Guide to Using Emu Oil for Stretchmarks

Stretch marks can happen when our skin stretches or shrinks too fast.  When the skin tries to heal, a stretch mark may appear.

Many women are familiar with stretch marks, but they aren’t the only ones that can get them.

bodybuilder with stretchmarks on chest muscles

Bodybuilder with stretch marks
Photo courtesy Bill Comstock

I remember getting stretch marks when I began bodybuilding. My main quest was to get more fit and build muscle.

Unfortunately, when I was rapidly gaining muscle from my workouts, I was also unexpectedly beginning to develop stretch marks.

Now it is true that some hardcore bodybuilders wear these stretch marks as a ‘Badge of Honor’ to showcase their immense muscles….Me? I could do without them.

And bodybuilders aren’t the only people that can get stretch marks. Pregnancy, as well as anyone who experiences rapid weight gain, can also bring about those nasty red marks.

So what exactly causes stretch marks and is there an effective way to get rid of them?

First…a little anatomy lesson so we know what’s going on beneath the layers.

Your skin is made up of 3 different layers:

  • Epidermis – the top layer of your skin.
  • Dermis – the middle layer where your sweat glands, hair follicles, nerve endings are located.
  • Hypodermis – where your blood vessels and fat cells are.

medical drawing of skin layer and stretchmark

What’s a Stretch Mark?

The skin’s underlying supporting matrix of collagen and elastin fibers can rupture or break when stressed.

These marks appear when the tissue beneath your skin is stretched beyond its limits. Tiny tears occur in the dermis (collagen) which results in the tell-tale scars.

These scars may start out as pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, and they may fade as time goes by. Some may disappear completely, and some may leave a permanent mark in your skin.

What Causes a Stretch Mark?

Anything that causes the tissue beneath your skin to get stretched. Sudden weight gain, pregnancy, and yes, even bodybuilders can get stretch marks.

Can You Use Emu Oil to Prevent and Reduce Stretch Marks?

Studies on emu oil have shown that may benefit overall skin health which could help prevent and reduce stretch marks.

Research on emu oil’s ingredients have shown that it contains almost identical amounts of Oleic, Palmitic and Linoleic fatty acids, which are also found in human skin. These fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the integrity and health of our skin’s natural skin barrier.

  • it may penetrate the layers of your skin where it’s needed most.
  • can lessen swelling and muscle soreness.
  • may reduce anti-inflammatory chemicals in your skin.
  • usually won’t irritate most skin types.
  • may help heal scars, burns and minor scratches.
  • may increase skin growth factors which may prevent and reduce scarring.

Since the stretch mark is actually occurring beneath the upper layers of the skin, you may find that emu oil works more effectively to help prevent stretch marks, rather than reducing them.

How to Apply Emu Oil for Stretch Marks:

  • You start by doing a simple skin test by placing a small drop of emu oil on your skin. Although emu oil is hypo-allergenic, it’s wise to do a small skin-patch test first.

  • The best time to apply emu oil is right after you finish bathing or taking a shower.

  • While your skin is still damp, apply a few drops of emu oil on the areas you don’t wish to get stretch marks. Emu oil is a superior skin moisturizer and you’ll find your skin will feel smooth and soft.

Due to emu oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, you could try using emu oil to help you prevent any future stretch marks from appearing. This is a similar practice to how some women use cocoa butter to try and stop stretch marks.

Start off by applying some emu oil to any areas of your body where you think you may get stretch marks. The emu oil may help make your skin more pliable which may allow it to stretch more easily to accommodate your changing body.

Whatever method you choose to use to reduce stretch marks, results may be based on how deep your stretch mark scars go into the skin and how long you’ve had them for.

Other Possible Ways to Treat Stretch Marks

While stretch marks are considered to be scars, there are some treatments that can help you lighten the scar to reduce its appearance.

Some people resort to laser treatments to ‘erase’ the scar. The laser causes new collagen growth which fills the scar from the bottom up. As the new collagen thickens and plumps up the skin, the scar ‘disappears’.

Studies show the appearance of stretch marks improves 3 to 6 months after the first laser treatment. However treatments may cost hundreds of dollars and you may need to go back for repeat treatments.

You can also buy specially-formulated lotions that claim to help plump up the surrounding skin and promote healing of the scar.

Whether or not these products work is up for debate. One of the more popular products that many pregnant women use is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks

You may be able to use products that lighten the scar to reduce its appearance, but they may not improve the skin’s texture without directly affecting the deep layers of the epidermis.

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