Stretch marks or striae gravidarum are bands of parallel lines that appear on the skin of individuals basically after that part of the skin looses its elasticity. Typically, stretch marks are caused by an “over production” of the hormone – cortisone by the adrenal glands which cause the skin to loose its elasticity.

The glucocorticoid hormone (cortisone) responsible for the development of stretch marks affect the dermis by preventing the fibroblasts from forming collagen and elastin fibers, necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal and epidermal tearing.
Risk Factors of Stretch Marks:

During pregnancy:

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Stretch marks typically occur between the sixth and seventh month of pregnancy (AAD). During pregnancy, the skin is stretched in numerous ways to make room for the developing fetus. This continual tugging and stretching can cause stretch marks.
After gaining or losing weight:
Stretch marks sometimes appear when a person rapidly gains or lose weight. Teenagers may also notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt. The sudden loss or addition of weight may cause the inner layer of the skin (the dermis) to over stretch itself and even tear, leaving the much dreaded scar on the skin.

When using steroid medications:
Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills can cause stretch marks by decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch.
If you have certain diseases: Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and other adrenal gland disorders can cause stretch marks by increasing the amount of cortisone in your body.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Stretch Marks
Cocoa Butter:
For unknown reasons, many people have discovered 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. mix half cup of cocoa butter with one tablespoon of wheat germ oil, one teaspoon of tea kernel oil, two teaspoons of grated beeswax, and vitamin E oil. Heat the mix until the beeswax melts. Apply it on the stretch marks twice or thrice a day. The mixture can be stored in a sealed box in the refrigerator.
Researchers suggest that the massaging of scarred areas help stimulate blood flow and distributes collagen evenly in the affected areas. Collagen is a protein responsible for skin strength and elasticity.
Coconut Oil:

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.
Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps reduce scar tissue on both the inside and the outside of your body. It also protects the skin from oxidative damage. 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.
Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is a very crucial component in maintaining the integrity of the skin cells. Itis a vital component of the protein, Collagen which is the main structural protein of various connective tissues in mammals.


Sugar is used as a natural exfoliant for skin. It is one of the best home remedies to get rid of stretch marks. Take a tablespoon of sugar, add some drops of almond oil and lemon juice in it. Stir it well and apply directly on the stretch marks. Rub it for 8-10 minutes and then, take a shower. Continue to use it for one month or so, until the stretch marks fade out.

Potato Juice:
Potato juice is rich in minerals and vitamins. It promotes restoration and growth of skin cells. Cut thick slices of a medium-sized potato. Take one of the potato slices and rub gently on the stretch marks for a few minutes. When the juice gets dried, wash the affected area with lukewarm water.

Water is an important moisturizer for the skin aand body in general. It is also known for carrying oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. To get rid of stretch marks, a well-hydrated skin is required in order to allow regular detoxification of skin pores. It is the quickest remedy to heal stretch marks. Drink 10 glasses of water daily to make skin soft and maintain a hydrated body. Water is a vital remedy for any skin disease.

Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera is considered to be the most effective homeopathic remedy for stretch marks and various other skin problems. It is known for its healing and soothing properties. Apply aloe vera directly on the stretch marks. After a few minutes, clean it with lukewarm water. Alternatively, take a one-fourth cup of aloe vera gel. Extract oil from 5 vitamin A capsules and 10 vitamin E capsules.
Egg Whites:
To get rid of stretch marks, egg whites are beneficial as they are rich in proteins and amino acid. Extract whites of two eggs. Whip it with the help of a fork. After washing the affected area with clean water, apply a thick layer of egg whites with the help of a brush. Let it dry completely and wash it off with cold water. After this, apply some olive oil to moisturize the skin. For two weeks, continue the process daily for better results.
Vitamin K:
Vitamin K is helpful in preventing scars on dermis. Vitamin K is present in green vegetables, like cabbage, spring onions, pickled cucumber, etc. Make a salad of all these vegetables and consume it daily to get rid of stretch marks.
Physical Exercise:

Physical exercises, like abdominal crunches, sit-ups, swimming, etc., which tone the underlying muscles and remove the ugly stretch marks. Here are some exercises, which are beneficial to remove stretch marks:

A. For Stretch Marks on Stomach : You are required to lie down flat on your back. Now, bend your knees keeping the feet flat on the floor. Keep your hands on the sides of your head. Now, lift your upper body somewhat off the floor, contracting your abs.
B. For Stretch Marks on Thighs : Sit straight on the chair. Now, put your hands down to your sides, holding the chair. Now, swing your legs in up and down motion. This will help to firm your thighs.
C. For Stretch Marks on Hips and Buttocks : Lie down flat on your back. Relax for a few minutes. Then, lift one leg creating a 90 degree angle. Lift it until you feel a pull on your buttocks. Try the same on the other leg. Slowly, increase your pace and strain on the hips, buttocks, and thighs.

D. For Stretch Marks on Bottom : You are required to lie down facing the floor. Put your arms on the side. Lift your right leg up and then down. Repeat the same with left leg. Raise your leg at least 3-6 inches off the floor.
Note- For best results, practise 20 sets of each.
Useful Tips
*Consume protein and zinc rich foods in abundance. Green salad, milk, fish, nuts and citrus fruits help a lot in diminishing stretch marks.
*Pregnant women should not use creams and solutions, prepared from chemicals. Instead of fading away stretch marks, they may result in skin damaging rashes.
*Don’t scratch the affected area.
*Keep your skin moisturized.
NOTE THAT only cosmetic surgery eliminates stretch marks completely. GO EASY ON YOURSELF!
Tags : Definition and Risk Factors of Stretch MarksDiet Management of Stretch Marks.Home Remedies for Stretch MarksStretch Marks

The author Prince

Hi, I’m Prince.. a registered Dietitian, an avid reader and a passionate writer. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them

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