Stretch Marks

What Is Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks, which differ in skin tone and texture from the surrounding skin, often appear in streaks on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs.  Stretch Marks can become less noticeable over time, but some people are often distressed or embarassed by them.  These streaks often appear after pregnancy, drastic weight gain, or in teenagers who have rapid growth spurts.


Signs Of Stretch Marks

Not all Stretch Marks look the same.  Their appearance can vary depending on the cause, the amount of time the person has had them, and where they are on the body.  Common variations of Stretch Marks include:

  • Indented streaks or lines on the skin
  • Pink, red, black, blue, or purple streaks
  • Streaks that fade from dark to light
  • Streaks on large areas of the body
  • Itchiness or redness around Stretch Marks
What Causes Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks are caused by the stretching of the skin and an increase in cortisone in the body.  Having too much cortisone, which is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, can cause the skin to lose its elasticity.  The Stretch Marks occur in the middle layer, dermis, of the skin.  This happens when the connective tissue is stretched beyond its limits, due to rapid growth or weight gain.  Common causes are:

  • Pregnancy (women usually develop Stretch Marks after their thir trimester)
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Growth spurts (primarily in teenage years)
  • Certain creams, lotions, or medications (these can cause the skin to lose its elasticity)
  • Cushing's Syndrome of Marfan Syndrom (or other adrenal gland disorders that increase the production of cortisone)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • It may be beneficial to place a warm castor oil pack on the affected area(s) to help decrease or minimize Stretch Marks.  You can purchase a castor oil pack, or you can make your own.  To make your own, soak a piece of wool flannel in castor oil and place it on the abdomen.  Cover it with plastic wrap, place a heating pad or hot water bottle on top, leave it on for an hour or so, and then remove it.  Do this once a day for a month, or until you see a noticeable change.
  • One effective treatment for Stretch Marks is aloe vera.  Because it has soothing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, it is beneficial for a variety of skin problems.  Apply raw aloe vera gell to the Stretch Marks, leave it on for 15 minutes, and wash it off with lukewarm water.  Do this every day.
  • Potato juice, believe it or not, may actually help to reduce Stretch Marks.  Potatoes contain starch, which helps to soothe the skin, and they also have antioxidants that can help slow cell damage.  Rub potato slices on the Stretch Marks and then wash the area with lukewarm water after 5-10 minutes.
  • A simple way that can help lessen Stetch Marks is the use of lemon juice.  The natural acidity in lemons can help reduce scars, Stretch Marks, and Acne.  Massage fresh lemon juice directly on the Stretch Marks and leave it on there for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.  You can also mix equal parts lemon and cucumber juice to apply it to the Stretch Marks. 
  • Applying cocoa or shea butter to your skin several times a day can help moisten dry skin, as well as assist Stretch Marks in the fading process.  If you are a woman and massage either of these butters to your stomach throughout pregnancy, you have a better chance at preventing Stretch Marks from developing.
  • An effective way to help reduce Stretch Marks is to tackle them from the inside by drinking lots of water.  It's important to ensure that you are properly hydrated by drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water every day. You can also drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  If you weigh 150lbs, then you should drink 75oz of water per day. 
Things you should eat
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Alfalfa
  • Peas
  • Almond Oil
  • Lemon
  • Avocados
  • Dark Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, & chard)
  • Blueberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers
  • Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Apricots
  • Mangos
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