9 Ways to Treat Stretch Marks After Dramatic Weight Loss

9 Ways to Treat Stretch Marks After Dramatic Weight Loss

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Obesity is a serious problem, not just in the United States but also all over the world. Sadly, this affects people of all ages, from five to 65. Because of this phenomenon, fitness experts, health enthusiasts, and even the First Lady Michelle Obama are encouraging Americans to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Many people successfully lose weight through proper diet and regular exercise, but here’s the catch: they also could develop something that they don’t want to see on their bodies. This is because losing a large amount of weight, or losing weight quickly, can both result in stubborn stretch marks.

Weight Loss Stretch Marks: The What, Why and Where

Medically known as striae, stretch marks are visible lines on the skin’s surface. They usually appear on the thighs, lower back, sides and abdomen. They are either brown, gray or pink in color. There are many reasons why people develop stretch marks. They include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • Extreme Weight Loss
  • Puberty
  • Genes
  • Muscle Building
  • Excessive Use of Steroid Creams
  • Endocrine-Related Medical Conditions

In other words, stretch marks are scars that result from the following:

  • Overstretched skin, thereby damaging the collagen, blood vessels and elastic fibers in the dermis.
  • Diminished collagen production, which leads to poor elasticity of the skin.

The Weight Loss-Stretch Mark Connection

One of the common reasons people develop stretch marks is because of rapid or dramatic weight loss. When you lose weight at a rapid pace, you are not giving your skin ample time to recover, get back into shape and tighten up. Consequently, the production of collagen declines as you age.

This means less collagen and overstretched skin when you gain weight makes you more susceptible to stretch marks. The loose skin, another by-product of lost elasticity, could also make those pesky marks appear more pronounced, and also make it look like you have more of them, too.

The good news is there is something you can do to prevent, or at least minimize the appearance of stretch marks, even before you get back to your ideal weight. Here are nine techniques to treat the marks left by weight loss.

Ways to Treat Stretch Marks After Dramatic Weight Loss

1. Water: The Easiest, Most Effective Way to Minimize Stretch Marks

drinkingBefore the birth of anti-stretch mark creams and treatment, there is one simple technique that helps address those marks: hydration.

Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water everyday is the simplest way to prevent and improve the appearance of stretch marks. Water keeps your skin hydrated by carrying nutrients and oxygen to all parts of your body. It also restores your skin’s elasticity and helps keep your skin soft, smooth, and supple.

Here’s what you can do to increase water intake:

  • Have a glass of water on your bedside table at all times.
  • Bring a water container filled with water every time you go out.
  • Add lemon, cucumber or apples on your water for more flavor.
  • Eat more water-enriched foods, such as tomatoes, celery and watermelon.
  • Keep your water fresh and cold to encourage you to drink more.

2. Lose Weight Gradually to Save Your Body Against Stretch Marks

There are tons of diet programs that promise you can lose five pounds or more, in just one week. While this could be tempting, losing weight in a rapid manner increases your chance of developing stretch marks.

As you lose weight, your skin shrinks, thereby losing its elasticity. Your skin’s dermis experiences a loss of collagen fiber, which contributes to stretch marks.

Therefore, take it easy in achieving your weight loss goals. Don’t go for fad diets, since these could do more harm than good to your body. eat healthy and follow the food pyramid to ensure your body is getting enough nutrients.

Quick weight loss plans tend to rob your body of fluids, making it look like you lost fat, when all you lost was hydration. Dehydration encourages the appearance of stretch marks, so eat sensibly.

By losing weight the proper way, you will see an improvement in your weight within weeks and at the same time, minimize the possibility of developing stretch marks.

3. Regular Exercise: A Surprising Way to Limit Formation of Stretch Marks

physical activityRegular physical activity helps you lose weight and tones your body. Did you know that exercise could also help minimize the formation of stretch marks?

Keep in mind that excessive gain weight could over stretch your skin and affect your skin’s elasticity. When you start to lose weight, especially if it happens in a quick manner, your skin doesn’t have enough time to tighten up. Rapid weight loss also leads to loose skin, another by-product of lost elasticity. By exercising, you can increase your muscle mass, replacing the fat with lean tissue.

Therefore, add exercise in your daily routine. It improves skin elasticity and circulation, helps build lean muscles as you lose body fat, and tones your body. Here are simple exercises you can do to limit stretch marks:

  • Light Stretching
  • Cardio Exercises
  • Running, Biking and Swimming
  • Strength Training
  • Pushups and Squats
  • Aerobic Exercises
  • Dances Like Zumba

Exercising at least three to four times a week could help a lot in keeping your body toned and firm, which also helps in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

4. Worry Less About Stretch Marks by Eating Healthy

eat healthyAnother simple way to ensure weight loss without worrying about stretch marks is to eat healthy. Food plays an important role in keeping your skin and your health in their best state. In case you want to wage war against your stretch marks, you should look for foods that will act as your soldiers.

These food soldiers should help increase collagen production, repair damaged skin, produce new cells, and maintain your skin’s smooth and supple appearance. These are but not limited to:

  • Healthy Fats – Salmon, olive oil, tuna, coconut oil, and butter from grass-fed cows.
  • Vitamin A – Carrots, apricots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and liver.
  • Vitamin C – Citrus fruits like orange and lemon, fresh berries, and bell pepper.
  • Vitamin E – Avocados, nuts, and seeds.

If you want to ensure a stretch mark-free skin and a healthy body, then take those baby steps and shift to healthy eating. Don’t worry. These food soldiers are available in supermarkets, health stores and produce markets. Start reading labels, avoiding processed and fast foods, and opt for fresh, natural options.

5. Moisturize Regularly to Nourish Your Skin

Another simple way to minimize stretch marks is by moisturizing your skin. Your skin loses its natural moisture when you gain and lose weight. This leads to dry skin, which makes you more prone to stretch marks. You can prevent this from happening by keeping your skin, especially the epidermis, moisturized.

essential oilsYou can use the following in moisturizing your skin:

  • OTC Products: Over-the-counter topical moisturizing lotions specially formulated for stretch marks. You simply apply it to your skin twice a day. They are available in most department stores, supermarkets and drug stores.
  • RX Products: Prescription retinoid creams, which helps increase production of collagen. You’ll need to talk to your doctor and have them monitor your progress when using prescription skin treatments.
  • Natural Products: Essential oils such as olive, castor, coconut, almond and tea tree oil are all helpful for your skin. Essential oils are rich in vitamins and possess antibiotic properties, which are effective in treating many skin problems, including stretch marks. Rub your preferred essential oil on the affected area in a circular motion at least three times a day and you will see an improvement within weeks.

Make sure to moisturize your skin every day to prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

6. Make Your Own Sugar Scrub to Rub the Marks Away

One of the most useful ingredients you can find in the kitchen is sugar. Aside from making everything sweeter, sugar is an effective way to get rid of stretch marks. Its coarse texture acts as natural exfoliant, which removes dead skin cells. Sugar is also a natural source for glycolic acid, an ingredient known to stimulate and regenerate the skin.

To make your own sugar scrub, you will need the following ingredients, which you can find in produce store, farmer’s market and supermarkets:

  • One tablespoon of sugar
  • Lemon juice from one lemon fruit
  • Two to three drops of almond oil

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Before you take a bath, apply the mixture directly on the affected areas and rub it on your skin for eight to 10 minutes. Rinse it with warm water.

Do this for one month or more until you are able to see an improvement in the appearance of stretch marks. You will also notice your skin is softer, brighter and more youthful.

7. Use Potato Juice to Boost Collagen and Elastin Production

Aside from sugar, there is another ingredient you can find in the kitchen that can help get rid of those pesky marks: potatoes.

Potatoes contain essential fatty acids and phytochemicals, which work with your skin’s collagen and elastin production. It is also rich in starch, an ingredient with emollient properties, which soothes your skin and promotes growth and the restoration of healthy skin cells.

potatoesHere’s how potato reduces the appearance of stretch marks:

  • Cut one to two medium-sized potatoes in thick slices, depending on your skin’s needs.
  • Rub the sliced potatoes on the affected areas. Make sure that your skin absorbs the potato’s juices.
  • Leave it on for five to 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.

Do this before taking a bath. It will take at least a month before you see a difference in your skin. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the produce markets and grocery stores in your area and stock up on potatoes. They are an inexpensive way to erase those stretch marks.

8. Apricot: A Vitamin-Rich Way to Say Goodbye to Stretch Marks

There are many products sold in the market containing apricot. In fact, apricot scrubs are popular because of their ability to get rid of stretch marks. This is because apricots are rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals like potassium, which keeps your skin healthy. Vitamin C, in particular, has skin softening effects and is an excellent moisturizer, which cures damaged skin.

apricotThat’s not all. Apricot has exfoliating properties, which remove dead skin and damaged surface cells in your skin. This aids in maintaining the suppleness, softness and elasticity of your skin.

Instead of buying apricot scrubs in the market, you can make your own scrub, without the chemicals and toxic ingredients. All you need is two to three apricot fruits, which you can buy in the farmer’s or produce market and the grocery store.

Here’s how to make your own apricot mask:

  • Cut the apricots in half and remove the seeds.
  • Grind or crush the apricots until they form into a paste.
  • Apply the paste directly on the stretch marks.
  • Let it stay on the area for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.

Apply this apricot paste before taking a bath every day for one month. You might be surprised that those stretch marks will become a thing of the past.

9. Lemon Juice: A Proven Treatment Option for Any Skin Condition

A list of natural treatments for your skin will never be complete without lemon. After all, lemon is one of the best natural treatments you can use for almost any skin condition, including stretch marks. Many people have used lemon throughout the ages for their hair and skin.

lemonLemon is rich in alpha-hydroxy acid, which stimulates collagen production and promotes growth of new skin cells. It also acts as natural bleach against your stretch marks and reduces the redness that comes with it. Lemon has high vitamin C content, which removes dead skin cells to keep your skin soft and supple.

Here are various ways to use lemon as a treatment against those pesky marks:

  • Gently rub one-half of lemon on affected areas and allow your skin to absorb its nutrients for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water after.
  • Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar, and half teaspoon of almond oil. Gently rub the mixture on your skin before rinsing it with warm water.
  • Combine half teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon each of olive oil and vitamin E oil. Apply it on the stretch marks and let it dry for five minutes. Wipe it off using a clean cloth.

Do any of these techniques twice a day before taking a shower until you see an improvement within a month or two.

Conclusion

There are many ways to bid stretch marks goodbye. However, prevention is still better than the cure. Start by choosing a healthy weight loss method to allow your skin to recover from the trauma brought by weight gain. Thereafter, choose one – or more – of the techniques mentioned and do it regularly. You will be able to say goodbye to those marks in no time.

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