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Stretch Marks: Your Unashamed Truth

Whether you’re preparing to head out to the beach in your favourite swimwear or dressing up for a formal event, the contrasting appearance of stretch marks running across your skin is hard to ignore and hide.

 

What are Stretch Marks?

They present themselves as streaks running up and down your skin. Persistent and prominent, these scars present themselves as more of an eyesore than a malignant health condition. Caused by excessive stretching of the skin, stretch marks, also called striae, are essentially healed by-products of ruptured collagen and elastin. Typically, rapid weight gain causes skin to stretch, but the problem occurs when there is not enough collagen and the skin can’t stretch itself  enough to keep up with the weight gain. This inevitably damages connective tissues, which heal and sometimes leave white streaks on our bodies.

 

Causes

Rapid weight gain, pregnancy and genetic disposition are just some of the ways you are likely to get stretch marks.

Pregnant women often see stretch marks on their belly, as the skin stretches to make room for the baby. If that’s not bad enough, the surging hormones in the body also contribute to the weakening of skin fibres in the skin. However, some stretch marks that were developed during pregnancy or puberty usually fade after some time.  

Stretch marks do not discriminate based on gender. Men are as equally susceptible to the development of stretch marks as women. Apart from rapid weight gain, a sudden increase in muscle mass can also play a key role in damaging collagen in the skin.

 

Treatments

There are several ways to treat stretch marks. For instance, you can apply moisturising agents that are high in vitamin E onto the affected areas. Regular application of almond oil, olive oil and cocoa butter is believed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

You can even find simple remedies in your kitchen to combat and prevent stretch marks. Carrots and sweet potatoes are rich sources of vitamin A, which are great for maintaining the overall health of your skin and for reducing stretch marks.

Although it is best to limit sugar in your diet, you shouldn’t be too worried about its effects on your skin. This versatile ingredient can aid in improving the way your skin looks. It has properties that seal the moisture in your skin and encourage cell turnover. In a nutshell, you will have fresher, more youthful-looking skin. Make a sugar scrub to exfoliate the area for several weeks for best results.

If you want something that moisturises your skin, while also diminishing the stark lines on your skin, aloe vera gel is the cure. The translucent substance is a natural healing agent that has a number of health benefits. Apart from keeping your skin hydrated and clear, it has properties that keep skin soft, which are perfect in reversing the effects of damaged skin. It is best to apply the gel after you have got out of the shower.

Reach for some organic coconut oil as an effective solution for stretch marks. Coconut oil is said to have a faster healing rate, as opposed to other oils or moisturising agents that treat stretch marks. This could be due to its high penetration rate. Ensure that you are using organic coconut oil to treat affected areas, instead of chemically modified coconut oil. When used correctly, organic coconut oil keeps your skin hydrated and radiant. It is also helpful to note that coconut oil contains both antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Lemon juice has naturally acidic properties that heal stretch marks and make them less visible. Similar to coconut oil, lemon juice increases the speed of skin recovery. Apply lemon juice in a circular motion to ensure maximum absorption. Because it is highly acidic, make sure that your skin is moisturised with some lotion or serum after treatment. Alternatively, you could also dilute lemon juice with some water before application.

If you don’t mind spending a little extra, get some tea tree oil from the health and wellness store. Tea tree oil has numerous benefits for the skin, including healing stretch marks and conserving the health of the skin. Tea tree oil also contains antibacterial and antifungal properties.

In addition to applying moisturising agents on the skin, you can also take supplements, such as vitamins A and C to replenish and renew cells in the body. This will work hand in hand to make sure that your cells are functioning at optimal levels.

 

Prevention is the Best Cure

Take pre-emptive steps to ensure that your skin is nourished and taken care of on a daily basis. Additionally, it also helps to make some improvements to your lifestyle, if you haven’t already. Instead of crash dieting to attain your perfect weight, maintain a healthy diet that provides the body with all the necessary nutrients and minerals it requires. Aim for a balanced diet rich in vitamins A and C and minerals like zinc and silicon. These nutrients and minerals will support the skin’s health and contribute to the overall health of your body.

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