Stretch marks are a frustrating and unsightly problem that afflicts nearly every woman. Stretch marks occur as a result of rapid weight gain or pregnancy, frequently appearing on the breasts, abdomen, upper arms, and thighs. The scars may appear to be white, blue, or purple and are usually indented and strip-like. Over the counter medications are generally ineffective on stretch marks and are not scientifically proven as a viable solution for these frustrating scars. Unfortunately, there are no significantly effective home remedies either, but there are things you can do that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The best home remedy for stretch marks is simply time. Most stretch marks will begin to fade fairly quickly and will continue to fade throughout the remainder of the individual’s life. Stretch marks that appear during adolescence or early adulthood are especially likely to disappear over the course of the individual’s life.
If you are pregnant, your stretch marks will likely begin to slowly fade after your delivery. Do not use over the counter treatments to treat or prevent stretch marks. These creams, ointments, and medications do not help reduce the occurrence or appearance of stretch marks.
There is little evidence to support the use of cocoa butter to lessen the visibility of stretch marks; in fact, there are a handful of studies to the contrary. [Osman H. “Cocoa Butter Lotion for Prevention of Striae Gravidarum: A Double-blind, Randomised and Placebo-controlled Trial.”] Nevertheless, countless stretch mark sufferers swear by its effectiveness. Cocoa butter is safe and natural, which makes it an excellent home remedy for those who are pregnant or health conscious. The active ingredient in most over the counter medications is cocoa butter, but purchasing it in a purer form is healthier and more effective.
Stop Cortisone Cream Use
Cortisone creams should not be used in excessive amounts. The creams can cause stretch marks to occur and can also increase the appearance of stretch marks that already exist on the body. Stopping the use of cortisone cream will help prevent severe looking stretch marks. If you are already a frequent user of cortisone cream, when stopping the use of the product you may experience a significant reduction in the appearance of your stretch marks. [“Striae: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health]
Avoid Weight Gain
Sudden weight gain will put an unnecessary strain on your skin and your body. Weight gain causes stretch marks and it can also make them worse. Follow a healthy exercise plan and eat a well balanced diet. Do not allow weight gain to occur rapidly. Significant weight gain will cause the stretch marks to become darker and wider.
“Striae: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003287.htm.
“Stretch marks – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretch-marks/ds01081.
Osman H. “Cocoa Butter Lotion for Prevention of Striae Gravidarum: A Double-blind, Randomised and Placebo-controlled Trial.” BJOB 115.9 (2008): 1138-142. Print.
Buchanan, K. “Prevention of Striae Gravidarum with Cocoa Butter Cream.” International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 108.1 (2010): 65-68. Print.