What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks or striae are parallel lines that are red to purple in color and often have an uneven or irregular texture. The problem occurs when the skin tissue becomes stretched at a fast pace. Often, the marks develop during pregnancy when a woman's body undergoes rapid changes in shape.
Women can also develop stretch marks when they gain a significant amount of weight over a short period of time. Hormonal imbalances and medications that affect collagen production can cause stretch marks to appear as well. If you're not sure what's caused your stretch marks, talk to your doctor about the problem.
Natural Approaches for Addressing Striae
For centuries, people have used natural skin care products
to address stretch marks. Shea butter, cocoa butter and other plant oils and butters are traditional folk remedies for striae. Some people use these plant butters and oils during pregnancy and other periods of time when they are at risk for developing stretch marks in hopes of keeping the skin strong and supple to reduce the likelihood of marks forming. Others use the plant-based butters and oils to hydrate the skin and firm the tissue to minimize existing stretch marks.
It's important to note that there is no scientific evidence to prove that any natural ingredient can prevent or treat stretch marks. Still, many people report success when using shea butter, cocoa butter and other plant extracts for stretch mark care.
Comparing Natural Stretch Mark Products
There are a number of types of natural stretch mark body products on the market today. You can purchase 100 percent pure plant oil or butter products that contain just one ingredient that is a traditional folk remedy for stretch marks. There are also blended products that include a number of traditional remedies for striae.
Products differ in their forms as well as their ingredients. Butters are thicker and become partially absorbed by the skin, while oils are slicker and remain more on the surface of the tissue. Lotions, creams and balms become completely absorbed and leave behind a drier finish.
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