What causes stretch marks? Here is a list of home remedies for stretch marks and tips for getting rid of stretch marks including herbs.

Unless you want to opt for laser treatment for stretch marks which stimulates the growth of collagen and elastin, these home remedies may help rebuild collagen and make them less visible. In medical terms, stretch marks are known as striae distensae while the indented lines or streaks developed during pregnancy are known as striae gravidarum. 

Stretch marks most often appear on the stomach, breasts, buttocks, hips, thighs and also the upper arms. The stretch marks are noticeable among women in the later stages of their pregnancies. Stretch marks are also common among people who are obese and those who experience rapid weight gain and rapid body changes especially teenagers and bodybuilders. The rapid growth causes the skin to stretch. This overstretching and pulling causes the disruption or loss of collagen and elastin in the skin which will result in noticeable marks or lines on the top layer of the skin.

Prolonged use of high doses of oral corticosteroids and topical hydrocortisones are also some of the causes of stretch marks. An example is Cushing's syndrome or hypercortisolism which is caused by the use of oral corticosteroid medications which treat inflammatory diseases. Genetics also contributes to the symptoms of stretch marks.

Herbal Remedies for Stretch Marks

Jojoba is a natural emollient or moisturizer and its constituents are similar to the human sebum. One of the benefits of applying jojoba oil is that it retains moisture in the skin and allows the damaged skin on the surface to repair itself and thus reduce the stretch marks. Jojoba oil is best used when combined with vitamin e oil, safflower oil and grapeseed oil. 

There are many anecdotal claims that unrefined shea butter or shea oil are effective in removing stretch marks, wrinkles and all types of skin problems. Shea oil helps improve skin elasticity, prevents and also heals scar tissues. 

Frankincense oil or olibanum oil is another plant extract that is used as one of the stretch mark treatments. It has the potential to treat mature skin and reduce scarring. To use it, mix frankincense oil with jojoba oil and rub on the affected skin. 

You may also try castor oil as a natural stretch mark removal agent. It is rich in ricinoleic acid and oleic acid which are omega-9 fatty acids and linoleic acid which is an omega-6 fatty acid. All these fatty acids are beneficial in maintaining healthy skin.

Alternative Home Remedies for Stretch Marks

Applying emu oil several times daily may help. Emu oil is a natural emollient and studies found that among its other benefits include healing damaged skin, scar tissues and also joint inflammations such as arthritis. 

Bovine collagen is also helpful in maintaining skin's elasticity. It is also beneficial to treat matured and damaged skin. 

You can also take seaweed supplement such as kelp to assist in the production of collagen and as one of the home remedies for stretch marks. A seaweed gel wrap also helps as it stimulates blood circulation and lymph fluid drainage which will result in the regeneration of tissue and collagen production.
Home Remedies for Stretch Marks - Lotions and Creams

If you look at some of the ingredients of stretch mark creams, you will notice that they contain alpha hydroxy acid or AHA or glycolic acid. What it does is break down protein cells that hold dead skin cells, dissolves them and allows for new skin cells. It does help but you must religiously apply it daily.

If you prefer to use stretch mark cream with natural ingredients, other than the herbal extracts mentioned above, get one that contains aloe vera, natural cocoa butter, calendula, rosemary and neem herbal extract.

Preventing Stretch Marks

Drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated and to maintain its elasticity. At the same time, reduce your consumption of coffee and beverages that contain caffeine.

Choose healthy foods and avoid refined foods and those that contain a lot of sugar and fat since obesity and rapid weight gain can cause stretch marks. Add dietary supplements that are beneficial for the skin such as vitamins A, C, D, minerals such as zinc and essential fatty acids. 

Do regular exercise and you will improve circulation and delivery of nutrients to skin cells which allow for a favorable condition for the production of collagen. Exercising makes you sweat and helps unclog pores and helps you maintain your weight, reduces stress levels and helps with your overall health and fitness. 

Most women develop pregnancy stretch marks and it results in scarring of the skin. What you can do is apply natural oils in the early stages of pregnancy so that your skin will stretch easily. And try to maintain a healthy weight gain.

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