Pregnant women know all about them. And people who have gained and lost weight are all too well aware of them. Youve lost the weight, and yet they stay as a reminder of the weight that was. Even people with minor fluctuations in weight may notice them. Were talking about stretch marks.

Whether you have them and want to get rid of them or are pregnant and want to keep them from appearing, these natural remedies are for you.

Where Do They Come From?
The skin is usually fairly elastic and can stretch and return back to its previous size within reason, but certain conditions stretch the skin beyond its comfort zone literally.

In pregnancy, its the combination of stretching skin and hormones that cause stretch marks. For others, extreme weight gain is to blame even if that weight gain is due to bulking up from weight lifting. Medications such as steroids or corticosteroids can also cause stretch marks to develop as can diseases including conditions that affect the adrenal glands.

Making Marks Vanish
There are plenty of products on the market that claim to make stretch marks vanish, but a number of natural treatments may be just as effective.

1. Get your vitamins.
Vitamins C and E have properties that promote the growth of new tissues and heal damaged tissues. Zinc, which is found in nuts and seeds, may keep stretch marks from starting. And, foods with vitamin K, such as dairy and leafy greens, also promote the healing of stretch marks.

2. Oil for your stretch marks.
Lavender oil is a popular essential oil for calming the mind but it can also help stretch marks. Pregnant women may want to check with their physicians before using and should wait until the second or third trimester to use it. Lavender oil can be mixed with a carrier oil or body butter and applied to existing stretch marks or to prevent them. Almond oil may also be effective to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

3. Aloe Vera to tone.
The gel from the aloe vera plant is full of benefits including toning and firming the skin. It keeps skin hydrated and helps get rid of damaged tissues that cause visible stretch marks.

4. More benefits of folic acid.
You know folic acid is important to prevent birth defects, but it is also believed to help heal stretch marks.

5. Make a scrub. You cant scrub away stretch marks, but natural scrubs such as an apricot scrub or one made with oats can help stretch marks heal.

6. Exercise away stretch marks.
Exercise may not actually get rid of stretch marks, but toning muscles will help reduce the overall appearance.

7. Stay hydrated.
The more hydrated your body and your skin the easier it will be for stretch marks to diminish, and the less likely they will be to form. And, when skin is hydrated it is better able to heal itself.

These treatments may not make stretch marks disappear completely, but used consistently, they may help to reduce the appearance and make them less noticeable.