Most often, when you think of stretch marks you are thinking about pregnant women. The thing is that everyone is susceptible to developing stretch marks.
When the fibrous infrastructure of the skin loses its elasticity including the important collagen, it can be damaged so the stretch marks seem to appear overnight.
The cause can range from the weight gain that has over stretched the skin, such as in pregnancy, and in rare instances from an underlying health issue.
Body builders and weight trainers can also develop stretch marks. Rapid growth spurts in children, both boys and girls, and rapid weight gain in anyone can cause the underlying tissues to break apart.
Stretch marks are commonly seen on the abdomen, hips, thighs, breast and buttocks.
They can develop on any part of the body where the skin has experienced rapid growth or expansion.
Once the damage is done, it can take a long time for the body to try to repair. If the stretching of the skin is too large it may not be able to be reduced or repaired without surgical intervention.
Surgery is not always an option. It may depend on where the stretch marks appeared.
Prevention is one of the best things you can do. If you are pregnant, you know you will need to begin to use emollients and lotions, butters etc to keep the skin soft and supple. Even this may not help to stop some stretch marks.
When I was pregnant with each of my sons, I diligently used creams and lotions, rubbing on my breasts and tummy. Having extremely large babies stretched my skin beyond its limits and I developed stretch marks overnight. Literally, they were not there one day, and the next day they appeared, wow!
I firmly believe they were not as bad as they could have been had I not been so attentive to using my butters and lotions. Because the skin was stretched way beyond its reparability, the stretch marks then had to go into phase two. (Eventually for me, I had them removed surgically.)
When your skin stretches beyond its capabilities, the stretch marks can become bright red, you can feel how thin the layer of skin is, and it may even be slightly painful to the touch.
You can use any number of oils and butters available to help. Many find the old standby Cocoa butter melted, then blended with another oil such as Rosehip seed makes a very good skin softened yet healing blend.
Lavender is known to help skin repair itself. There are several other essential oils that may help with your skin.
Known for its skin repairing capability, Helichrysum helps with inflammation and is one of the suggested essential oils to help with stretch marks and other scarred tissues.
Many essential oils have regenerative properties to help slow down aging of the skin. They may help to improve elasticity and keep it moisturized to heal the damaged skin cells.
Vetiver, Rose, Rosewood, Carrotseed, Neroli, German and Roman Chamomile, Mandarin, Tangerine, Geranium, Patchouli, Frankincense are also good essential oils for the skin when dealing with stretch marks and other skin damage.
In a double boiler, melt and then mix the first four ingredients together.
After they begin to cool and thicken, add the essential oils. Mix well and once cool, this can be used to massage into your skin once or twice daily.
This blend is safe to use during pregnancy in the last trimester - the months where stretch marks are most likely to occur.
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