Give advice on women's health concerns.

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

The first thing that every woman thinks after her delivery is getting rid of stretch marks, which are more of a cosmetic problem that anything else. Needless to say, many people are looking to get rid of this unsightly problem. Scroll down to see how can you treat them.
Bhakti Satalkar
Stretch marks are scars that are left behind when the skin is overstretched and the fibers in the dermis layer of the skin are broken. They appear after rapid weight gain or weight loss. They are a common occurrence during pregnancy and in teenage years. Teenagers experience rapid growth spurts, which lead to such marks, while it is the additional weight gain in pregnant women that can cause such a condition too. They can also be caused due to increased levels of steroid hormones, which bring about significant amount of changes throughout the body. Obesity, as well as weightlifting, are the other culprits. About 90% of women suffer from stretch marks. They are normally found on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, legs or upper arms. In the initial stages, these marks are red or purple in color, and they later turn white or silver, many times with deep indentations.

Preventing stretch marks while pregnant is better than treating them later. Their appearance is also dependent on the skin color. It is important to treat the marks as soon as you see them appear. There are surgical methods, over-the-counter treatments, as well as home remedies to treat the problem. Take a look.

Surgical Methods
Among the various available methods, chemical peels and laser surgery are commonly used to address this problem. Dermabrasion is the other widely used method. You will have to visit a dermatologist to get any one of these methods done.

Over-the-counter Treatments
There are a number of over-the-counter treatments that are available to address this problem. You may want to talk to your health care professional to find the best way out. If you are pregnant, you may want to talk to your doctor and express your concern. The doctor may give you medicines, which may prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. The different types of cream and lotions help in improving the texture of the skin and reduce the visibility of the marks. Although not a typical over-the-counter treatment, glycolic acid is also used to treat the problem. Glycolic acid is derived from sugarcane, and is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid. It increases collagen production and thereby treats the stretch marks.

Home Remedies
Home remedies are often tried prior to surgical and over-the-counter remedies. The lack of side effects of this type of treatment is probably the main reason why. The following home remedies have been proven to be quite effective in treating this condition. Let's see how to lighten your stretch marks naturally.
  • Wheat Germ Oil: According to a study, wheat germ oil helps if the marks are in the nascent stage.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C also helps in increasing the production of collagen. You may increase the intake of Vitamin C in your diet. The other option is to take a Vitamin C supplement.
  • Nutritional Supplements: Stretch marks can occur as a result of nutritional deficiency. Hence it is recommended to increase the consumption of food rich in zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Nuts, fish, carrots, citrus fruits, milk, and protein-rich food such as eggs are foods that should be included in your diet to treat this condition.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is an effective bleaching agent and works well on marks and scars. It can be used to gently rub on the marks and then allow it to dry.
  • Vitamin E: You may opt to massage the area with stretch marks with Vitamin E oil. If it is possible, you may want to leave it overnight for better results. The other option is to mix aloe vera gel, cocoa butter and add Vitamin E oil to it. Apply this scrub on the marks and allow it to dry, before you wash it.
It is important to remember that stretch marks may take some time before you are able to eradicate them completely.
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