Stretch marks – they do not discriminate and can develop on both men and women on any body part that experiences growth.
Stretch marks appear when your body grows faster than your skin. This rapid growth causes tiny fibers in your skin’s epidermis to break.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, roughly 90% of women get stretch marks. However, this phenomena does affect men as well.
Stretch marks can be on the abdomen, breasts, arms, legs, buttocks and hips.
However, the area that affects women most commonly is the abdomen. Stretch marks can appear after excessive weight gain or weight loss and are especially visible for some women during and after pregnancy.
Some patients I speak to are not bothered by their stretch marks. They accept these marks as a part of life and as a part of getting older.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Stretch marks can be prevented. And even better, if they do appear on your skin, there are things that you can do to try to reduce their appearance.
Preventative Skin Care
While you are pregnant or in the process of losing weight, there are some natural remedies that you can try to help minimize stretch marks.
Some believe that the protein in egg whites may help rejuvenate the skin. Massaging egg whites into the affected areas may help fade stretch marks.
For years, people have been rubbing lemons onto their skin to naturally fade freckles. The natural acids in lemons have also been known to fade stretch marks. A mix of lemons and raw sugar is a homemade scrub that you can create to help exfoliate the skin and fade stretch marks.
Lotions, Oils, Balms and Serums
Many women swear by aloe vera, almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, petroleum jelly, shea butter (which also has vitamin A), cocoa butter, and vitamin E. Each of these products are known to soothe the skin and help with moisturizing and elasticity. Pregnant women often rub some of these lotions and oils on their bellies pre and post-baby for optimal results.
These items are inexpensive and readily available. However, you must be diligent and apply daily.
As in most cases, being proactive is key in maximizing results. Taking daily multivitamins, keeping hydrated (8 glasses of water daily), and moisturizing your skin with products that are rich in proteins and vitamins may help your skin adapt to its changing condition so you can look and feel great sooner…rather than later.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re looking to jump start the process or don’t feel like rubbing sticky, messy homemade solutions onto your body, there are over the counter scar fade creams available that also help fade stretch marks. For best results, we recommend that you use scar and stretch mark fade systems, which offer complete, comprehensive care from exfoliation to healing and fading.]