July 2020

Introduction to Stretch Marks

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Stretch marks are common. According eMedicine.com, seventy percent of all people develop stretch marks during puberty, and ninety percent of women who have been pregnant have stretch marks. For such a common condition it is shockingly difficult to find effective methods for treating and eliminating existing stretch marks.

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks (medically known a striae) are actually a form of scarring on the skin caused by tearing of the dermis, the middle layer of the skin that plays a crucial role in retaining the skin’s shape. Stretch marks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and do not look the same on everyone.

Appearance of stretch marks varies according to your skin’s natural color and tone; they are regularly reddish brown, brown, pink or dark brown, and may fade to a lighter color over time.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Pregnancy

It’s no secret, pregnancy stretches out the skin on your belly.  The unfortunate and nearly inevitable result is the emergence of stretch marks during the expansion of a woman’s belly late in her pregnancy.  It is not uncommon for stretch marks to also occur on the buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts.

Rapid Growth/Weight Change

Skin elasticity refers to the skin’s ability to stretch.  If it reaches its limits because of the onset of extreme weight fluctuation or growth the connective fibers and tissues in the skin break, resulting in a stretch mark.

Bodybuilding

Even if you aren’t a serious bodybuilder, anyone who starts putting on more muscle mass at a rapid pace are still susceptible to stretch marks.  When serious weightlifters or athletes bulk up and add mass/weight to your frame, the skin stretches as a result.

Puberty

Puberty among other genetic factors are popular causes of stretch marks. During this stage in your body’s development rapid growth spurts are common.  Similar to rapid growth/weight change, whenever the body grows or expands at a faster rate than the elasticity your skin can withhold, stretch marks may appear.

Hormonal changes, genetics, diet, exercise also play a role in the skin’s capacity to withstand stretching forces.

Hormones and Stretch Marks:

Hormonal imbalances have been labeled as a common cause of stretch marks.  Hormonal imbalances that occur during pregnancy, puberty, obesity, and even during weight lifting cause collagen and fibers to tear over the stretched skin, triggering the formation of stretch marks.

Is There Anything I Can Do About The Marks?

Fortunately, yes.  For years people have been treating stretch marks with prescription methods, laser therapy, over-the-counter-products, moisturizers, wheat germ, surgeries, peptides, among other various treatments.  Do they work?  Not neccesarily and certainly not if they are used alone.  There is no overnight fix, even with expensive surgeries you run the additional price tag of pain and the possibility of an altercation. The key to addressing your stretch marks is through patience, persistance, and a combination of the right active ingredients.  Whichever treatment you decide to pursue, check for these ingredients, retinoids, aloe vera, regestril, squaline oil, glycolic acid plus retinoids, and vitamin c.


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