Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, refer to the scarring of the skin with an off-color appearance. Caused by tearing of the dermal part of the skin due to overstretching, stretch marks run perpendicular to the maximum lines of tension in the skin and they start as flat red lines and change into slightly depressed white streaks. Stretch marks can fade over a period of time; however, it will not fully vanish.
According to Web MD, women are more inclined to having stretch marks because they are the ones who get pregnant. As per the American Academy of Dermatology (via the publication), about 90 percent of women will develop stretch marks after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, presumably because the size of the growing baby increases and pushes itself to the abdomen, stretching the mother’s skin. It has also been added that people whose mothers have stretchmarks also have the tendency to have the same, too; this implies that genetics is also a factor to the development of stretch marks. It is also an interesting note that people who have lighter complexion tend to develop pinkish stretch marks while those who are dark-skinned are inclined to have lighter toned stretch marks.
But how can stretch marks be managed?
Castor oil and aloe vera are notable remedies for stretch marks, according to Top 10 Home Remedies. As per the publication, castor oil is utilized in the management of several skin disorders, which include pimples, fine lines, dark spots, age spots moles, and wrinkles; thus, it can also be used to get rid of stretch marks. The oil is applied to the stretch marks and the area is gently massaged in circular motion for five to ten minutes. Then, the area is wrapped with a thin cotton cloth and heat is applied to the affected area using a warm water bottle or a heating pad for about 30 minutes. The process is done repeatedly for at least one month for notable results. Aside from castor oil, the aloe vera plant can also be used in the management of stretch marks. As per the publication, the aloe vera gel is rubbed directly on the affected skin surface, left on for 15 minutes, and is rinsed with luke warm water after. An alternative is to mix one-fourth cup of aloe vera gel, oil from five vitamin A capsules, and oil from ten vitamin E capsules. The mixture is rubbed onto the skin until it is completely absorbed and the routine is done everyday.
Lemon juice and alfalfa leaves can also help the body get rid of stretch marks, according to Home Remedy Shop. As per the publication, lemon juice has acid, which helps decrease various skin problems like scars, acne, and stretch marks. The juice is extracted from the fruit and is massaged gently to the area for ten minutes in a circular fashion. Then, the area is cleaned with warm water. Lemon juice can also be mixed with cucumber juice and the mixture is applied directly on the area with stretch marks. Alfalfa leaves, on the other hand, have amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein and are known to help in cellular and tissue repair. They also have vitamin E and vitamin K, which help in having beautiful and radiant skin. The plant also has anti-fungal properties, enabling skin detoxification. The leaves in powder form can be mixed with few drops of chamomile oil to form a paste. Then, it is rubbed on the affected area three times a day.
As of now, there is no proof that home remedies can lead to the improvement of the appearance of stretch marks, according to Medicine Net. As per the publication, while there is a wide array of possible treatments for the condition, none of them stands as viable in the prevention and treatment of stretchmarks. Although creams and ointments are also available in the market, they have not produced any medical evidence about constant improvement in the appearance of stretch marks. The modern era presents the accessibility of certain modalities like laser and ultrasound; however, their effectiveness in the management of stretch marks is yet to be tested.