Facts About Stretch Marks
Although stretch marks are completely natural and do not hurt, they have thorned the sides of many women and men (yes, even men can get stretch marks) whilst causing enough body consciousness, especially on those hot summer days. Fortunately, there are some remedies and tips for all those affected and while it may be testing to make them completely disappear, it is worth taking a closer look. The guide offers you everything you need to know about stretch marks – what stretch marks are, why they arise and the possible treatments available.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are usually found on the thighs, hips, chest, back or other parts of the body. They are mostly caused by heavy stress on the skin tissue; strictly speaking, stretching causes cracks in the subcutaneous tissue, which then appear on the skin’s surface. With excess stress, the skin stretches and tears; which happens even faster on people whose connective tissues are not elastic enough. If your connective tissue is strong enough, most likely, you will have a very elastic skin that can withstand stress. On the other hand, those with weak connective tissue are more prone to visible overstretching of the tissue.
Pregnancy is also a common cause of stretch marks. In the 9 months that the baby is growing in the mother’s stomach, the skin on the abdomen has to sustain massive stretch. But that’s not all, extreme weight gain in a short space of time is also another cause of stretch marks. Because of this, stretch marks often occur in very overweight people.
How To Recognise Stretch Marks
The typical appearance of stretch marks is usually in the form of color-contrasting stripes on the skin. They often appear in several, mutually parallel stripes, however, can also be radiating horizontally, vertically, or from certain points such as those found on the chest. What’s more, the skin cracks where the marks appear are usually separated from each other by healthy skin and are usually a few millimeters wide and several inches long. With a little sensitivity, you can feel them because the surface is different from the typical surface of healthy skin.
In some cases, stretch marks are also accompanied with slight bumps which decrease with time. This reduction can be explained by the continuous breakdown of collagen and elastin. However, in most cases, stretch marks appear alone and an isolated occurrence of single stretch marks is also possible.
Stretch marks can also occur in different shades and depending on your skin tone, they usually appear pink to dark purple soon after they appear. Over time, however, their color becomes whitish.
How To Treat Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are relatively stubborn and not easy to get rid of. Complete elimination of stretch marks is only possible through the use of surgical procedures that remove severely affected areas of the skin. However, such an intervention usually only occurs relatively rarely and with very pronounced symptoms, because in addition to the stretch marks, a remaining surgical scar is usually the result.
If the appearance of stretch marks are disturbing you, various other treatment methods are available that visually attenuate stretch marks. A visit to the dermatologist should be your first stop, as they can inform you about the costs and the possible risks of those treatments.
If surgery is not for you, less invasive treatments are also available. Since the number of people affected is relatively large, the range of stretch mark creams, oils and serums are huge. The simple resurfacing of stretch marks can be helped with scar care oils with visible results seen within 2 to 3 months. Oil massages are generally credited with a positive effect on the circulation of the skin and the elasticity of the connective tissue. The targeted use of certain oils and special massage techniques can increase the positive effects even more. Here a complete regression of the aesthetically disturbing stripes is possible.
If all else fails or if you prefer a faster, more effective removal process, laser technology is a better option, although quite expensive. Three sessions are usually necessary to see any difference – results are then visible only after months. Other procedures include chemical peeling, in which the skin areas affected by stretch marks are treated with glycolic acid; This stimulates the epidermis to form new epidermal cells, and the stretch marks, which may appear sublime, are also flattened.
Natural Homemade Remedies To Treat Stretch Marks
If fancy, expensive creams, and laser surgery are completely out of your budget, stretch marks can also be treated just as effectively at home with various natural ingredients. For example, a few drops of lavender essential oil, orange or lemon oil combined with almond, sesame seed or coconut oil can do wonders. Here, it is vital to pay attention to purity. For every 50 milliliters of oil, five drops of essential oil are sufficient. For massaging the oils, a massage glove made of plastic can serve well.
Chamomile in combination with lavender is also recommended. In each case, five drops of essential oil are mixed with about 50 milliliters of carrier oil. This mixture can be used on pre-existing strips at least twice a day. Another proven home remedy for stretch marks is cocoa butter mixed with olive oil, vitamin E oil, and beeswax.
Treating Stretch Marks With Exercise
Exercise makes us firmer and naturally boosts circulation as it helps to burn fat. To keep the skin tight and prevent stretch marks, endurance sports are the most effective way. Jogging, walking, swimming, cycling or skating are great for firm legs, buttocks, and upper arms.
When To Visit The Doctor
Stretch marks are usually not dangerous and are only a cosmetic problem for those affected. However, in exceptional cases, there may be complications that require medical treatment. As stretch marks are primarily wounds under the skin and since every wound can flare up, there is also a risk.
If the skin swells and feels warm, then a GP should be consulted as it is an indication of inflammation. What’s more, if the stretch marks cause pain and many marks suddenly appear on the body and there is no pregnancy or overweight, medical advice is also required.