[caption id="attachment_5306" align="alignleft" width="300"] A woman is testing the skin on the thigh for the presence of stretch marks and cellulite[/caption]
The thing about having skin is that it's rarely completely blemish or problem free. This isn't just in reference to the skin on the face; various markings and spots can cause concern on various parts of the body as we're covered in skin. Those who deal with significant growth spurts, or gain and lose weight in a short period of time, and even those who have a hormone imbalance, can suffer from stretch marks. These marks are much more common than many people realize. Stretch marks look like scratches or stripes that are an off color. They are predominately seen on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and arms.
The skin has three main layers, and when those layers are stretched suddenly by weight gain or altered by hormone imbalance, stretch marks can appear. Now because of the fluctuation of weight that almost everyone experiences in their lifetime, at one time or another most people do have stretch marks. In women specifically, it is projected that at least 80 percent of women who have never been pregnant have stretch marks somewhere on their body. So let's do away with the myth that only pregnant women get them and they are some terrible, shameful thing.
The existence of stretch marks is so prevalent yet there is still a big stigma behind having them. However, they are perfectly normal occurring skin markings and those who have them shouldn't be shunned or made to feel bad. Luckily, there are natural remedies to help soothe them and potentially help them fade. But again, they are perfectly normal and a good part of the population does have them somewhere on their bodies.
Castor oil is a great oil to put on stretch marks to promote fading, especially in the treatment of fresher stretch marks. Suggested use is to apply a thick layer of the oil on the area with the marks and then cover it with plastic wrap. Next, apply a heating pad for 20 minutes. This helps to fade the discoloration and also promotes elasticity in the skin, preventing further marks from forming.
Aloe vera gel is another natural component that will help treat the appearance of stretch marks. Aloe vera has many different soothing and healing properties, which makes it a good option for those who are trying to treat and fade their stretch marks. Applying the gel directly onto the marks and then washing it off with warm water after it has been fully absorbed will help lessen the appearance of the markings.
Cocoa butter is another great option for those who want to apply something to their skin to help alleviate the look of stretch marks. It is used notoriously for anti-aging purposes and it is also known to promote smooth and well-moisturized skin. Skin that is not properly moisturized and tended to can be more susceptible to newly formed stretch marks.
Overall, it's important to understand just how common and prevalent these markings are and how harmless they are as well. There is simply no such thing as skin that doesn't have some type of marking or supposed imperfection on it - whether that be a mole, a stretch mark, a blemish or discoloration.
Click here to learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatment of stretch marks.