Stretch marks are a type of scarring that occur when a person gains or loses a large amount of weight over a short period of time. They generally tend to appear on a person's stomach, breasts, thighs and buttocks. The rapid weight gain or loss results in the tearing of the dermis, which then produces lines of purple or red discolorations that fade over time, but never fully disappear. Taking preventative measures is one of the best ways to treat stretch marks. In fact, there are certain over-the-counter and natural products that can be used to remove stretch marks in the comfort of your own home.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. It's imperative that you keep your body hydrated to prevent and treat stretch marks. The moisture and hydration provided by drinking plenty of water keeps skin soft and supple and less likely to develop stretch marks.
Eat foods rich in vitamins and nutrients such as carrots, oranges and grapefruits, milk, eggs, nuts and fish for every meal at home. Avoid greasy foods and junk food like chips and soda. Stretch marks are more likely to occur in people suffering from nutritional deficiency. Any foods that are rich in vitamins E and C, which promote skin health, will make it less likely to develop stretch marks. These foods will also help to fade away existing stretch marks by providing skin cells with the necessary vitamins to repair themselves.
Use castor oil on the stretch marks. Rub the oil into the stretch marks or stretch mark prone areas (tummy and thighs) several times a day to lighten and fade the marks. This is a home remedy recommended by dermatologists for people who cannot afford more expensive treatment creams or laser procedures.
Use any moisturizing lotion rich in vitamin E on the stretch marks. Rub the lotion into the stretch marks deeply and thoroughly to help get rid of them. Apply the lotion at least twice a day, in the morning and at night. Dermatologists like Howard Murad, M.D. and Lisa Airan, M.D. recommend the usage of vitamin E as a time-honored remedy against stretch marks and other types of scars.
Use Palmer's Cocoa Butter on the stretch marks daily. Massage the lotion into the stretch mark site at least twice a day until the marks are deeply faded or completely gone. Any type of lotion that contains cocoa butter as an ingredient will also do the trick because cocoa butter is the active ingredient that heals damaged skin cells to remove stretch marks. This is also a great preventative treatment as recommended by Dr. Brian Zelickson of the University of Minnesota Dermatology Department.
Give it some time. Over time the stretch marks will fade away on their own. Be patient. You may need to try all these methods for several months before achieving any results. Consult a dermatologist before you begin any treatment. A skincare professional will provide you with sound advice on how to treat your stretch marks.
Avoid caffeine in the form of tea, coffee, chocolate and soda as it actually increases the chance of getting stretch marks, and hinders treatment of stretch marks.