Reading time: 11 minutes
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Just about everyone can be affected by stretch marks. Each of us can be affected by weight loss or gain, just as each of us can be affected by a growth spurt during puberty – and these are just a few of the causes of stretch marks. Of course, there does exist a predisposition for stretch marks. There are simply some of us who do have a higher chance of being affected by stretch marks.
Many different factors – some health related, others genetic – can play into whether or not you’re more likely to gain stretch marks. Even though stretch marks are not considered an indicator of health issues, if you are facing specific health problems you may be more likely to be affected by these scars. As always, speaking with your doctor is key to determining the causes of your stretch marks, as well as they course of action you’d like to take to remove your stretch marks.
These scars, also known as striae atrophicans or striae, among other terms, can occur when the collagen and elastin within the skin is broken. This can happen when the body changes size, shape, or weight too quickly for the skin to keep up. If you’ve had a rapid loss or gaining of weight in a certain area, you’re more likely to notice the appearance of stretch marks, as the skin will have stretched out to accommodate your size and shape. Of course, these scars aren’t necessarily permanent. Not only do they typically fade with time, but there are several products on the market that are easy for you to use to help fade your stretch marks.
There are, of course, a couple factors that may increase your chance of seeing these marks. Things such as pregnancy, surgery, and even family genetics can enhance your natural stretch mark creation.
Not everyone is affected by these factors in the same way, however. Hormone levels, puberty, and weight training are the kinds of things that affect each person differently; therefore, you might find that you are more or less likely to gain stretch marks in a particular area simply depending on your own health and genetic makeup.
Stretch mark creation is most likely to occur during times such as weight gain, weight loss, puberty, weight training and muscle mass bulking, as well as pregnancy. Your stretch marks will likely start off as potentially itchy red or purple scars, later fading into a silver or pink color depending on the natural tone of your skin.
Where Might Stretch Marks Appear?
There are several common places all over the body that stretch marks can appear.
- The breasts are typically affected by weight and body changes more so than the rest of the body. When it comes to the female body, pregnancy, weight loss, or even hormonal cycles can cause stretch marks, making them some of the most common. Though it’s true that they affect women more than men, men can be affected by breast area stretch marks when dealing with rapid weight gain.
- The buttocks provide another very common area for stretch marks to occur, affecting both men and women. Again, the change of body size, shape, and/or weight are the common reasons for stretch marks to appear in this area. Bodybuilding, pregnancy, and puberty are some commonly seen reasons for stretch marks in this area.
- The stomach provides yet another area for stretch marks to occur, typically during pregnancy or rapid weight gain. The skin in this area does easily stretch, but being stretched too fast will cause the collagen underneath the skin to rupture. This rupturing is the main cause for the appearance of stretch marks.
- Though you might not consider the arms to be a place you’d typically find stretch marks, it’s important to remember that these scars can absolutely occur here. Though this location is a little less common to see them in, the stretch marks in this area are usually due to weight or muscle gain, or puberty. The muscle gain that can occur in the arms can cause skin breakages, just as weight gain that occurs in this area can.
A History Of Coconut Oil
Coconuts – and their benefits – have been well documented in human history throughout thousands of years. Coconut, classified as fruit, contains many beneficial properties, from coconut flesh, to coconut water and milk, and finally, to coconut oil.
Though it may seem as though coconut oil is a pretty recent development – what with all the hype about its several helpful healing, cooking, and makeup related properties – the oil has actually been growing in popularity since the 1950s. Today, coconut oil is heavily endorsed by celebrities and athletes for all kinds of health effects – from healthy cooking to organic makeup remover.
This particular oil has been used in the world of cooking for several centuries, dating back through generations of meal makers. Most popular in tropical regions, where the fruit is easiest to come by, coconuts and coconut oil have been a staple of cuisines from regions such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Polynesia, Malaysia, India, and Indonesia.
Of course, coconut oil isn’t just used in the kitchen. In fact, it has several properties that make it great in the world of cosmetics as well. Coconut oil has and continues to be used for such things as makeup removal, hydrating conditioners, and of course, lotion.
Though there has been some controversy over the health benefits of coconut oil, this particular oil provides a saturated fat that isn’t necessarily as bad as you might think. In fact, coconut oil is pretty unique in its molecular composition. As noted by AOCS, coconut oil contains “more than 65% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)” while saturated fats that are found in animals and typical vegetable oils contain long-chain fatty acids. MCFAs are more water-soluble, and therefore more easily digestible. For this reason, though coconut oil is technically considered a “saturated fat”, it maintains its myriad of health benefits because of it’s molecular structure.
Coconut oil is jam-packed with helpful nutrients, including antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal properties. In addition to being useful for the average adult, it’s thought that coconut oil is great for both babies and even pets.
What Makes Coconut Oil So Useful?
As noted earlier, coconut oil has several nutritional properties that make it not only great to cook with, but useful for being applied topically on the skin or hair. According to RD Franziska Spritzler, coconut oil has an incredible list of uses, such as but not limited to:
- Sun protection – Coconut oil has been found to block around 20% of the sun’s UV rays.
- Metabolism increase – Because coconut oil contains such fatty acids as medium-chain triglycerides, it can help the body absorb nutrients and burn more calories.
- High-heat cooking – Coconut oil is high in saturated fat content which makes it safe for high heat cooking, unlike oils such as vegetable oil.
- Dental Health – Because of it’s antibacterial properties, coconut oil can be used as a weapon against harmful bacteria that may cause tooth decay and gum disease.
- Relieving Skin Irritation – Known for its hydrating properties, coconut oil can be great for those suffering from dermatitis or other skin disorders, such as eczema
- Fighting Infections – Again, coconut oil’s antibacterial properties come highly lauded. The oil appears to fight several strains of harmful bacteria and yeasts.
Coconut Oil For Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are yet another thing that coconut oil can provide aid with. When it comes to stretch marks, the breakage of the elastin and collagen in the skin is key; treating that breakage is the way to help not only prevent future stretch marks, but to tackle both old and new stretch marks that you might have.
Of course, in addition to coconut oil’s antibacterial and hydrating properties, this oil really works to get deep into the skin and promote skin health. Rather than sitting on top of the skin, as other oils might, coconut oil really penetrates the three layers of the skin in order to help promote softer, more hydrated skin from the very bottom layer to the very top.
In addition to the prevention and treatment of stretch marks, coconut oil can help with other skin conditions as well. For example, the use of coconut oil can help smooth out any rough patches that you might have across your body. Further, coconut oil can help with such things as wrinkles and skin sagging, as well as helping to prevent the signs of premature aging.
How To Apply Coconut Oil For Stretch Marks
According to Kapuluan Coconut, coconut oil can be applied both topically and ingested to help prevent and treat stretch marks. Because of this, coconut oil is two-fold when it comes to usability, and can be incorporated into any number of daily routines – whether that be simply as a topical moisturizer, or ingested as part fo a balanced diet.
In order to prevent stretch marks with this particular product, it’s important that the coconut oil be rubbed onto the affected area or areas daily. In fact, it’s even better if you’re able to apply coconut oil more than once; for pregnant women, it’s recommended that coconut oil be applied two to three times daily, rather than just once. The properties found in coconut oil will not only soothe and moisturize your skin, but provide a healthy product for both mother and baby.
If you’ve already got stretch marks, coconut oil can still be useful. Virgin coconut oil will be the best kind of coconut oil for this kind of stretch mark fading, as it is higher in those antioxidants that can help replenish the skin. Additionally, the saturated fats naturally found in coconut oil can help make your skin glow with health. With consistent, daily use, coconut oil should help you begin to fade your stretch marks.
If you’re looking for a particular routine when it comes to the application of your coconut oil, you may want to think about applying the oil before bed every night. That way, your skin has the entire night to fully absorb the coconut oil and all of its powerful nutrients. In the morning, all you’ll need to do is rinse with some warm water, in the event that there is any residue.
Though stretch marks may be an annoying fact of life, you don’t have to suffer through seeing them all the time. Thanks to such incredible products as coconut oil, you can viably treat your stretch marks – as well as prevent future ones from appearing.
Additionally, coconut oil is great because of its multiple uses. With coconut oil, you can treat both the inside and the outside of the body. Ensuring both inner and outer health is totally key when it comes to both preventing and treating your stretch marks, as overall health is a great foundation for healthy skin.
When it comes to treating and preventing stretch marks, it’s very important to think about the ways in which you’re supporting your nutrition both inside and out. With coconut oil, it’s possible to do both.
Stretch marks can occur in many places throughout your body, and can be caused by many different things. Your lifestyle, eating and exercise habits, and genetics may enhance or prevent your stretch marks, so it’s important to think about your daily routine when it comes to treating these scars. In this case, coconut oil is definitely something to think about and work into your daily routine. In addition to skin care and the reduction of your stretch marks, several of the uses of coconut oil are great for general, overall health, which may in turn benefit your skin even more.
There are countless ways in which coconut oil is useful for removing and preventing your stretch marks. From hydrating and cleansing both inside and out, to providing an antioxidant-laden, healthy oil to penetrate the skin, coconut oil is certainly a successful, easy to use method that might just be perfect for you.