Stretch marks occur when the elastin fibers beneath your skin break apart because of rapid stretching over a short period of time. We debunk the top myths and reveal some facts about stretch marks.
Stretch marks can occur irrespective of one’s gender. Because it is commonly associated with pregnancy, people assume that it only occurs in women. But, that is not true. Other than pregnancy, sudden weight gain or loss and growth spurts during puberty can cause stretch marks.
Skin stretching is one of the most common causes of stretch of marks, but it is not the only one. Elevated levels of glucocorticoids and other hormones can make skin susceptible to developing stretch marks.
The most common location for stretch marks to appear is the stomach. But, it can also appear on the thighs, calves, buttocks, breast, lower back, upper arms, elbow and knee creases.
It is wrong to think that weight loss is a great remedy to reduce stretch marks considering that weight gain or obesity are primary causes of stretch marks. Stretch marks are scars on the dermis layer of the skin, which you can’t get rid of with weight loss, but surely can reduce their appearance with the use of topical creams.
It is a misconception that skinny people don’t get stretch marks. Stretch marks often can be a result of hormonal changes and genetic factors. Weight is not the only factor that increases risk for stretch marks.
In the beginning, stretch marks appear red, pink, or as reddish-brown lines. After a point of time, they can turn white or silvery because of the pale-coloured fat beneath the skin. The colour may fade out with time.
Your genes and skin type will determine your risk for stretch marks. However, you can still do things to keep stretch marks at bay. For instance, keeping skin ultra-hydrated when stretching of the skin is expected (during pregnancy), exercising regularly and daily massage with essential oils can all work to prevent stretch marks.
Watching what you eat can keep you from developing stretch marks keeping in mind that weight gain is a common cause. A healthy, balanced diet for healthy weight can keep stretch marks at bay.
Sun tan just covers up stretch marks, but doesn’t fade or remove them completely. However, sometimes, tanning can make the stretch marks look worse.
As mentioned earlier, stretch marks are tears in the skin beneath the top layer. So, no matter what creams you apply or what topical treatments you undergo, you cannot get rid of stretch marks completely unless of course, you undergo surgery for it. You can only cover it up so that you can’t see it. Topical treatments help get rid of stretch marks only visually; the striae (irregular areas of skin that look like bands, stripes, or lines) will always be there in the layer beneath the epidermis.
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