Stretch marks on legs, calves, upper thighs and behind knees are the off-colored streaks or stripes that are formed on the skin between the legs because of weight changes or rapid stretching of the skin.
Dermatologists refer to stretch marks as Striae. Striae is formed because of hormonal changes that occur during puberty in teenagers, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, as well as people who lift weights, or exercise regularly.
How are stretch marks between legs formed?
Stretch marks between legs or on calves, lower legs or upper legs are red, purple or white lines or streaks that form due to weight gain or rapid weight loss. Your skin is made up of three main layers:
- The outer layer—epidermis
- Middle layer—dermis
- Deepest and innermost layer—hypodermic
Whenever the connective tissues become stretched due to the expansion and contraction of the skin between the legs, stretch marks will start to develop on the middle layer (dermis).
Once the skin has been stretched, collagen becomes weak, which leads to the tearing of the elastin fibres. When the elastin fibres are torn, the normal production cycle is interrupted, or it becomes damaged.
As such, this leads to the formation of scars under the top layer of the skin (epidermis). When the stretch marks on legs start forming, they are initially red or pink in color, but with time, they start turning into a thin, silver stripes. Stretch marks between legs are common in women who have recently gained weight fast.
Causes of Stretch Marks on Legs
Stretch marks can materialize on any fraction of the body—in a woman’s stomach when she is pregnant, in a body builder’s shoulders due to weightlifting—all this is brought about by the skin stretching.
1. Stretch marks on legs after pregnancy
When a woman becomes pregnancy, there is always a likelihood that she will develop stretch marks, especially when she is around six months pregnant.
During pregnancy, certain hormones are produced by the body which helps in softening ligaments—the strong tissue band that connects the joints—this is meant to ensure that the woman is able to give more when the time to deliver the baby arrives.
However, the hormones in question also lead to softening of the skin, and this makes the woman prone to stretch marks.
As the baby starts to develop in your belly, you can expect stretch marks between legs, on the abdomen and in other areas of the body to start forming.
2. After Gaining Weight
Increasing mass over a short period could also lead to the formation of stretch marks on legs. The problem with stretch marks between legs is that they may remain after losing the excess weight that you had gained.
The good part being that they may start to fade with time. For those who diet on a regular basis, stretch marks may also begin to form as the weight changes—going up and down—depending on the diet you are following.
If you have to lose weight, the best approach is to make sure that you lose weight slowly and very steadily to ensure that the skin is not placed under any form of strain.
Lifting weights have its advantages as it makes your body toned and helps you gain muscle. However, gaining muscles rapidly, and toning the body could also contribute to stretch marks between legs for bodybuilders.
The marks will often be seen in the areas that experience rapid muscle growth as well as fat loss and will include the shoulders, thighs, butt, belly, and the legs.
4. Rapid growth
The dermis comprises of very strong fibres. The fibres connect to each other allowing the skin to be able to stretch as the body continues growing.
However, if one part of your body grows at a faster pace than others, the fibres may end up being broken due to overstretching.
Rapid growth is the number one cause of stretch marks between legs in teenagers undergoing puberty. As much as they may not be happy to see the stretch marks begin to form, this is something that they need to view as a part of growing up.
5. Genetics or family history
If you happen to have close relatives—such as your mother—who have stretch marks between legs, there is also a chance that you will get the stretch marks.
The marks can affect both male and female members of a family, but they are more common in women than in men.
6. Medications may cause silver stripes on legs
Using certain medications could also lead to the development of stretch marks. Medications such as creams, tablets for eczema and lotions, there is a probability that you will get stretch marks between legs.
These medications are known as corticosteroids, and they work in the same way as the cortisol hormone t is produced in the body.
Such medications are meant to ease inflammation caused by skin conditions, but in doing so; they decrease the collagen present in the skin.
A reduction in collagen levels is not ideal, as it is needed by your skin to help it stretch. Therefore, the less collagen you have in your body, the more likely it is that you will develop stretch marks.
Stretch Marks on Calves
Skin color, skin tone, collagen, and elasticity, as well as hormonal imbalances, are the factors that mainly cause stretch marks between legs and calves.
You will notice that it is probable for women of fair skin to have more stretch marks on legs as compared to women with darker skin tones.
In addition, people with rough or dry skin are also prone to getting stretch marks between legs. The marks will often show up either vertically or horizontally and may not disappear completely. However, their overall appearance can change with time, and may start to become less visible on calves with time.
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks on Legs
Stretch marks between legs appear when your skin surface starts to grow quickly, or when you put on extra weight. Striae can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious about the way you look, especially when you are out in public.
Fortunately, you do not have to be anxious about stretch marks on legs as you can use these home remedies.
1. Castor oil
When it comes to treating skin conditions, castor oil tops the list of recommended home remedies.
Castor oil has been identified to assist with skin problems such as age spots, wrinkles, moles, pimples, fine lines, and more importantly, in the elimination of stretch marks.
- Scoop some castor oil and directly apply it to the stretch marks on legs
- Use your hands to rub down the area where the oil has been applied in circular motions
- Once done massaging, take a thin cotton cloth and wrap it around this area.
- Grab a hot water bottle or a heating pad and use it to apply some heat to the area you have wrapped using the cotton cloth
- Repeat the castor oil procedure each day for at least one month
2. Aloe vera to get rid of stretch marks between legs
Aloe Vera gel is another home remedy that can do miracles when it comes to dealing with skin problems.
The gel obtained from Aloe Vera leaves contain soothing and healing properties that play an important role in helping you get rid of the stretch marks on legs. Here’s how to apply it to remove stretch marks on upper legs and thighs.
- Pluck an Aloe Vera leaf and wipe it on the stretch marks between legs
- Once you are done rubbing it in, allow it fifteen minutes before you can rinse it off using some warm water
- Alternatively, you can make a mixture using half a cup of Aloe Vera gel, and the oil obtained from vitamin E and A capsules. Take this mixture and proceed to gently rub it into your skin until it gets fully absorbed.
3. Egg whites
Of all the ingredients readily available at home, egg whites top the list as the main source of proteins.
To help get rid of the stretch marks on legs, you will need to separate the egg whites from the yolks. You need the whites, as they are the ones that contain the proteins and the amino acids needed for stretch mark removal.
- Take two eggs and separate their whites from the yolks.
- Using a folk, gently whip the whites
- Prepare some warm water and use it to clean the area between your legs, before applying a thick layer of the egg whites with the help of a makeup brush
- You have to allow the eggs enough time to dry completely before rinsing with cold water
- When you are done rinsing, you now need to apply some olive oil to ensure that the skin remains moisturized
4. Lemon juice for stretch marks on legs removal
Another simple remedy that can come in handy when eliminating stretch marks between legs is by using lemon juice.
The juice squeezed from lemons is naturally acidic and therefore plays an important role in healing the skin, and eliminating acne, scars, and stretch marks.
How to Use
- Squeeze the juice from lemons
- Use a cotton cloth to rub it into the stretch marks between legs in circular motions
- Leave it for ten minutes so that it can soak into the skin
- Alternatively, you can mix equal quantities of cucumber and lemon juice and then use a cotton cloth to apply the juice to the area with the stretch marks
5. Sugar for exfoliating skin
Sugar is one ingredient that is readily available in almost all homes. When getting rid of the lines between legs, you will need to use natural white sugar, and not any other type of sugar. The sugar will be used in exfoliating the skin.
How to exfoliate
- Take one tablespoon or raw sugar and combine it with almond oil, as well as a few drops of lemon juice.
- Ensure you mix it properly before proceeding to apply it to the stretch marks between legs
- It will be important to make sure that you rub this mixture on the stretch marks on legs each day before you take your shower
6. Alfalfa leaves
The leaves from alfalfa contain eight known essential amino acids, which play a major role in the health of your skin. Alfalfa leaves also happen to be rich in Vitamins E and K, which are known for helping, nourish the skin
How to Use
- Grind the alfalfa leaves to form a powder, and then add some chamomile oil to the powder to form a paste
- Use this paste to massage the stretch marks between legs at least three times each day
- You may need to replicate this course of action daily for a few weeks
7. Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, another readily available home remedy is also beneficial when it comes to dealing with stretch marks on legs.
Naturally, cocoa butter is a very good moisturizer as it assists in nourishing your skin, and in helping reduce the visibility of stretch marks between legs.
- It will be important to ensure that you apply cocoa butter to the affected area two times a day
- Alternatively, you could make a mixture using cocoa butter, a tablespoon of wheat germ oil, two tablespoons of beeswax, a tablespoon of apricot oil, and a tablespoon of vitamin E oil.
- Combine all these ingredients in a cooking pan, and heat them until you see the bees wax start to melt
- When melted, it can be stored in a container, which can then be refrigerated and applied to the stretch marks three times each day
- The mixture made using cocoa butter has been known to be effective when it comes to leaving the skin hydrated and feeling smooth.
8. Olive Oil
Olive oil falls into the category of essential oils that contain antioxidants and nutrients, which help in dealing with skin problems such as acne.
Olive oil is also a very good home remedy that can help in eliminating all stretch marks between legs.
How to Use olive oil for stretch marks
- Take some extra virgin oil and gently massage it into the stretch marks between legs
- Massaging it to the affected area will help in improving blood circulation once it gets absorbed, which in return goes a long way in getting rid of stretch marks on legs.
- After massaging it into your skin, allow it thirty minutes
- This is enough time for the vitamins A, D, and E, which are present in olive oil to get absorbed by the skin surface
Instead of using olive oil on its own, you can also mix the oil with water and vinegar and use it as a nighttime cream. The cream will help your skin remain moisturized, while at the same time help in exfoliating it.
How to Prevent the Appearance of Stretch Marks on Legs
- Using Gelatin
When it comes to helping prevent the appearance of stretch marks between legs, you should consider using gelatin.
To perk up the flexibility of your skin, the body needs to form collagen. For you to increase the formation of gelatin, you can consume gelatin to get more collagen.
Given that the modern day diet is severely lacking gelatin, it is recommended that you provide gelatin to your body in the form of powder.
Once consumed, this gelatin will not only help in improving skin elasticity, but it will also provide additional benefits such as improving your sleep, promoting digestive health, and reduce the pain normally experienced in the joints.
You should always make sure that your body is properly hydrated at all times. When you are expectant, the blood volume will increase given that you are creating a huge water sack for the baby to sit in as it develops.
Your body will, therefore, have an increased demand for hydration. You must, therefore, ensure that you consume between eight and twelve glasses of water each day to help the skin with its elasticity as the baby develops.
- Vitamin C
The human body requires vitamin C for it to form cartilage and collagen. You will also find that this particular vitamin is also highly effective in helping reduce the damage caused by free radicals.
The free radicals have been known to consume elastin and collagen from the body. It is, therefore, vital to ensure that you get vitamin C from natural food sources instead of supplements.
Some of the provisions that are loaded in Vitamin C include guava, turnips, broccoli, and parsley greens.
When the body lacks zinc, stretch marks on legs start to appear. Zinc is not only a natural trace mineral, but it also happens to be among one of the richest minerals in the human body.
It is also used in the production of collagen, in addition to containing antioxidant properties.
Treatment for Stretch Marks between Legs
For an adult, stretch marks between legs can seem like a very simple problem, but in the minds of teenagers, this is one problem that they cannot shake off.
In teenagers, the trick to dealing with stretch marks on legs is to make sure they are treated promptly. The following tips can help get rid of stretch marks on legs.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular exercising and stretching is a good way to treat stretch marks between legs in your teenage son or daughter.
- Exercising helps prevent fat and weight gain, and this controls the stretch marks between legs ensuring that they do not develop any further
- When teenagers exercise on a regular basis, this helps in toning their bodies, thus helping ensure that stretch marks will not appear
- Healthy Food Choices
When teenagers eat foods that are rich in Vitamin A, they stand a better chance of preventing the formation of stretch marks between legs.
A diet rich in vitamins A & C will help ensure that there are more elastin and collagen in the body
The two vitamins are vital when it comes to helping heal stretch marks on legs. You should, therefore, try to include more grapefruits, milk, peaches, vegetables, and oranges, and any other food items that help the body produce elastic and collagen
- Over the Counter Creams
If you notice that the stretch marks between legs are taking longer to heal, you can try the numerous over the counter creams available
- The creams have elastin and collagen, and once the skin absorbs them, they help make it tight
- A majority of the creams are safe to use as they have been dermatologically tested
All the above methods will help in preventing and getting rid of stretch marks between legs. Before trying any home remedy, you should first ensure that you are not allergic to any of its ingredients as this could cause a severe reaction on your skin.