There are many reasons for the formation of these marks such as hormonal changes due to pregnancy, puberty or HRT (hormone replacement therapy), steroid usage for building up muscles, genetic predisposition or diseases like Cushing’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Adrenal gland disorders. The skin often becomes flattened, soft to touch and thin before formation of pink/ red/purple lines. Initially the lines are raised and wrinkly, which later on turn silver or white in colour.
They may appear as a patch of scars or parallel lines. However, don’t let them deter you from enjoying motherhood or losing those extra kilos. Many ingredients generally found in our homes or in stores nearby are quite effective in reducing the scars. Slight modification in our daily routine, diet and usage of these remedies will work wonders for your skin. Here are a few easy to do remedies to take care of those scars and stretch marks.
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Massaging the affected are with oils can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Keep your skin moisturized well during the pregnancy, starting from 2nd trimester onwards. This will help prevent the formation of those thin fine lines as you will keep the skin well hydrated. However, if scars do get formed you can try applying any of the below mentioned oils.
It moisturizes the skin and improves blood circulation, thereby gradually causing a reduction in the stretch marks. Apart from the presence of vitamin A and E, which help in nourishing the skin layers, it is also rich in antioxidants which help remove free radicals found in the body, that damage collagen causing fine lines, wrinkles and dryness. You can massage slightly warm olive oil on stretch marks; let it remain for 30 minutes followed by a bath. Alternately, you can massage with a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and water and leave it overnight for effective results.
Despite its thick consistency, it has been used for treatment of wrinkles, moles, pimples, age spots, and fine lines. It can also be used for reducing stretch marks and scars. Massage castor oil on the affected area using circular motions for 5-10 minutes. Wrap a thin cotton cloth around the area, and apply some heat using either a heating pad or a hot water bottle for around 30 minutes, so that the oil is absorbed well into the area. Repeat daily for best results.
Various other oils such as almond, avocado, coconut, vitamin E oils can also be used in equal proportions to reduce stretch marks and scars. Massage the stretch marks or scars containing area with oils for about 20-30 minutes daily, 2-3 times a day. You can add one of the many essential oils for this purpose like lavender, rose, geranium, chamomile, myrrh etc. Mix ½ teaspoon each of chamomile and lavender oils with 2 teaspoons of almond oil. Apply this mixture on the stretch marks, daily, 3-4 times a day.
Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E as well as antioxidants. The capric, caprylic and Lauric acids present in it help promote collagen production, thereby reducing scars and stretch marks. Massage warm coconut oil for 5-10 minutes on the affected area, and leave it for an hour or two. Repeat 2-4 times daily for best results.
Mix 1 tablespoon each of wheat germ oil and calendula oil and massage it on the affected area. Continuous use leads to lightening of stretch marks.
Tea tree oil
It is known to possess antiviral, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, and is extensively used to treat various skin related problems. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to 1 teaspoon of almond oil, rub it on scars; leave it for 30 minutes and wash off with warm water. Use daily for better results.
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It is an excellent exfoliant, apart from being a natural source of an alpha-hydroxyl acid (AHA): glycolic acid. It helps in formation of skin cells, apart from removing dead skin cells. It is also known to reduce sun burns and acne. Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with a few drops of almond oil and lemon juice, and apply this mixture on stretch marks. Rub it for 8-10 minutes and then wash it off. Continue this exfoliation technique daily for a month or till the scars fade off.