caused by stretch marks.

2. Castor Oil

Castor oil is widely used for skin and hair care. It is an effective oil for removing makeup from the skin. Interestingly, you can also use castor oil for getting rid of stretch marks. Here’s how:

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Castor oil.
Steps
  1. Heat the castor oil until it is slightly warm.
  2. Apply a thin layer of it on the stretch marks.
  3. Massage it for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  4. If it feels too greasy, dip a cotton swab in some water and brush the surface.

Frequency

Apply castor oil daily before sleeping

Why Is It Effective?

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid(6), which is a fatty acid compound that conditions the skin. The triglycerides present in castor oil promote your skin health.

3. Tea Tree Oil For Stretch Marks

tea tree oil
Image:ShutterStock

For centuries, Tea tree oil has been offering a wealth of goodness. The oil is distilled and extracted from a variety of plants, such as the Australian tea tree, New Zealand tea tree, and Lemon-scented tea tree.

The tea tree essential oil derived from the Australian tea tree is particularly effective in fading stretch marks. Interestingly, tea tree oil offers help for stubborn stretch marks.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Four to five drops of tea tree essential oil.
  • Two tablespoons of coconut oil (or any other carrier oil).
Steps
  1. Combine the carrier and essential oil.
  2. Gently massage it over the stretch marks.
  3. Leave it on until the skin absorbs it entirely.

Frequency

Apply tea tree oil to the stretch marks twice a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Tea Tree oil possesses anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. As a result, it helps in fading the stretch marks. Further, it can also prevent any infections that may fester in the ridges.

4. Argan Oil

Argan oil is obtained by extracting the oil from the kernels of the argan tree. It is a new entrant in the field of skincare but has been steadily gaining popularity. The oil is capable of nourishing and healing the skin.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Organic Argan oil.
Steps
  1. Apply the argan oil to your stretch marks and massage it into your skin.
  2. Within a few minutes, the oil will be absorbed by your skin.
  3. Do not rinse or wipe away the excess oil. Let it sit.
Frequency

Follow this routine twice a day to watch your stretch marks disappear.

Why Is It Effective?

Studies(7) have discovered that argan oil improves the skin’s elasticity. The skin gets a boost of collagen and elastin(8) when argan oil is applied to it. Further, the antioxidants reverse the damage caused to the skin by the free radicals. Argan oil is known to heal and nourish the skin, as it a rich source of vitamin E. As a result, your stretch marks will vanish in no time.

5. Rosehip Oil

Rosehip Oil
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Rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds or fruits of a rose plant. The oil claims to have anti-ageing effects and has become an internet sensation since A-list celebrities endorsed it.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Rosehip oil.
Steps
  1. Apply ten to twelve drops of Rosehip oil on your stretch marks.
  2. Gently massage it into your skin in a circular motion for about twenty minutes.
  3. Let it sit.
Frequency

Apply Rosehip oil twice a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Rosehip oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E. These bioactive compounds boost the production of collagen. Further, the fatty acids present in the oil enhance the skin’s healing properties and helps in reducing scarring or stretch marks visibility. Studies suggest that Rosehip oil may actually help with preventing(9) the formation of new stretch marks.

6. Pomegranate Oil with Dragon’s Blood Extract

Pomegranate oil is extracted from the seeds of the pomegranate. Further, Dragon’s blood extract is derived from the resin exuded by the Madagascar Dragon trees, or dracaena trees. Collectively, the ingredients are said to have anti-ageing effects.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Ten to twenty drops of pomegranate seed oil.
  • Two to three drops of Dragon’s blood extract.
  • A few cotton swabs.
Steps
  1. Combine the pomegranate oil with Dragon’s blood extract.
  2. Dab the cotton swab with some of this mixture and apply it to the skin.
  3. Leave it on.

Frequency

Do this once a day before going to bed.

Why Is It Effective?

Pomegranate seed oil is rich in fatty acids, flavonoids, and anthocyanidins. These compounds give it antioxidating and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, pomegranate seed oil can help in the thickening of the epidermis(10). On the other hand, Dragon’s blood extract contains taspine, which is a natural skin tissue-healer(11). Further, it is loaded with antioxidant phenols and anti-inflammatory agents. Most importantly, the proanthocyanidins help with repair and regeneration of collagen.

A study(12) conducted in 2017 concluded that pomegranate seed oil reinforced with Dragon’s blood extract makes the skin thicker, elastic, and hydrated.

7. Almond Oil

almond oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

While whole almonds are packed with necessary nutrients and good fats, oil extracted from these nuts also offer their fair share of health benefits. Sweet almond is normally eaten or used in foods and cosmetics. On the other hand, bitter almond possesses medicinal qualities but is toxic in nature if not used or handled properly.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • One to two tablespoons of almond oil.
  • Two to three drops of lavender oil.
Steps
  1. Heat the almond oil until it is comfortably warm.
  2. Stir in a few drops of the lavender oil.
  3. Apply the mixture to the stretch marks and massage it in a circular motion for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. Allow it to dry.

Frequency

Follow the routine twice a day.

Why Is It Effective?

The Vitamin E present in almond oil(13) can heal the skin and nourish it with nutrients. It not only smoothens the skin but is also helpful in balancing and lightening the complexion while also reducing the scars. Further, lavender oil(14) boosts collagen production and heal from cuts and wounds. This is possible because of the oil’s ability to form the granulation tissue.

Cure 2: Supplements for Stretch Marks

Having the following supplements may help with getting rid of stretch marks:

1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a common ingredient in skin creams and lotions that reverse the signs of ageing. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise to directly make use of Vitamin E oil for removing stretch marks through oral ingestion.

How to Use It?

Vitamin E oil capsules are readily available at pharmacies and online stores. Consume the tablet. Alternatively, you can slice open the capsule to extract the oil and apply it to the stretch marks. Gently massage it into your skin and leave it for absorption.

Frequency

Have a capsule a day.

If applying the oil topically, do it two to three times a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Vitamin E oil possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidating properties. It keeps the skin healthy by nourishing it. Further, it catalyses the skin healing process, which in turn helps with the fading of scars and stretch marks. Studies have found it to be potent against UV radiations(15) too.

2. Vitamin A

vitamin A
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Vitamin A, also known as retinoids, retinal, or retinyl esters, is a group of fat-soluble compounds. Dairy products, fresh fruits, and vegetables are a natural source of Vitamin A. It is advised to opt for Vitamin A supplements if your diet does not offer you the necessary quantities of Vitamin A.

How to Use It?

Purchase Vitamin A supplements from a chemist or through online stores.

Frequency

Read the dosage instructions given on the package and consume accordingly. The Adequate Intake (AI) of Vitamin A is a maximum of 700 mcg per day for women and 900 mcg per day for men.

NOTE: Consumption of Vitamin A supplements may not be suitable for pregnant women. Consult your physician before opting for supplementation of Vitamin A.

Why Is It Effective?

Vitamin A contains antioxidant properties. Carotenoids can undo the damage caused by harmful free radicals. Topical application of retinoids can also stimulate the production of collagen, that makes the skin more elastic and evens out the skin complexion.

In a 1996 study, it was discovered that 80% of the subjects treated with tretinoin had shown improvements in the severity score of their stretch marks. A regular dose of Vitamin A supplements decreased in the average length and width of stretch marks by 14 and 8 per cent respectively.

Cure 3: Skin Care Products

Some skin care products help in erasing stretch marks. These include the following:

3. Cocoa Butter For Stretch Marks

The mention of cocoa butter may conjure up a vision of chocolaty desserts. However, cocoa butter is also a staple ingredient in skin creams, balms, and lotions. It is a type of fat that is churned out from cocoa beans. The phytochemicals present in cocoa butter may help for the removal of stretch marks. Here’s how.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • A cup of cocoa butter.
  • Two tablespoons of wheat germ oil.
  • Four teaspoons of beeswax.
  • Two tablespoons of apricot oil.
  • Two tablespoons of Vitamin E oil.
  • Two tablespoons of kernel oil.
Steps
  1. Heat the solid components until they all melt and mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. You can store it in your fridge by transferring it to an air-tight container.
  3. Apply the mixture over your stretch marks and massage it into your skin for ten to fifteen minutes.

Frequency

Follow this skincare routine for two to three times a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Cocoa butter can hydrate your skin, which gives it a smoother appearance. It has a greater degree of permeability, and as such, can penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin. It nourishes the skin and reverses the damage caused to the skin. It also evens out the skin’s complexion as it can reduce hyperpigmentation(16).

You may also apply only cocoa butter on your skin regularly, and your stretch marks may vanish in about two months!

4. Shea Butter

shea butter benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Shea butter is obtained by extracting the butter from the nuts of the shea tree, which is a native of West Africa. It bears ivory or off-white colour. It has found widespread usage through skincare products, and the cosmetic industry greatly promotes it.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • One to two tablespoons of Shea Butter.
Steps
  1. Rub the Shea Butter over your stretch marks.
  2. Gently massage it into the skin.
Frequency

Keep applying the fat for about three to four times a day.

Why Is It Effective?

While Shea Butter has a moisturising effect on the skin, it also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Regular application of Shea Butter to your stretch marks can help your skin heal and repair the damaged cells(17).

5. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid, a compound derived from sugar care, often features in a host of cosmetics and skincare products. It is touted as the holy grail of skincare owing to its skin healing, repair, and enhancement qualities. Due to its compact structure, it can easily penetrate into the deep layers of the skin. Since it is harmless, you can apply it to your skin even during pregnancy.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Glycolic acid.
Steps
  1. Apply the liquid over your stretch marks.
  2. Allow it to dry.

NOTE: Do not step out in the sun after applying glycolic acid to the exposed skin. It may cause sunburns. If stepping out is unavoidable, protect your skin from the sun with the help of the right gear.

Frequency

Follow this regimen daily before you go to bed.

Why Is It Effective?

Glycolic acid boosts the production of collagen and elastin in the body. As a result, you will be rewarded with supple and elastic skin. Topical application of glycolic acid can increase the epidermal thickness(18), which gives your skin a youthful appearance. Further, it has skin healing properties(19), which will make your stretch marks fade away.

6. Coffee Scrub

Coffee Scrub
Image:ShutterStock

The grit of coffee is often used in homemade face scrubs. The energising smell not only rejuvenates your mind, but it also has a positive impact on your skin.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Coffee grounds.
  • Water.
Steps
  1. Combine the coffee ground and water to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply it to the stretch marks and gently scrub it using circular motions.
  3. Do it for three to five minutes.
  4. Rinse off the scrub using warm water.
  5. Lock in the moisture through moisturisation.

NOTE: You could use any of the carrier oils listed above to boost the efficacy of this scrub.

Frequency

Using this coffee-based scrub, scrub your stretch marks daily.

Why Is It Effective?

The caffeine present in coffee grinds possesses a high level of biological activity(20), which penetrates through the skin layers. In addition to having antioxidant properties, it also stimulates degeneration of fats beneath the skin. As you gently massage the area, the blood flow to the affected region also gets enhanced. As a result, this coffee scrub lightens the stretch marks.

7. Sugar Scrub

Sugar is a natural exfoliant as it removes the top layer of dead skin. A large number of people claim that sugar acts as a homoeopathic equivalent to microdermabrasion.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  1. A cup of raw, organic sugar.
  2. One-fourth of a cup of almond or coconut oil.
  3. A teaspoon of lemon.
Steps
  1. Mix the sugar and oil together until it has a consistency much like wet beach sand.
  2. Add lemon juice to the scrub.
  3. Apply the scrub to the affected part of the body and gently massage it for eight to ten minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with warm water. Pat dry and moisturise.

Frequency

Use this sugar scrub twice a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Sugar improves the skin healing capacity of the body. As if exfoliates the skin, it promotes the generation of a new skin layer. Further, scrubbing and massaging the stretch marks improves the blood flow to the region, which allows the skin to heal.

Cure 4: Home Remedies for Stretch Marks

Here are a few other home remedies for getting rid of stretch marks:

1. Vaporub

Vaporub is a topical decongestant and suppressant that is rubbed onto the chest to treat cough, aches, and pains. The menthol present in Vaporub helps in clearing your respiratory system. However, it has also been used in unconventional ways as home remedies.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Vicks Vaporub.
  • Cling wrap.
Steps
  1. Apply Vicks Vaporub to the stretch marks and massage it for a few minutes.
  2. Cover the area with cling wrap.
  3. Leave it on overnight.

Frequency

Do this every night until the stretch marks fade away.

Why Is It Effective?

Vick Vaporub contains a number of essential oils such as turpentine oil, cedar leaf oil, and eucalyptus oil. Further, it also contains petrolatum and camphor. These ingredients make the skin soft and hydrated. Even though science has not carried out much research to back this home remedy, about 60 to 80% of women who have tried this recipe can vouch for its efficacy.

2. Lemon

Fresh Lemon
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Lemon juice can help with a range of health issues. It is affordable and easily available, which gives its benefits a global reach. It can do much more than giving a hint of tart to your food item. Let’s take a look at how you can use lemon to get rid of stretch marks.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Steps
  1. Apply lemon juice to the stretch marks.
  2. Massage in circular motions using your fingertips. Do it for about ten minutes until it gets absorbed into the skin.
  3. Rinse it off with warm water. Pat the skin dry and moisturise.

Frequency

You can repeat this exercise once or twice a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Lemon juice helps with lessening the severity of stretch marks. Due to its acidity and antioxidant properties(21), lemon helps in healing the skin. It also possesses anti-inflammatory(22) properties, which help in soothing the skin irritation that sometimes comes with stretch marks. Further, the acidic, antimicrobial surface created by applying lemon juice discourages the breeding of bacteria within the ridges.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a wonder herb when it comes to treating skin-related issues. It has been heralded as the plant of immortality since the ancient Egyptian civilisation discovered its diverse properties. You can either purchase aloe vera gel or extract it directly from the succulent’s frond. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that you can also use Aloe vera for curing stretch marks.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Aloe Vera gel or a frond of aloe vera plant.
  • Five capsules of Vitamin A.
  • Ten capsules of Vitamin E.
Steps
  1. Extract the aloe vera gel from the leaf.
  2. Combine the aloe vera gel and the oils from the Vitamin A and Vitamin E capsules.
  3. Massage it into the skin and leave it on.

Another way is to also apply pure aloe vera gel directly to the skin, let it sit for fifteen minutes, and wash it off with lukewarm water.

Frequency

Repeat this step at least once a day until the stretch marks begin to fade.

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Why Is It Effective?

The soothing and calming effect of aloe vera(23) helps in healing the skin. The presence of compounds, like Glucomannan and Gibberellin, increases the production of collagen and elastin. As a result, you are rewarded with skin having high tensile strength. Additionally, the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and enzymes have an antioxidating effect on the skin.

4. Baking Soda

baking soda for herpes
Image:ShutterStock

Baking soda is a common baking ingredient, and it is chemically known as Sodium Bicarbonate. Lately, a number of home remedies and household uses of baking soda have come to light. From boosting exercise performance to countering body odour, baking soda can do it all.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • A tablespoon of baking soda.
  • A tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Cling wrap.
Steps
  1. Combine the lemon juice and the baking soda to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste over the stretch marks and wrap it up in clip wrap.
  3. Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the wrapper and wash the area with warm water.

Frequency

Apply the lemon-baking soda paste every day until the stretch marks fade.

Why Is It Effective?

Baking soda is a natural exfoliator. As such, it removes the topmost layer of dead skin. The exfoliating action of baking soda evens out the skin tone and lightens the stretch marks.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has been gaining quite some popularity in the natural health community. Frequent research and studies are being carried out to verify the claims of this item, and so far, quite a lot of them have been proven to be true.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • A bowl of apple cider vinegar.
  • Cotton swabs.
Steps
  1. Dip the cotton swabs in the apple cider vinegar and apply it to the skin.
  2. Allow it to air dry and let it stay overnight.
  3. Rinse it off with warm water in the following morning.
  4. Moisturise the skin.

Frequency

Do this daily before you go to bed

Why Is It Effective?

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid as well as malic acid that will lighten the skin(24) and make the stretch marks or any visible scarring.

6. Turmeric

turmeric
Image:ShutterStock

Turmeric is a highly potent spice and nutritional supplement available. The bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, of which curcumin is the main active compound can protect your body and brain.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • A tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • A tablespoon of yoghurt or fresh cream
Steps
  1. Combine the turmeric powder and yoghurt or cream to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste on the stretch marks.
  3. Let it dry for ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with warm water. Moisturise your skin.

Frequency

Apply this paste twice a day to get rid of stretch marks.

Why Is It Effective?

Turmeric possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can heal the skin and lighten the complexion. In fact, the curcumin in turmeric facilitates the body to produce its own antioxidants(25). Regular application of the turmeric paste will even out the skin tone between your skin and the stretch marks, which will, in process, make them disappear. In about a month, you will notice a remarkable difference as your stretch marks will fade away.

7. Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is popularly known as the ‘herb of longevity.’ In ancient Ayurveda, it was widely used along with the medicinal practices of China and Indonesia.

How to Use It?

Materials Required
  • Any topical cream containing 1% Gotu Kola extract.
Steps
  1. Apply the cream over the stretch marks.
  2. Let the cream sit.

Frequency

Do this four times a day.

NOTE: Before applying the cream topically, consider doing a patch test. Rub a dime-sized amount of cream on the inside of your arm. If it does not react with your skin or cause any irritation within 24 hours, you are not allergic to it.

Why Is It Effective?

The terpenoids present in the Gotu Kola extract boosts the collagen production in the skin. As such, it not only helps erase previously occurring stretch marks but also prevents the formation of new ones.

In a study(26) conducted on 100 pregnant women, 50 were given a cream containing Gotu Kola extract, while 50 were given a placebo cream. From the 80 women who completed the study, 56% of women from the placebo group developed stretch marks, while only 34% of women developed stretch marks from the Gotu Kola group. The study further proved that Gotu Kola improves the skin’s tensile strength.

Cure 5: Alternative Treatments for Stretch Marks

Here are a few alternative treatments for stretch marks. These require a professional to carry out the techniques as well as it calls for specialised equipment or professional setting. Hence, you should not try it at home.

1. Needling and Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion
Image:ShutterStock

What Is It?

Needling or micro-needling (sometimes called microdermabrasion) is a non-surgical, non-invasive process that is used to lighten the skin. It may also be used to treat acne, fix fine lines, even out skin pigmentation, tighten saggy skin, and even to get rid of stretch marks.

Why Is It Effective?

Microneedling exploits the body’s ability to heal itself. Fine needles prick the outermost layer of the skin. As a result, it gently ‘pecks’ at the old skin and makes way for the new and younger layer. Further, it promotes the production of collagen and elastin, which makes the skin more plump and elastic.

Microdermabrasion tool sprays abrasive items on the skin. Due to this, the skin layer gets replaced with a younger skin layer, which makes your skin more supple. Further, the pricking action triggers greater flow to blood to the affected region, which brings a natural glow.

2. Massage

What Is It?

Massage is the gentle kneading of the skin to promote blood flow. Since bones and cartilage do not protect the abdomen, extra care must be taken if you are massaging your abdominal stretch marks. Circular motions using your fingertips is a great way to massage the skin.

You may use a carrier oil with an essential oil to lubricate the skin for a better massage experience. Alternatively, massage your skin with black tea by steeping salt and black tea leaves in warm water. Strain and apply the mixture to the stretch marks thrice a day.

Why Is It Effective?

Massage promotes the flow of blood, which in turn makes the skin glow. As a result, the stretch marks will no longer stand out against your skin.

3. Chemical Peel

Chemical Peel
Image:ShutterStock

What Is It?

In a chemical peel treatment, an acidic solution is applied to the skin to burn off the surface layers. It encourages skin regeneration and gets rid of dead and damaged skin layers.

Phenolic chemical peels are highly aggressive and need to be used just one time for long-term effectiveness. On the other hand, alpha-hydroxy acid makes a superficial chemical peel.

Why Is It Effective?

Since stretch marks are present in the middle layer of the skin (called dermis), reaching it through superficial chemical peels is not possible. Thus, using an aggressive chemical peel could help. As the layers of dead skin come off, your skin will appear even, and the stretch marks will not be prominently visible anymore.

4. Laser Therapy

What Is It?

Laser Therapy relies on laser resurfacing to remove stretch marks. It is a non-invasive therapy, which removes the topmost layer of the skin, which restructures the overlying skin. The region affected by stretch marks is exposed to concentrated amounts of light beams.

There are two types of laser beams that are used for this treatment, namely, ablative (CO2, YAG, Erbium) and non-ablative (Fraxel and Alexandrite). The former removes the topmost layer of the skin while the latter targets the lower layers and promotes collagen formation.

Why Is It Effective?

Laser Therapy smoothens out the striae, which helps the stretch marks to blend in with the skin. Further, it boosts the collagen and elastin production, which increases the elasticity of the skin.

How to Prevent Stretch Marks

Here are seven effective tips on how to prevent stretch marks:

1. Keep a Check on Your Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can keep stretch marks in check. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to maintain and manage your weight within the healthy range. Abrupt changes to your weight can cause stretch marks and hence avoid it.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water hydrates your skin and makes it soft. Softer skin is more unlikely to stretch. If you drink beverages like coffee, balance it out by drinking more water or caffeine-free drinks like herbal tea.

3. Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet

Consume a diet that is rich in Vitamin C, D, E, Zinc, and Protein. The best way to assimilate these nutrients into your system is by consuming unprocessed foods in different colours.

4. Include Vitamin C in Your Diet

Collagen is extremely vital for your skin. It keeps the skin strong and elastic and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Most importantly, it can prevent stretch marks. Vitamin C boosts the synthesis of collagen. Hence, consume fruits, like oranges, sweet limes, and lemons, along with other Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables.

5. Soak up Some Vitamin D

Stretch mark formation has been linked with Vitamin D deficiency. Thus, soak up the sun and absorb some Vitamin D into your system to prevent the formation of stretch marks.

6. Follow a Diet That Is Rich in Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral when it comes to skin health. It reduces skin inflammation and boosts its healing properties. While there are no studies that explicitly correlate stretch marks with zinc, consuming a diet rich in zinc may keep stretch marks at bay.

7. Immediately Treat Stretch Marks as They Appear

If you happen to notice the development of stretch marks, treat it to minimise the appearance of stretch marks. Treating them in the early stages can help in the long run. Consult your dermatologist to determine the reason behind the stretch mark formation and the options suitable for treating it.

This concludes the list of various ways on how to get rid of stretch marks. Include these in your day to day lives to prevent and erase stretch marks. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly to keep your skin hydrated. Consume a nutrient-rich diet and indulge in healthy weight loss or weight gain to prevent stretch mark formation.


FAQs

1. How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks?

Various home remedies have been listed above. You can try out something that is feasible. Further, try out a combination of various remedies for added efficiency.

2. Can Medicines Cause Stretch Marks?

Corticosteroids-based cosmetic products and medicines can cause stretch marks as it decreases the ability of the skin to stretch.

3. Do Men and Women Both Get Stretch Marks?

Yes, men and women can both develop stretch marks. In fact, any person who loses or gains weight can get stretch marks. However, women are more prone to developing them.

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