It is unpleasant to see some fine lines running across your smooth skin. Every woman craves for a flawless and a smooth skin and any such marks are not welcomed.
Stretch marks not only limit the clothing options for girls, but also lower down their self confidence making them conscious about their body.
In order to get rid of these nasty stretch marks, women try every possible remedy. Before going for any option, it is very important to understand what stretch marks are? How are they formed and what could be the best possible ways to prevent and eliminate them.
What are stretch marks and how are they formed?
Stretch mark also called striae, is a skin disorder caused due to the overstretching of the skin that happens due to pregnancy, weight loss / weight gain or puberty.
The excessive and rapid stretching of the skin disrupts and lowers down the production of collagen protein that makes up the connective tissue in the skin (dermis: elastic middle layer of the skin) causing the formation of fine lines on the body called stretch marks. Initially the stretch marks appear as purple or red lines with different skin texture. These lines gradually turn lighter and become less noticeable. Though, they remain on the skin.
Stretch marks are common in both, men and women. These may occur in various body parts such as the abdomen, thighs, butt, breasts, upper arms and lower back.
How does puberty cause stretch marks?
Puberty is a stage when maximum body development takes place very rapidly. This causes rapid stretching of the skin on various parts of the body like the breasts, thighs, butt and abdomen. Natural collagen production fails to meet the demand of the changing body pattern and leaves scars called the stretch marks.
How does work out cause stretch marks?
The reason is the same. If you work out regularly your body muscles grow very rapidly causing the skin to stretch more leaving stretch marks on your skin.
How does pregnancy cause stretch marks?
Around 60%-80% of women develop stretch marks on their abdomen during pregnancy. The stretch marks usually appear during the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy when the abdomen starts swelling due to the developing infant. The rapid swelling of the abdomen causes the skin to stretch resulting in the formation of stretch marks. Initially the stretch marks appear pink in color. The pink color is due to the rupturing of the small blood vessels in the outer layer of the skin. Once the baby is delivered the stretch marks are called post pregnancy stretch marks. These are fine lines beige or white in color.
Stretch marks: Prevention and removal
There are many ways in which we can prevent, treat and remove stretch marks.
Laser treatment: Laser treatment involves removal of stretch marks by inserting laser beams in the layers of the skin. It requires 2 or 3 sessions per week, for an overall duration of 1 or 2 months, depending on the areas the stretch marks have to be removed from and their gravity. Although it is one of the best stretch marks treatments, but it won’t be able to eliminate the stretch marks completely.
Dermabrasion: Is another technique of stretch marks removal which has gained popularity. The surgical method involves removal of the outer layer of the skin by abrasion. This technique may not be as effective as the laser treatment.
Both the techniques are expensive and do not guarantee complete removal of the stretch marks.
Creams and lotions:
There are several brands in the market, who manufacture creams and lotions that helps in removing the stretch marks. Usage of such creams and lotions can only be effective if they are applied at initial stages of stretch marks formation. Once the stretch marks have completely formed, even the most effective cream or lotion may not be able to completely remove the stretch marks.
- Cocoa butter is considered an effective remedy in preventing stretch marks. However, no research has proved its ability to completely cure or prevent the stretch marks.
- Olive oil also helps in reducing the stretch marks. Gently rub olive oil on the marks everyday until you start noticing a difference. Other oils include almond oil, castor oil, avocado oil, and Vitamin E oil.
- Water maintains the suppleness of skin by hydrating it. You should therefore, drink as much water as you can.
It is a very old saying that “ Prevention is better than cure”.
If you are a pregnant woman, there are many ways you can prevent stretch marks. Though, you may have some stretch marks but you will be able to prevent most of them. Consult your gynaecologist and ask for a diet and exercise programe. Follow all the instructions carefully and regularly.
To prevent stretch marks, you need to maintain the elasticity of the skin. If you can maintain it you will not require any treatment.
Diet: Diet plays a very important role in preventing the formation and cure of stretch marks. It is very important to have a healthy diet rich in Vitamins A, E and C. Vitamin E is the most effective in curing stretch marks. Eat vitamin E rich supplements like almonds, spinach etc or may even go for Vitamin E capsules. Vitamin E can also directly be applied on the stretch marks. Fruits and vegetables, fish liver oils, almonds, spinach, eggs and beans keep the skin healthy and prevent/ heals stretch marks.
With adequate balanced diet, your body will be fit enough during puberty, pregnancy or physical work out and will not store any excess fat deposit under your skin.
Water: Water is good for skin and body in many ways. Therefore, drink as much water as you can. Water allows proper hydration and will keep your skin elastic, allowing collagen production at normal levels.