Stretch Mark Treatments for
Clear Skin

Stretch mark treatments help reduce the appearance of the little drawn out lines on your skin. Although there is no pain associated with stretch marks, they can look rather unsightly if you have a lot of them. You may find yourself covering it up instead of baring it all! Wouldn’t it be great if you could just watch them disappear!

stretch mark (Cindy Crawford) image This may look like some old woman's body, but I assure you its not. This is a recent picture of Cindy Crawford after she had her last child. She was enjoying a day at the beach with her hubby and not worried about camera's clicking away. I think that's fantastic!

Collagen and elastin keep your skin looking tight and supple. When connective tissue is compromised the result can be stretch marks. Stretch marks can ruin perfectly good-looking skin!

Prevention is by far, one of the best stretch mark treatments available. If you already have them, you shouldn't overlook preventative strategies! All of the steps you take for prevention can be used for treatment. Healthy skin on a healthy body is much easier to treat than skin that is not well taken care of.

Stretch marks generally present as purplish-reddish streaks (turning to grayish-white over time) and normally appear on the buttocks, hips, abdomen, breast, and arms. They are a common side effect of skin expanding at too rapid a pace. They form when the dermis (the middle elastic layer of your skin) is stretched beyond it’s capacity, which breaks down the elasticity in your skin. As the elasticity breaks down, the skin tries to reinforce itself with collagen in the over stretched areas of your skin. Then you see them as stretch marks.

Heredity can be a factor in stretch marks as some skin types are just genetically predisposed to them. If your mother or grandmother had them, chances are you will too. Rapid weight gain (as found in pregnancy and teenagers) and excessive weight loss (as found in anorexics or people who get sick) are both contributors.

Also people who have dry skin also have less elasticity in their skin, while well hydrated skin tends to have more elasticity.

Not all stretch marks are created equal though. They age and heal differently depending on the skin type, heredity, diet, and hydration. In time, some may fade. The instance of stretch marks should decline if you help maintain the integrity of your skin, which minimizes the effects of stretch marks if they should occur.

12 Simple Stretch Mark Treatments

Creams and Lotions - Advancements are made all the time with stretch mark creams and lotions. Cocoa butter on the other hand, has been around for years and works well in some instances. If you are pregnant or body building, start a preventative treatment for stretch marks beforehand if possible.

Diet - Maintain a healthy diet and keep your skin moisturized by ample amounts of water. A properly hydrated body keeps your skin soft, supple, and less likely to develop stretch marks.

Caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda can dehydrate your skin leaving you more vulnerable to stretch marks. Eat healthy foods that promote skin health such as foods high in zinc, vitamins A, B, (Biotin especially), C, and D, and protein rich foods. Stretch mark treatments, such as vitamin supplements, should be an integral part of your treatment plan.

Makeup - Covering up your stretch marks with cosmetic makeup helps to disguise them but does not treat them. It just makes them less visible to the naked eye. Products like Dermablend Cover Creme can really be a life saver if you're self conscious!

Creams and Ointments - One of the least expensive stretch mark treatments is to use topical creams and ointments. There are many OTC creams that can help treat your stretch marks. Look for creams that will help with scar tissue reduction and collagen synthesis. Strivectin SD has long been noted for its ability to decrease the appearance of stretch marks over time. Mederma for stretch marks is another product to consider. Keep in mind that for these products to work best, you must be patient and maintain application. Also, when applying creams or ointments, take time to massage the area to help increase blood flow. Increased blood flow to the area can decrease the healing time for stretch marks.

Prescriptions - There are also prescription creams that are used for stretch mark treatments. These creams contain Retin-A, retinol, or other derivatives of Vitamin A. The concentrated derivatives of Vitamin A help stimulate collagen synthesis which helps diminish stretch marks. These particular creams work best on newer stretch marks, which are generally reddish in color.

Surgical methods - Dermabrasion, chemical peel, and laser can be used for stretch mark treatments. As with any cosmetic surgery, age, skin type, and even diet will influence the results.

Exfoliate - Exfoliate the area(s) regularly. Loofah sponges and dead sea salt scrubs work well on stretch marks over time. If you use one however, follow up by applying creams, oils (like Bio Oil), or lotions to re-moisturize your skin. Remember, exfoliate first, moisturize second. You can easily make your own scrub and moisturizer at home using these recipes.

Homemade Skin Scrub - Mix 1/2 C sugar with 1 teaspoon of any or all of the following: cod liver oil, olive oil, aloe Vera gel and Vitamin E cream or oil. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and massage gently on the affected area. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

This mixture acts as an excellent exfoliating scrub and stimulates circulation.

Find more scrub ideas here

Moisturizer - Body moisturizers – Mix cod liver oil, vitamin E oil, and aloe Vera gel together in equal amounts. Always rub/massage your skin upwards, towards your heart. This stimulates circulation and is great for reducing cellulite too.

MicroDermabrasion – Microdermabrasion works especially well on stretch marks. Use the appliance about 3 minutes on each affected area. Allow it to circulate right on top of the area you're treating. Rinse the area with warm water and pat dry, then apply Vitamin E oil to hydrate your skin.

Skin Brushing - Skin brushing is done with a soft boars head bristle brush and is done on dry skin before you shower. It helps reduce toxins from your body, increases circulation (which is vital to your skin healing), and stimulates lymphatic flow.

Vitamin C is the only vitamin that can be absorbed through the skin. Vitamin E can help to a smaller extent but Vitamin C works the best. A good homemade stretch mark treatment is this:

Mix a small amount of plain oatmeal, 1-2 vitamin E capsules, and 2 or 3 tablets of crushed vitamin C. Dissolve the Vitamin C crushed tabs with a few drops of warm water. It won’t take much! (Do not use hot water because it will make the Vitamin C less effective.)

Mix the crushed, dissolved tabs with the oatmeal to make a thick, mushy mix, then add the vitamin E and mix it all up really well. Use it to massage onto your skin. (You can also use it as a facial mask. For facial masks, you can also chop up some cucumber and mix it in as well.) The mixture feels really good on your skin, it works wonder for improving the appearance of your skin, and it's good for you too. There are no artificial chemicals or unidentifiable stablizers!

There are so many stretch mark treatments to choose from. Unfortunately, there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to stretch marks. Try a few methods and stretch mark treatments that suit your lifestyle and your pocketbook. You'll be more apt to find the best treatment for you if you persevere.

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