Did you have a sudden weight gain or weight loss? Does this transformation show up on your skin as ugly stretch marks? We know how embarrassing it can get when you have prominent scars on your upper arms, thighs or abdomen and other visible body parts. Fortunately, there are many home remedies for stretch marks that can diminish their appearance and make them look less noticeable.

These natural remedies for stretch marks can be used by men and women of all age groups, before resorting to expensive treatments like lasers. They work by lightening the scars and repairing the skin tissues in the area, without causing any side effects. Are you ready for a “No Mark” body? Read along!

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are visible stripes or scars formed on the skin when it suddenly stretches beyond its natural elasticity. In medical terms, these streaks or lesions are called Striaeand usually do not cause any harmful effects on health (1).

Here are some of the common causes of stretch marks on the skin:

  • Pregnancy: About 43% to 88% of women during pregnancy develop stretch marks on the skin around the belly, arms, thighs etc. due to expansion of the body.
  • Puberty: Growth spurts during puberty cause stretch mark to appear typically on the legs and arms.
  • Rapid Weight Gain: Gaining a lot of weight in a small span of time can test the elastic limits of skin and leave stretch marks
  • Decreased Collagen Levels: When the body is low in Collagen, a protein that makes your skin elastic, the risk of stretch marks are high. Using certain steroid creams and lotions can decrease the collagen levels contributing to these scars.
  • Medical Conditions: In rare conditions like the Marfan syndrome and Cushing Syndrome, the person may experience lessened skin elasticity, rapid weight gain etc. which can cause stretch marks.

Types of Stretch Marks:

If you thought stretch marks are just white in color, you are so wrong! There are two major classifications of stretch marks based on their appearance and formation (2):

  • Striae Rubrae: These are early stretch marks that appear in pink or red color and form due to overstretching of skin. In this case, the top layers become flat or little raised and the thickened collagen fibers get densely packed in long horizontal or vertical lines. Striae Rubra can give you itchiness, but also easy to treat and can fade with time.
  • Striae Albae: These are white stretch marks which are in a more matured stage than the Striae Rubra. The irregularly shaped scars form deeper into the skin and may even look like wrinkles. The red pigmentation turns white and with age, their prominence also increases. Striae Albaeis are difficult to treat compared to the pink stretch marks.

Where do Stretch Marks Usually Appear?

Stretch marks appear in places that have high amounts of fat deposits in the body. When there is a sudden change in the sizes of these areas, the skin undergoes through expansion and contraction, leaving red or purple color marks. Gradually, the cells in the areas undergo degeneration and the marks turn into white color after losing their pigmentation.

Stretch marks can form on these places of your body:

  • Abdomen or Torso.
  • Arms.
  • Breasts.
  • Buttocks.
  • Hips.
  • Shoulders.
  • Back.

8 Effective Home Remedies For Stretch Marks:

If you are looking for natural ways to get rid of your stretch marks, then we recommend you to try the following remedies at home:

1. Castor Oil:

Castor oil is an effective home remedy for stretch marks. According to research, Castor oil is very effective in treating stretch marks by acting as a good moisturizer (3). The high amounts of fatty acids like the Ricinoleic acid present in this oil, deep conditions your skin and prevents it from getting dry. Massaging the affected areas with this oil can reduce the prominence of stretch marks.

Ingredients:

  • Castor Oil – 1-2 tbsp.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Pour a small amount of Castor Oil on the affected area.
  • Massage it well for 10-15 minutes.
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Wash with water in the morning.

How Often to Use: Every day until the scars fade away.

2. Vitamin E Oil:

One of the best home remedies for red stretch marks is Vitamin E oil. A study suggests that Vitamin E oil can treat early stretch marks with its intense moisturization properties (4). It also works for lightening the scars during pregnancy by boosting the collagen formation and making skin less susceptible to damage. Vitamin E is also known to encourage new cell formation and renewal of the existing ones.

Ingredients:

  • Vitamin E Oil Capsule – 1-2.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Prick a small hole into the Vitamin E capsule.
  • Drain out the oil and collect it in your palms.
  • Apply it on the affected area.
  • Massage it well for 10-15 minutes.
  • Leave it on without rinsing.

How Often to Use: You can do this every day till you get visible results.

3. Vicks Vaporub:

Vicks Vapor rub uses for stretch marks are doing rounds on the internet. While there is no evidence to prove that Vicks can treat or prevent the marks, many people believe that it could be because of the moisturizing properties of the balm. Also, Eucalyptus oil present in Vicks may treat scars and the other formula can tighten the skin. However, do not apply on skin that has open cuts, wounds or sensitivity areas like breasts.

Ingredients:

  • Vicks Vaporub – Desired Amount.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Take a small amount of Vicovaporub.
  • Apply it on the affected area.
  • Massage it for 2-3 minutes and don’t rub vigorously.
  • Leave it on the skin.
  • Wash with water if needed.

How Often to Use: Daily to notice visible results.

4. Cocoa Butter:

Cocoa Butter is one of the best home remedies for pregnancy stretch marks on the stomach. It is believed that applying Pure cocoa butter during the early stages of pregnancy can prevent the severity of marks on the skin. This could be because of the rich moisturizing properties of this butter, which can keep the skin soft and supple for long. While there is no sufficient evidence to prove the effectiveness of the ingredient in treating stretch marks, it continues to be one of the most popular remedies used by many pregnant women.

Ingredients:

  • Cocoa Butter – Desired Amount.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Apply a generous amount of cocoa butter on the affected area.
  • Massage for 10 minutes.
  • Leave it on the skin overnight.

How Often to Use: Twice a day after bathing.

5. Rosehip Oil:

Rosehip Oil is one of the top home remedies for stretch marks on legs, thighs and buttocks. It is the oil extracted from the fruits and seeds of the rose plant and contains many nutrients that can benefit our skin. According to a study, creams or lotions containing rosehip oil have been to proven to be effective in reducing the severity of stretch marks during pregnancy (5). Along with that, these products can also inhibit the development of previously caused marks on the skin.

Ingredients:

  • Rosehip Oil – Few Drops.
  • Carrier Oil like Almond, Olive – 2 tbsp.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil.
  • Apply it on the affected areas.
  • Massage for 10-15 minutes.
  • Leave it on the skin without rinsing.

How Often to Use: Once or twice a day.

Caution: If you are pregnant and intend to use Rosehip essential oil on your skin, it is better to consult a doctor about the safety and take necessary precautions.

6. Almond Oil:

One of the natural ways to fade stretch marks is by using Almond Oil. It is also known that Bitter almond oil is more effective than sweet almond in preventing the formation of stretch marks during pregnancy (6). However, the oil has toxic compounds that act like cyanide when ingested. So, the safety and suitability of bitter almond oil is under question. Sweet Almond oil, on the other hand, is safe for use and contains Vitamin E, which reduces the appearance of stretch marks.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Almond Oil – ½ Cup.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Apply sweet almond oil on the affected area.
  • Massage for 10-15 minutes.
  • Leave it on the skin without rinsing it out.

How Often to Use: Once or twice a day or before bedtime.

7. Argan Oil:

Argan oil is one of the most sought-after home remedies for white stretch marks on breasts, stomach and other areas. This skin care oil is loaded with Vitamin E, which can nourish your skin and prevent the loss of moisture from it. Also, a study suggests that using a cream containing Argan oil can increases skin elasticity and prevent the formation of stretch marks during pregnancy (7). For best results, it is recommended to start using it in the early stages of stretch marks.

Ingredients:

  • Argan Oil – 10-15 drops.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Apply Argan oil on the desired area.
  • Massage for 10-15 minutes.
  • Leave it on the skin.

How Often to Use: Once or twice a day or before bedtime.

8. Coconut Oil:

Coconut Oil is one of the easy home remedies to get rid of stretch marks on the skin. It works by addressing the dryness in the skin and keeping it moisturized. Although there is no anecdotal evidence to prove that Coconut oil removes stretch marks, it does improve the overall appearance of skin. With regular use, it can create an even texture and prevent the marks from or getting worse.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil – 10-15 drops.

How to Prepare and Use:

  • Take some coconut oil on the skin.
  • Massage all over the affected area.
  • Leave it on the skin.

How Often to Use: Once or twice a day or before bedtime.

[ Also Read: Unknown Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin ]

Additional Tips to Minimise the Formation of Stretch Marks

Follow these tips to prevent stretch marks or reduce the development of already existing ones on your skin:

  • If you are pregnant, do not wait until the third trimester to take care of your skin. Instead, take precautions right from the 1st term by applying moisture-boosting products all over your body, especially the tummy.
  • Keep your weight under control and do not aim for sudden weight gain or weight loss.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and include plenty of collagen-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin moist and supple.
  • Ensure you do not have vitamin deficiencies and take your supplements wisely.

Final Thoughts:

Before we wrap up this article, let us tell you that these home remedies for stretch marks are not permanent treatments. They can lighten the appearance of your marks and prevent the formation of lesions in the future. To notice visible results, you must use them regularly for at least 2-3 months, depending on the age of the stretch marks. By the way, did you try any of these methods before? If yes, do share your experiences with us!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do Men Get Stretch Marks Too?

We usually hear women getting stretch marks, especially during pregnancy. The fact is that even men get them too. When their bodies undergo a sudden physical transformation, the skin gets overstretched leading to stretch marks. However, studies show that women have higher chances of getting them than men.

2. Is it Possible to Remove Stretch Marks at Home?

Home remedies can only lighten the stretch marks and not eliminate them completely. Many people believe that using olive oil, baby oil, Vicks vaporub etc. can get rid of the scars. This is however not true! These methods only moisturize the skin and improve its elasticity. With time, they may help in reducing the prominence and visibility of scars.

3. What Are The Other Treatments for Permanent Removal of Stretch Marks?

There are many treatments like Laser Therapy, Needling, Microdermabrasion which exfoliate the top layer of skin to remove white stretch marks. These are expensive methods and cannot be done at home. The results are usually permanent and the duration depends on the severity and age of the stretch marks.

About Keerthi

Keerthi is a freelance content writer with over 5 years of professional writing experience and holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from EFLU, Hyderabad. Though she comes from a technology background, her zeal for writing motivated her to pursue a career in the content industry. Keerthi is well-versed with writing SEO-friendly copies, along with taking part in content strategy and research in trending topics of a variety of niches. She is a mom of two and thoroughly enjoys the balancing act of work and home!
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