Stretch marks occur when there are changes in the elasticity and support tissue of the skins central layer, this layer of skin is broken down by continuous stretching, pulling, and tugging.
This is a common result of fast growth and rapid weight gain or weight loss which causes skin tissue to tear leaving scaring. Stretch marks are a common problem among both men and women; however women appear to be a lot more hung up on the prevention and treatment of this unsightly skin condition. It is very difficult to know whether you will be prone to stretch marks, therefore prevention techniques are merely based on general maintenance of the skin from both the inside and out.
It has not been medically proven that creams and moisturizers can prevent stretch marks; this is simply because they do not have the ability to penetrate through to the source of where stretch marks are formed. However using natural oils on the skin such as shark liver oil and olive oil will help to protect your skin and make it feel softer and healthier. For best results choose a cream which also contains a high percentage of water; the added moisture content will penetrate into the skin and keep it hydrated from the outside.
Creams containing [easyazon-link asin=”B001UHSVOY”]cocoa butter[/easyazon-link], Shea butter, and almond oil are readily available and have proven to be very effective. You should apply these lotions at least twice daily in areas most prone to scaring such as breasts, thighs, hips, and buttocks.
Read this article for more info on the effectiveness of cocoa butter for stretch marks.
Ensuring your moisture levels are maintained on the inside is equally important. In order for skin to have the ability to repair damage quickly it needs to be constantly hydrated, this also helps to maintain elasticity and retain softness and moisture. So basically if your body is dehydrated then your skin will be too, and when this happens it is more vulnerable to stretching and breakage.
If you are suffering from itchy skin it is highly recommended that you resist scratching, this is because causes the skin to stretch and pull which can cause further damage and ultimately result in stretch marks. Try using massage oils and creams on itchy areas, this action will reduce the urge to scratch and will stimulate the growth of new cells by improving blood circulation. Both of these factors are vital when it comes to the prevention of stretch marks.
Vitamins contain many benefits and can contribute significantly to the fight against stretch marks. Vitamin A is essential for repair of damaged skin tissue; ensure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables containing this vitamin. Vitamin B is the key component of skin cells therefore eating foods rich in this vitamin such as bananas, rice, and eggs will help maintain and stimulate new growth. Niacin helps the skin to retain its moisture and can be obtained from beef, poultry, fish, seeds, and nuts.
The body requires vitamin C in order to produce collagen; this vitamin can be found in sweet peppers and oranges. Vitamin E is essential to maintain the strength and elasticity of the skin; sources high in this vitamin include mangoes, nuts, leafy green vegetables, avocados, and blueberries.
There are two main minerals that are very important when it comes to the overall health and condition of the skin. Copper is essential for the production of elastin; this mineral can be found in cashew and Brazil nuts, sunflower and poppy seeds, meats, fish, and cereal. Zinc is very important for the health of connective tissue and a deficiency in this mineral is a major cause behind stretch marks. To get your daily intake of zinc eat plenty of oysters, lean meat, and poultry.
Stretch marks CAN be prevented, and they can be reduced with natural treatments. I personally prefer the external moisturizing methods, and I believe coconut oil is particularly effective for stretch marks.