Stretch marks are the scars that are left behind on the skin when it overstretches. As a result of overstretching, the fibre in the middle layer of the skin breaks. These generally appear on the abdominal region of pregnant ladies. These also appear on the upper arms, breasts, and buttocks of fat people. Fresh marks appear in the shape of red lines and slowly these lines become pale white in colour. Slowly these start to reduce and in some cases may totally disappear. If proper care is taken these can be prevented and also totally eliminated.
For prevention of stretch marks from appearing, it is essential to increase the elasticity of the skin. Supplementing vitamin A, E and C will help you to increase elasticity of your skin. These vitamins will also help to increase skin strength and reduce the chances of formation of stretch marks. Another important thing is to keep the skin hydrated. Certain medicated creams are available for application on the skin. If you are pregnant or breast feeding use these only after consulting your doctor.
If stretch marks have appeared then the following steps will help you to reduce them or totally get rid of them:
- After delivery of the child it is necessary to start muscle toning programme. This involves regular exercise. Yoga exercises to tone up the specific parts of the body where stretch marks have appeared are also very helpful. As the muscles will tone up the stretch marks will start to reduce. This is a slow process.
- Eating of balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals will be of great help to keep the skin healthy and elastic. Remember to keep the skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Water will not only hydrate your skin but will also remove unwanted radicals from the body.
- A number of creams like Retin- A are available in the market these help to get rid of stretch marks. Remember never to use them when pregnant. Some people say that rubbing Vicks Vaporub is good for stretch marks.
- Exfoliation is another way out to reduce the stretch marks. This can be done with the help of a scrub or a brush. The dead cells will be removed and the new cells of natural skin color will come.
- Laser therapy, microdermabrasion and cosmetic surgery are methods of medical treatment. These should be tried only in acute cases under the supervision of an expert.
- Some home remedies include rubbing of vitamin E oil on the skin, taking hot water bath to increase circulation of blood, and sun tanning to tan the lighter colored skin can be tried. During sun bath always put on sunscreen lotion.