Stetch marks of the skin are a common occurrence which affect the skin raising cosmetic concerns. Stretch marks are, most of the time, not due to a serious health condition but a result of excessive weight gain or pregnancy. Body areas with tendency to get more fat deposit like buttocks, hips, thighs, breast, abdomen are the most common places for this skin condition.
Stretch marks are also called Striae in medical terms. These are form of scaring in the skin with an off-colour hue. While striae commonly occur with rapid weight gain, certain medical condition can also give rise to striae. Cushing disease is an endocrine disorder where there is excessive production of cortisone hormone in the body. It is associated with central obesity and purple colour striae is a characteristic feature of the disease. Also rare connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-danlos syndrome can also cause excessive stretch marks.
Due to increase in childhood obesity, we now see more and more kids with this skin condition. Also the rapid growth around puberty can lead to stretch marks. Females and teenagers are the most concerned about striae due to cosmetic reasons.
Usually stretch marks do not have any other associated symptoms. But these stretch marks can be irritating and itchy when they occur during pregnancy.
Prevention of stretch marks is very important as they tend to give permanent scarring of the skin. Some skins types are prone to get stretch marks while some do not develop them at all. As always basic healthy life style practices like balance diet, enough water and regular exercise will enhance the skin elasticity. Vitamin E and C are important elements for a health skin. Include foods like carrots, green leaves, papaya, citrus fruits, tomatoes, almonds in to your daily diet as they are rich in vitamin E and C. Six to eight glasses of water everyday will also hydrate your body and it is one of the secret for glowing skin
There are remedies for stretch marks given in Ayurveda books. It should also be noted that once they occur it is hard to treat, and takes some time to show response to treatment.
Here is a home remedy that you can try. Should, you combine this treatment plan with healthy diet, regular exercise and adquate water intake; You would see effective results within six months time.
Step 1: Take a warm shower
Refresh your body with a warm shower. This will also help to shed the dead skin cells.
Step 2: Olive oil massage
Apply olive oil over the affected area. Smoothly massage for 15 minutes. Olive oil is a natural skin care remedy.
Step 3: Prepare the paste and apply
Here is a small recipe for a natural herbal paste. Main ingredients of this paste include sandalwood powder and Manjishtha powder. Sandalwood powder has the ability to soften the skin and used to treat many skin conditions. Manishtha powder is also a popular herbal medication that have the properties of blood purification, improving skin complexion, ability to scrape fatty deposits of obesity.
Ingredients for the herbal application for stretch marks:
- Sandalwood powder - 1 teaspoon
- Velmadata[manjishtha] powder - 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
- Papaya - 1 teaspoon
- Aloe Vera - 1 teaspoon
Mix all of the above five ingredients until you get a thick paste. Depending on the area that you need to apply you can multiply the amount of each ingredient.
Apply the paste evenly over the affected area and let it to dry. You can rinse it off after twenty minutes.
Step 5: Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter has the ability to penetrate the top layer of the skin reaching the dermis. Cocoa butter lubricates the skin and protects the skin. Also Cocoa butter help to fade scars. Daily application of Cocoa butter will heal the damaged skin. Cocoa butter formula are available to buy in the drug stores. Cocoa butter is not greasy and it will give you an invisible moisture to your skin.
Ayurvedic Doctor by profession, Thilini enjoys sharing her knowledge in Ayurveda Medicine with Lanka Help Magazine readers.
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