Stretch marks or striae are very common in both men and women. Despite very rarely causing any health problems they can be fairly unpleasant to have. Stretch marks in prominent places can lead to lower self confidence and can make you very self conscious about how you look.
Stretch marks normally do disappear on their own given time, but treatments are being used to speed up the process. Various home remedies have been used by different people, and they have provided varying results. Two of the most common remedies are cocoa butter and vitamin E treatments.
Cocoa Butter Treatment
Cocoa butter has been used by lots of people both as a preventative measure and a cure for stretch marks. Cocoa butter itself is a fat which melts at room temperature. The idea behind it is that is can dissolve into the skin and be used to sooth the damaged skin. It moisturises the marks and surrounded skin in an effort to heal the stretch marks.
Cocoa butter is used as an external cream. Simply rub it into the marks and hope for the results that other people claim they have seen. It’s recommended you do it twice a day. Cocoa butter is reasonably inexpensive and available in many local stores.
Stretch marks are caused by damaged collagen, which gives skin it’s durable elasticity. The idea behind the cocoa butter treatment is that is can help replace the collagen, while also moisturising the skin.
Cocoa butter is often used as a preventative measure to help keep you skin healthy before any stretch marks take place. Pregnant women will often use it regularly in an effort to stop any overstretching of the skin occurring.
There is little evidence to show the effectiveness of the Cocoa butter to treat stretch marks. Used as a moisturiser the cocoa butter could prove useful in making the skin more resistant before stretch marks occur. Similarly the cocoa butter as a moisturizer rubbed into the skin could help the marks blend into the surrounding skin more quickly.
Vitamin E Treatment
Vitamin E is crucial for skin health. It’s important in protecting the skin from any UV damage and works as an antioxidant. By using Vitamin E loaded creams or oils to the skin you increase the nutrients and make it healthier.
The idea behind any Vitamin E treatments is that specific creams, oils or lotions that contain Vitamin E are applied directly to the stretch marks. By using these twice a day they are supposed to work as both a treatment for existing stretch marks and a preventative measure against any future marks.
These creams are readily available from a variety of stores but there is little evidence to suggest that they are very effective when it comes to stretch marks. Independent studies have found that often it is down to other factors, or luck, who will get stretch marks, and that they will disappear when they disappear.
Vitamin E is really important for skin health but there is little evidence to prove it will do anything for stretch marks specifically.
Cocoa Butter vs Vitamin E treatment
Neither of these home remedies have been proven to be effective against stretch marks. When it comes to preventing stretch marks there are a number of factors that go beyond your skin health, including hormone levels, and so they can’t be seen to reliable.
Similarly while cocoa butter and vitamin E treatments can give your skin specific nutrients it needs there is no real evidence about their effectiveness when it comes to stretch marks.
Both treatments are good for your skin generally, so if you find one you think it working well for your stretch marks then be sure to keep using it. For more details about stretch mark treatments you’re best to consult a dermatologist who can recommend more proven options.