Stretch marks after weight loss are common, especially if someone loses a substantial amount of fat. But how can you get rid of stretch marks while slimming down?
I am going to share some methods that have worked for me. So, without any further ado, let’s explore all the possible ways of reducing stretch marks with some easy remedies.
What is a Stretch Mark?
A stretch mark is an irregular mark on our skin that looks like a stripe, band, or line. Usually, red or white-colored stretch marks appear as a group on some common areas such as the hips, abdomen, buttocks, arms, breasts, and other parts of the body.
The medical terms it’s known as are striae (striae distensae; striae atrophicus). Though stretch marks can appear any time at any age, it usually appears when you lose or gain excess weight.
Why Losing Weight Gives you Stretch Marks?
The excess skin after a massive, rapid weight loss, goes through some amount of stretching and tearing.
However, the majority of stretching happens when you gain weight rather than when you lose weight. As your skin stretches, the marks are not visible that much when they occur. When you lose weight, and the skin shrinks, the marks become visible.
Multiple factors can determine if you will get stretch marks after losing weight. Your hormones and genetics are some important factors that play vital roles in getting stretch marks.
The most common scenarios that cause stretch marks are massive weight gain and loss, rapid muscle gain and loss, childbirth, and pregnancy. In all of these scenarios, the skin gets stretched so fast that the underlying connective tissues raptures. This is why losing weight gives you stretch marks.
Here is an awesome video explaining how fasting helped with stretch marks and loose skin after a 100lb weight loss:
How to Prevent Stretch Marks while Gaining Weight?
You need to start taking prevention much before or during the phase of weight gain. However, weight gain is not always planned, and hence, it might not be possible in maximum cases.
In case you know that you are supposed to gain bodyweight because of some treatment such as steroids, pregnancy, or muscle gain, you need to plan ahead.
The best way to take precautions is by following a healthy lifestyle that includes a proper diet and regular exercise. The nutrients that you need to include in your diet are vitamin C, E, and zinc. Also, it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated during this phase and hence, make sure you drink plenty of water. Exercising daily will improve your skin elasticity while keeping you fit.
Stretch marks, when appearing initially, look like red, pink, or purplish-blue scars. Over time, they become thinner and more prominent.
If you want to care for your skin directly, you can consider applying moisturizers and cosmetic oils. These products can keep your skin plump and moisturized so that it doesn’t get stretched. Many women try stretch mark therapy as soon as they start expecting.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks while Losing Weight?
Whether you want to lose weight for some medical reason or for fitness, showing up stretch marks cannot ruin your happiness.
Hence, you should start taking prevention from the very first day if you haven’t taken any while gaining weight. Though weight gain can give you maximum stretch marks, weight loss can also give you some stretch marks because the excess skin after weight loss might appear more prominent.
During your weight loss phase, you need to give your skin some elasticity so that it can contract. Hence, you can apply some heavy moisturizers or skincare oil during this phase. To take prevention, proper diet and exercise are a must. Also, keeping your skin dehydrated by drinking water is important as I’ve mentioned above.
So, you need to ensure these things if you want to get rid of stretch marks from weight loss:
- Follow a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Try to workout daily
- Apply home remedies
- Go to bed early
Do Stretch Marks Go Away Permanently?
Well, stretch marks do fade over time but a very long time. Hence, you may need to try the above home remedies and some therapy if they are too prominent so that they become at least less noticeable.
The main reason for which stretch marks appear on our skin is the collagen and elastin rapture, which actually support our skin elasticity.
What are the First Signs of Stretch Marks?
You need to pay close attention to your skin if you want to notice the first signs of stretch marks. Though it is quite difficult to find the first signs, you may notice your skin becoming pink and thin before you can notice stretch marks on it.
Your skin may also feel itchy or irritated, which is definitely one of the first signs. After this stage, wrinkly marks will appear with raised streaks of red, pink, purple, blue, or dark brown color depending upon your skin tone.
Some Best Remedies to Cure Stretch Marks
Here are some simple and effective methods of curing stretch marks that have worked for me. Though there is no scientific evidence of whether these methods actually work, you can try them at home to see the results. These methods are natural, and hence, the chances of any side effect are negligible.
Some essential nutrients are found in potatoes, which can improve your skin quality, repair damaged cells, and reduce scars. To try this method, you can simply chop slices of potato and then rub the slices directly on the affected area.
You can do it for at least 5-10 minutes every day. Or else, you can boil a potato, let the starch cool down, and then apply the starch to your skin. After keeping the starch for 5-10 minutes, you can wash it off with lukewarm water.
Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and an astringent, which has been widely used by people in face packs and skincare solutions. But did you know that lemon juice can be an amazing natural remedy when it comes to treating stretch marks?
Well, lemon juice contains some essential acids that can trigger healing your skin while nourishing it. You can either rub half of a lemon directly on the stretch marks, keep it on the skin for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. However, make sure you’re not allergic to lemon before trying this method.
We all know how beneficial the aloe vera plant is for our skin and health. Aloe vera not only reduces pain and inflammation but also heals skin and promotes the growth of healthy cells.
To try aloe vera on your stretch marks, all you need to do is extract the gel from the plant and then apply the gel directly to your skin. You need to keep the gel on your skin for at least 15-20 minutes so that the nutrients can penetrate your skin effectively. Aloe vera, being a soothing agent, will give a cooling effect that’s very much refreshing.
Another excellent ingredient that’s enriched with multiple nutrients and antioxidants, olive oil can reduce skin damage and stretch marks to some extent.
Olive oil also improves skin tone and elasticity owing to its powerful components. To try this method, heat olive oil and then massage it thoroughly on the affected area for 15-20 minutes to see the results. Olive oil massage is one of the safest home remedies that doesn’t have any side effects.
One of the best natural oils that helps us to maintain a barrier on our skin is virgin coconut oil. Research shows that virgin coconut oil can heal skin wounds and protects our skin from dryness and skin infections. Hence, it’s possible to prevent stretch marks by massaging virgin coconut oil daily on the skin.
This one is a popular ingredient in beauty and skincare products in Korea. Centella Asiatica is used as a scar treatment and hence, it can work for you if you want to prevent stretch marks with a natural ingredient. Since Centella Asiatica promotes collagen production, it can reduce stretch marks and other scars gradually if you apply it to your skin on a daily basis.
Sugar is another common ingredient that’s used in body scrubs, face scrubs, and waxes. Being a natural exfoliant, white sugar can heal your stretch marks when you mix it with almond oil or any other essential oil.
To try this method, all you need to do is mix sugar with two teaspoons of oil and then rub the granules gently on the affected area. However, never rub sugar roughly as that can lead to skin cell death, dryness, and some other issues.
In skincare products, you will see vitamin A mentioned as a retinoid, and the main purpose of this ingredient is to make your skin smooth and youthful. However, these products can irritate your skin initially. Hence, it’s best to consult your dermatologist or doctor before using a vitamin A skincare product. Also, if you are pregnant or lactating, you should avoid these products.
This one is a powerful ingredient that you’ll find in skin healing moisturizers. Research has shown that this ingredient can improve overall skin elasticity and thereby prevent stretch marks and scars. Hence, you can consider applying a hyaluronic acid product on the stretch marks affected area on a daily basis.
Though I haven’t tried any medical treatment for stretch marks, I know about laser therapy, microdermabrasion, micro-needling, chemical peel, and radiofrequency therapy. All of these therapies are expensive but highly effective if you want to see the best results.
Yet, these therapies may have some side effects associated with the process, which can be harmful in the long run. If you want to go for these treatments, you must consult your doctor or dermatologist before planning for one.
I hope my experience with stretch marks prevention will help you to find the most suitable way for yourself. As I mentioned above, you need to start taking precautions as soon as you spot stretch marks on your skin. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle alongside is very important while you are trying to get rid of stretch marks after weight loss.