Stretch marks can develop either during puberty, pregnancy or whenever one gains weight in general. Muscle building can also cause stretch marks, which tend to appear in areas of the body with more fat. Stretch marks begin as microscopic tears in the skin layers because of overstretching of the dermis.
Remedies for Treating Stretch Marks
Anyone suffering from stretch marks should seek the advice of their physician or dermatologist, but there are some readily available over-the-counter possibilities that should be discussed. Aloe vera extract used on stretch marks heals microscopic tears in the skin without allowing any scar tissue to form. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years to aid in the treatment of dry or scarred skin. Aloe vera extract is a skin protector and it assists in skin regeneration. Cocoa butter has been found to be an excellent moisturizer, but no proof exists as to whether or not it actually reduces the appearance of stretch marks. Tanning creams may be helpful in masking the appearance of stretch marks. When using any of these treatments, age, skin tone and diet are important factors to consider, as they can impact the effectiveness of any remedy one might try.
Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels to Remove Stretch Marks
There are some cosmetic procedures, which could help reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well. Microdermabrasion would involve applying crystals or beads and buffing the affected areas to exfoliate and minimize the appearance of stretch marks. A chemical peel would remove the top layer of damaged skin cells and promote the growth of new and healthy skin cells. Opinions differ regarding the effectiveness of chemical peels on stretch marks, and one should carefully research this option for themselves. Laser treatments are also a recommended option, but they are not a complete cure for stretch marks.
Preventing Stretch Marks
Studies have found that Gotu Kola extract, along with vitamin E can significantly reduce the occurrence of stretch marks when used during pregnancy. Using alpha-hydroxy acids such as Retin-A during times of weight gain or growth may also prevent stretch marks from ever forming.