How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks Naturally

Get Rid of Stretch Marks NaturallyCorollaries of rapid stretching of the skin; stretch marks are linear scars that affect the thin layer of skin. Connective tissues in the skin consist of a protein called collagen, which when overstretched gets damaged. This results in the onset of reddish purple lines which later on turn into whitish marks. These stretched areas of the skin are soft to touch and appear empty. Moreover, the skin texture of the stretched skin differs from the surrounding skin. Throughout the stretching and texture change of the skin, a person feels no pain.

Both men and women experience stretch marks, however, it’s more prominent in women, especially after major changes in their lives such as puberty, weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, etc. Moreover, weightlifters and body builders who oft undergo rapid weight loss, also experience these stretch marks. These unwanted lines are commonly found on the hips, thighs, buttocks, lower back, upper arms, belly or breasts. There are various ways to get rid of stretch marks. Various cosmetic and plastic surgeries are available to erase these ugly streaks. However, these techniques are pretty expensive and results are not guaranteed, which makes one wonder as to how to get rid of stretch marks naturally.

Home Remedies for Getting rid of Stretch Marks Naturally

The different ways to reduce stretch marks on the skin are as follows:

Skin Exfoliation
Exfoliation or removing dead skin cells on a regular basis helps reduce the stretch marks, and brings a refreshing glow to the skin. One can use a loofah to carry out exfoliation on a daily basis. Exfoliation creams are also available which can be used while taking a bath.

Hot Baths and Massages
Frequent hot baths and massaging the stretched area of the skin also helps reduce stretch marks naturally. This is because increased blood circulation causes faster healing of the skin, thereby resulting in the reduction of stretch marks. Olive oil or cod liver oil for massaging and moisturizing the skin also helps.

Topical Applications

•Vitamin E Gel
The gel present within vitamin E capsules, when rubbed on the stretched skin daily reduces these streaks on the skin. This vitamin E gel should be applied for 2 weeks on a regular basis to obtain results. It will encourage the healing process of the damaged skin cells.

•Vitamin C and Glycolic Acid Mixture
Glycolic acid increases collagen production, thus when Vitamin C supplements (500 mg) are combined with glycolic acid doses thrice a day, stretch marks are considerably reduced.

•Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter, the fat extracted from cocoa beans has several skin benefiting properties. It comprises powerful anti-oxidants that can repair the skin’s damaged elastin and collagen fibers. When applied on the skin, cocoa butter sinks into the deeper layers of the skin, and begins to repair damaged skin tissues. However, application of cocoa butter has to be done every alternate day, for effective results.

•Aloe Vera Gel
The Aloe plant is loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and a very special plant collagen, that is capable of penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin, nourishing it and repairing the damage. You can buy aloe vera gel from the drugstore or scoop it out from the real plant. Expectant mothers should apply aloe vera gel all throughout their pregnancy to avoid stretch mark formation.

There are scores of stretch removal lotions and creams present in the market today. You can opt for them or prepare a lotion for yourself using natural ingredients. To prepare the lotion all one has to do is take 3 cups of unrefined butter (cocoa, mango or aloe butter), and to it, add ½ cup of jojoba oil and stir well. Next add ½ cup of coconut oil and continue to stir well. This mixture is to be applied thrice a day on the affected area for substantial results. Another lotion you can prepare is with olive oil, aloe vera gel and vitamin supplements. In a blender, add ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of aloe vera gel, gel from 6 vitamin E capsules and gel from 6 vitamin A capsules. Blend the mixture and apply it thrice a day on all stretch marks, or stretch mark prone areas.

• Honey
The therapeutic properties of honey is not something unknown. Honey is also beneficial in reducing stretch marks. Place a damp piece of cloth on the stretch marked area and pour a little honey evenly on to it. Once it starts drying, wash it off using a warm cloth. You can also prepare a honey-glycerin scrub by mixing together equal amounts of glycerin and honey, along with half the amount of salt. Apply the mixture on the stretch marks and wash after five minutes with tepid water. Carry out this natural stretch mark remedy twice a day.

Since rapid weight gain, weight loss and obesity can conduce to formation of unsightly stretch marks, exercising regularly and keeping oneself fit can help prevent the occasion for stretch mark occurrence. Exercising on a daily basis tones up the skin, making it more firm. Loosening and stretching of the skin causes stretch marks, thus toned skin is less prone to stretch marks.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
Consuming a nutritious diet is essential for the development of collagen fibers in the skin. The diet should be rich in vitamins, proteins and zinc content. It is also essential to drink lots of water. Adequate water content in the body keeps the body hydrated, thereby maintaining skin elasticity. This will further reduce the risk of stretch mark formation.

The Bitter Truth
The truth, no matter how bitter it is, has to be revealed. The fact here is that it is impossible to remove stretch marks completely. One has to understand that stretch marks are scars etched onto the surface of the skin, which can only be reduced to some extent, but cannot be completely erased. The reason behind this can be better understood by understanding the anatomy of the skin. The skin is made up of 3 layers: epidermis (outer), dermis (middle) and subcutaneous stratum (inner). It is the middle layer, dermis that is responsible for keeping the skin in shape. The corollary of rapid stretching of this dermis over a period of time, results in loss of elasticity of the dermis. The dermis loses its support and leads to tearing of dermal and epidermal layers, resulting in stretch marks. This is why it’s best to prevent stretch marks from streaking the skin, rather than worry all the time about how to get rid of stretch marks naturally.

Hope this article was informative and helpful. The phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ is relevant to stretch marks as well. Thus, it’s best to avoid the onset of these marks, rather than struggle to get rid of it!

Kidney Stones in Men

Kidney Stones in MenOne of the most painful, and unfortunately the most common disorders affecting men, is the presence of kidney stones. Although they do affect women as well, men are more vulnerable to kidney stones than women. For all those men who only partially know about it, and for those completely unaware of this painful condition, here is a rundown on what the condition is, what are the causes of kidney stones, and what are the symptoms and treatment measures for the same.

What are Kidney Stones?
Formed within the kidney or the urinary tract, kidney stones are hard, crystalline mineral deposits in the form of small stone like structures. This condition is also known as nephronlithiasis (nephron = related to kidney, lithos = stone). It is one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract, affecting nearly 10% of Americans at some point in their lives. While typically all adults over the age of 30 are at risk, men tend to be affected more frequently than women; especially men in their 40s. To understand how these stones are formed in our body, we have to understand the basic working of the urinary tract.

Formation of Kidney Stones
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located below the ribs. The main function of these organs is to remove extra water and wastes from the blood, producing urine. Kidneys also help keep a stable balance of salts and other solutes in the blood. While most of the stones are passed out of the body in the urine stream, the stones which are sufficiently larger in size can cause obstruction to the ureter thus causing extreme pain. Stones or crystals are the result of certain chemicals in the kidneys, forming crystals and bonding together. Although there are many chemical compounds that can form stones in the urinary tract, the most common type of kidney stones in men contains calcium with oxalate or phosphate and uric acid.

Causes of Kidney Stones in Men

There are many causes of kidney stones; most common among these is a urinary tract infection. Certain medication is also known to cause renal stones in men. Some aspects of a person’s lifestyle habits, such as drinking less water, lack of physical activity (exercise) over long periods, and consuming excess of calcium oxalate (found in milk, tea and chocolate) can all contribute to this renal problem. Finally, genetics also predispose certain individuals to kidney stones, especially if there is a family history.

The reason why men have more kidney stones than women is because of larger muscle mass as compared to women. Daily breakdown of the tissue results in increased metabolic waste and a predisposition to stone formation. The other leading cause is a complicated urinary tract, as compared to those of females. The prostate gland in men enlarges with age, leading o a condition known as benign prostate hypertrophy; it can result in difficulty in emptying the bladder. With the obstruction of the bladder outflow, chemicals and toxins supposed to be thrown out of the body instead go on accumulating in the bladder, forming crystals and stones. The structure of penile urethra caused due to gonorrhea infection, catheterization, penile trauma may also further minimize bladder outflow and contribute to the formation of crystals.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Men

Specific Symptoms:

Intense pain, especially while urinating
Spasms affecting one or both sides of the back
Pain in abdomen and genitals

Other Symptoms:

Fever and chills
Blood in urine

There may be several other symptoms of renal stones as well. Recurring urinary tract infections are another common symptom. Along with that, men suffering from kidney stones frequently feel the need to urinate. As for the urine, it presents such characteristics as a foul smell, and cloudy or red tinged color.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

Based on the size and type of the stone, treatment options may vary. Adequate hydration and exercise can help to dissolve the smaller stones (less than quarter of an inch), so that they are passed off naturally. However, the bigger stones that do not pass off naturally may have to be treated. The most common treatment is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). In this method, the kidney stones are located using X-rays or ultrasound, and shock waves are passed to break the stones into smaller particles; once broken down to smaller sizes, the stones can be passed off naturally. Sometimes, a surgical removal of stones may be necessary, a procedure known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

The best way to get rid of renal stones is to adopt a lifestyle that prevents the formation of kidney stones. Drink plenty of water, especially after exercising and rigorous physical activity. Along with this, if you are prone to calcium oxalate stones, avoid consuming food rich in calcium such as, milk and chocolates. If you are prone to uric acid stones, then avoid foods that are high in protein, such as meat. However, milk and meat have a lot of other nutritional benefits, so it may not be possible to entirely skip out on such foods. In that case, moderate the quantity in which you consume these foodstuffs. However, nothing substitutes the advice and care of a medical professional. Consult your doctor and physician if you plan on making any long-term changes, especially in your diet or exercise regime. Eat healthy, feel fine!

How to Diagnose Yourself

How to Diagnose YourselfThere are different reasons why you may want to diagnose and treat yourself. Sometimes it may be an embarrassing health problem that you are not comfortable confronting, or perhaps the lack of finances that may prevent you from visiting a professional to find the root cause of the problem. Another reason why you tend to diagnose yourself is because you may fear visiting a doctor, and may fear discovering something that may be more serious than you can imagine. Whatever the reasons, you must know that diagnosing yourself can do you more harm than good. In some cases, you may be right, but in some, what you may assume is the problem, may actually be something else. This is particularly true of those who resort to the internet for all their health information, as there is a lot of contradictory information that is present online. In any case, if you are looking for information on how to diagnose yourself, here’s a very basic way to diagnose minor conditions.

Steps Involved

Before you read this method of diagnosing yourself, you must understand that it is not a sure shot way of putting a finger on the problem. Secondly, these methods might work for smaller conditions such as allergy breakouts. It cannot be used to diagnose more serious health conditions.

Understand the Symptoms: Check for your normal vital signs before you attempt to diagnose yourself with symptoms of the problem you think you may be suffering from. This could take some time. For instance, if you suddenly have an allergy break out, you have to take time to understand the triggers of the symptoms. What is it that is causing an allergy? Is it food, or something you are exposed to? This is going to take a couple of days to understand. This will probably help you come up with an answer to your problem.
Understand Family History: In some cases, a gene that runs in the family may be the reason why you are facing a particular problem. For instance, a condition such as a back problem may be one that your mother or father’s side is prone to. This however, does not mean that the condition cannot be controlled. Though you may be prone to it, you can definitely reduce the intensity with which it affects you.

Diagnosing yourself will take some time. You must diligently maintain a diary and note the changes that are taking place as and when you are trying to treat it. This will help you get to the bottom of the problem.

The Dangers of Diagnosing Yourself

In many cases, what you consider to be a small problem may be a symptom of a bigger problem. For instance, a headache could be a symptom of a condition of the brain, mild pain in the left arm may be the symptom of a heart condition or heart disease, and a rash on the skin may also be a symptom of the development of skin cancer. The point here is not to scare you, but to make you realize the potential dangers of diagnosing yourself, because you may tend to overlook the seriousness of the condition.

When you ignore certain symptoms, or take medication to eliminate them, you are not treating the root cause of the problem; you are just eliminating the problem temporarily. This problem can further go ahead and become severe, and if you don’t prevent it, curing it may become difficult. For instance, one of the common symptoms of diabetes is tiredness and exhaustion. When you diagnose yourself, you may assume that the exhaustion is from not getting enough sleep, not eating right, stress, etc. You will try to correct all of these, but you are not aware of the fact that you ‘may’ be diabetic. This will cause the condition to worsen, and diabetes has the ability of slowly affecting all other organs of the body such as the eyes, the kidneys, the brain, and several other body parts. Though a lot of websites enable you to diagnose yourself online, it should be avoided for the reasons mentioned here. In fact, online diagnoses can sometimes be misleading in that they may overlook a bigger condition, or may directly point to a bigger condition when the problem may be minor.

In short, there are more dangers of diagnosing yourself than benefits. It is common to overlook smaller signs and assume they will just pass by taking over-the-counter medicine. However, it is best to get professional consultation and ensure that you are getting the right treatment for the condition in question, irrespective of whether it is minor or major.

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