Everything you need to know about stretch marks and how to make them fade naturally
Stretch marks typically appear as parallel lines or bands on the skin. These lines may vary in color and texture compared to normal skin. Stretch marks have a slight ridge or indentation on the skin which will be felt. Sometimes, stretch marks may feel itchy or sore. This happens when the center layer of skin (dermis) becomes stretched and broken in places. These marks can appear during or after pregnancy or after a sudden weight change. Especially in adolescents who are rapidly growing. Teenagers may notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt. Stretch marks aren’t dangerous and they often disappear or lighten over time. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but the most frequently affected parts include stomach, breasts, upper arms, thighs and buttocks.
Cortisone is a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands. However, an excessive amount of this hormone can make skin lose its elasticity and leads to stretch marks. During pregnancy, the skin stretches in numerous ways to make room for the developing foetus and causes stretch marks. Many other adrenal disorders also can cause stretch marks by increasing the amount of cortisone in our body. Hormonal changes occurring, especially during pregnancy can affect the skin and make it susceptible to stretch marks. As the body is rapidly growing, stretch marks, especially on your belly and breasts are quite common. Stretch marks also can show in the inner areas of the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. It is vital for slow and steady weight gain during pregnancy, to stop these marks to some extent. So when it involves stretch marks, how quickly you gain weight could also be as important as what proportion you gain. It’s sometimes associated with genes also. So if your mom had stretch marks, then you are more likely to have them as well. If one has a fair complexion, then they have the tendency to develop pinkish stretch marks. Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely prevent stretch marks but we will be able to reduce the occurrence with natural remedies.
It is always a good idea to keep your skin hydrated regularly with coconut oil or organic moisturizer or aloe gel. It’ll make the skin feel better, look smoother, and more toned. It will also stop itchiness which accompanies the growing belly during pregnancy. It also helps to keep your body hydrated, so optimal water intake and other fluids are equally important to hydrate the skin well. Some stretch marks may naturally fade but others may remain darker and visible. Some creams claim to get rid of stretch marks but there is no reliable evidence that they work. There is not any magical treatment that will make the marks go away completely. But there are precautions to help minimize them.
Coconut oil mixed in tea tree oil can be a good moisturizer to hydrate the skin and control stretch marks. Aloe vera gel can be applied and kept for 30 minutes, before being washed off — to provide collagen naturally as well as hydrate the skin and reduce these marks. One can even apply rice flour and curd mixture to gently scrub the area and lighten the marks. The simplest treatment is to keep the skin healthy and hydrated in order to maintain its maximum elasticity. Also, drink ample amounts of water to keep your glow on!
(The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)