There are three layers of skin called the epidermis on top, the dermis in
the middle and the subcutaneous layer. The structural damage that causes
stretch marks occurs in the dermis. The dermis is comprised primarily
of connective tissue including collagen, elastic fibers and extrafibrillar
matrix (ground substance). A major function of the dermis is to support the structural integrity of the skin.
When skin grows the structural components in the dermis are stimulated to
increase their supportive elements, namely collagen and elastin. Collagen
provides strength while elastin as the name suggests gives elasticity.
When the skin grows faster than the connective tissue can accommodate
or grows past the ability to accommodate, the structural components can
become damaged and support interrupted. This forms visible defects in the
overlaying epidermis we call stretch marks. There are hormonal influences
on the connective tissue that can also produce stretch marks or striae,
another term for the finding. Often these occur from hormone influences
from pregnancy, puberty, certain endocrine disorders, body building and
hormone replacement therapies.
Stretch marks typically occur in a linear fashion along the lines of cleavage or stress. Commonly they are found on the abdomen, breasts, thighs, upper arms, buttocks and back. They can occur anywhere. Initially the striae appear a light purple or reddish color. Over time the color fades to an off white with a slightly silvery quality. When mature these lines resemble very narrow crevices and are soft to the touch. Striae pose no health risks by themselves. The major issue is with self-esteem from the appearance.
There is no specific cure for stretch marks. Therapy is designed to
improve the visual appearance of the overlying epidermis. Conventional
medical treatments involve laser treatments which can be costly and time
There are natural remedies that can minimize the appearance of striae.
1. Potato Juice
Potato juice has been used in other cultures for centuries as a beauty
treatment to produce healthy glowing skin. It is recommended as a topical
treatment to improve facial scaring from acne.
Potato contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins
C, B1, B6 and B9 (folic acid), potassium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
Copper may provide the answer to why potato diminished stretch marks.
Copper is an essential co-enzyme in connective tissue production and
Use an organically grown potato to avoid potential pesticides and other
additives. Cut into thick slices and rub over the stretch marks allowing the juice to completely cover the area for several minutes. Allow to air dry and leave for as long as possible before cleansing with lukewarm water.
2. Cocoa Butter and Pressure
Cocoa Butter is derived from the cocoa bean. The major constituents
are oleic, stearic and palmitic acids which are saturated fats a source of
cholesterol. It also contains high levels of vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3, C
and E. In addition to being an excellent moisturizer, the saturated fats may add substance to the defect “plumping out” the valley and the cholesterol and vitamins provide building blocks for cell membranes, protein and collagen repair.
Stretch marks are actually a form of scar. The visual appearance of
a skin defect is accentuated by the shadow created as light hits the
uneven surface. In any scar including striae, flattening the skin irregularity decreases the amount of shadow and minimizes the appearance.
Using a small amount of Cocoa Butter on the fingertips massage the
stretch marks in a circular motion. Use moderate pressure. This will apply
the Cocoa butter but over time the massage will flatten the defect and
minimize the appearance. Do this daily. Use real Cocoa Butter, not a lotion containing it as an ingredient. Real Cocoa Butter is pasty and will likely come in a small tube or container. It melts at body temperature and is absorbed.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is widely used in the Indian medicine, it is believed to be a treatment for various skin problems, infections, body diseases, and of course, it is widely spread in the cosmetic industry. Currently, around 75 components are known that the plant contains – these include vitamins – A, C, E, B12, folic; minerals – calcium, copper, selenium; amino acids, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acid.
Take an aloe vera plant, cut a small piece of the leave, and apply pure aloe vera directly to the stretch marks after your daily shower. The fresh gel from the leaf will be able to regenerate your skin.
Another way to use this is to take the fresh oil from the aloe vera leaf and mix it with vitamin A and E oil. Massage this mix into your skin until fully absorbed.
4. Lavender Oil
Lavender was discovered many years ago and it has been used in many ways. It is mainly recommended on skin and beauty issues, on aromatherapy. However, it is important to know that lavender oil is toxic when swallowed, so it should be used just for external purposes.
Massage the lavender oil on the skin until it is fully absorbed; it enhances the collagen production and will help with the appearance of new and healed skin tissue.
It has very good and fast effects on newly developed stretch marks.
5. Egg whites
Egg whites are a good source for vitamins. They contain more than half of the protein that an egg contains 54 milligrams of potassium and 55 mg of sodium. They also contain riboflavin and selenium. All these being said, you can see why this is a healthy treat not only for your inner intake but also for our external skin as the amino acids and proteins it contains, help reduce the stretch marks.
Take two egg white and mix them. Make sure you have enough for the area you want to put on. Have a sponge available and after a good mix apply it with the sponge on the affected area. Leave it 15 to 20 minutes until it is completely dried and then rinse with COLD water.