Stretch marks are small streaks on the stomach, thighs, breasts, which result from too much distension of the skin and the rupture of the elastic fibers of the dermis. They usually appear in people with obesity as well as in women who have had one or more pregnancies.
The occurrence of stretch marks during pregnancy is a significant event, even traumatic for women, especially since they are not considered a medical priority.
Stretch marks are areas of skin where the deep dermis, located between the epidermis and the hypodermis, has spontaneously torn. When they appear, they appear as streaks resembling scars in length, purplish red in color, and are inflammatory. They lighten over time to become white and pearly, almost the same color as the skin.
There are 2 kinds of stretch marks:
- Classic stretch marks:
Often considered unsightly, they cause more or less discomfort but do not however relate to a particular health problem.
These stretch marks described as “classic” all the same involve hormonal factors. Indeed, they can appear at the time of puberty or pregnancy; moments of intense hormonal upheaval.
In pregnant women, from the second trimester, the amount of cortisol (hormone secreted by the adrenal glands) increases and varies the flexibility and elasticity of the skin. The higher the cortisol level, the less collagen is produced.
Since collagen is responsible, along with the elastic fibers, for the suppleness of the skin, the latter becomes less elastic. Therefore if the skin is stretched (excessive weight gain in a short period of time, pregnancy, hereditary factors, rapid growth especially during adolescence, rapid increase in muscle volume in the case of bodybuilders, etc.), we assists with the appearance of stretch marks.
- Stretch marks due to Cushing’s syndrome:
This condition called Cushing’s syndrome is the cause of severe stretch marks. These stretch marks are typically large, red, vertical and are found on the abdomen, the roots of the thighs, the arms and the breasts.
Cushing’s disease is one form of Cushing’s syndrome. This is due to the production of too much cortisol, the presence of which in excess in the body is responsible for the various symptoms observed. We are talking about hypercorticism.
Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome go away within a few months after stopping the hypersecretion of cortisol. Scars from stretch marks and spinal compression caused by osteoporosis may remain.
Some naturopathic tips to prevent stretch marks:
- Drink a lot of water :
Water is needed to cleanse your body and strengthen cells. In addition, only sufficient absorption of fluids can maintain the moisture level of the skin.
- Avoid rapid weight gain:
Sudden weight gain (followed by weight loss) naturally subjects the skin to extreme stress, and promotes the formation of stretch marks. While you are pregnant, try to eat enough, but be careful not to double the amount. Stay tuned to your feelings of satiety (different from feelings of gluttony). It is best to gain weight gradually and steadily.
- Moisturize and massage your skin:
Ideally, focus daily on massaging areas prone to stretch marks, such as the stomach, buttocks, hips and legs. Opt for a nourishing massage oil, rich in essential fatty acids, which will improve the elasticity of the skin.
- Protect your skin from the sun:
If you stay in the sun for a long time, the stretch marks may be even more noticeable. Remember to protect your skin with a suitable sunscreen.
What natural herbal treatments to take care of my stretch marks?
Macadamia oil is well absorbed by the skin, while allowing a prolonged massage. It facilitates local microcirculation (by invigorating lymphatic circulation), protects cells, nourishes and softens the skin. Recommended for fragile skin, stretch marks and scars.
Argan oil is a hydration makeover for dry skin and skin aging (unsaponifiable).
Rich in fats of the oleic-linoleic type, it contains about 80% unsaturated fatty acids. It plays a role in the permeability of the epidermis, protects against dryness of the skin and stretch marks in pregnant women.
Rich in vitamin E, it stimulates enzymatic activity linked to detoxification and antioxidant defense of cells; which results in a decrease in membrane susceptibility to peroxidation.
This essential oil is often used in preparations against skin aging, wrinkles and stretch marks due to its astringent and skin tonic properties.
We like to use this plant in cosmetology for the prevention of wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite. Remineralizing thanks to the silica it contains, it thus improves the resistance of the connective tissue, and is healing (organosoluble silicon). To be used on the skin after infusion using soaked compresses.