Stretch marks are prevalent in both men and women, and there are a variety of causes for them to form on your skin. Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, are neither a skin condition nor a sign of any ailment. (1)
They usually do not represent your health, but they might make you feel bad and insecure about your body. Stretch marks, which are generally viewed as not beautiful, might make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Beyond everything, even while embarking on a major physical makeover, you should maintain body positivity and appreciate yourself.
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are scars that appear in the middle layer of the skin when fragile skin stretches and rips.
While pregnancy and weight increase are the most prevalent causes of stretch marks, shedding weight is also a common cause that is ultimately related to weight gain. Most people are surprised by this since as you lose weight, your skin shrinks rather than expanding.
Signs of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a major concern, particularly among women. If you wear a swimming suit, shorts, or other clothing that shows the markings, they might be unattractive and cause shame.
Stretch marks may appear on your skin as little indentations or brownish streaks. Stretch marks that have just developed seem red or shiny. They grow whiter in color and scar-like in texture over time. Stretch marks have a distinct texture that differs from regular skin.
Although stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, the abdomen, breasts, thighs, hips, and buttocks are the most prevalent sites. (2) Males and females both are prone to get stretch marks.
What are Stretch Marks due to Weight loss?
These are more prevalent in women, although they can also happen to men as a result of fast weight reduction. To be more specific, the so-called weight loss stretch marks are frequently caused by gaining weight. (3)
As you put on the garment, your skin tends to stretch, although stretch marks are typically not apparent at this point. You only notice them once you have lost a few pounds.
Pregnancy, puberty, a family history of stretch marks, Cushing’s syndrome, which is caused by an overabundance of the cortisol hormone in the body (4), or Marfan syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by impairment of connective tissues (5), are all other possible causes of stretch marks.
What How to Prevent Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are not an unavoidable fate, and there are several techniques to avoid them. In light of the fact that weight fluctuations are the leading cause of stretch marks, here are some preventive measures that may be performed to avoid them.
One of the simplest methods to avoid stretch marks after weight reduction is to manage your diet, either by adding specific meals to your meal plan or by reducing the number of certain goods you consume.
You should increase your protein intake. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen. Consuming these foods will increase your body’s collagen production, making your skin healthier and more flexible. (6) Water aids in the prevention of stretch marks by keeping your skin moisturized. To keep your skin healthy, drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
Low vitamin D levels have been connected to the development of stretch marks in certain studies. Maintaining appropriate vitamin D levels is known to be associated with a lower incidence of stretch marks. Sun exposure is the most convenient way to obtain vitamin D.
To avoid stretch marks, you are required to minimize your sugar consumption. Increased sugar intake damages the collagen in the body, making stretch marks more likely to appear.
Prior to Diet
Since weight reduction is the leading cause of stretch marks, it is important to follow certain guidelines before starting a diet. First and foremost, you must reduce weight gradually and without panic.
Losing weight gradually has various health benefits, one of which is the prevention of stretch marks. It is usually suggested that you shed no more than one pound weekly basis. (7)
It is recommended to exercise and stretch if you are trying to lose weight just by regulating your diet. Even if it is only for 15-20 minutes a day, leading a healthy lifestyle improves blood circulation and skin elasticity. Moreover, it also strengthens your muscles and improves your skin.
Anti-Stretch Marks Products
Stretch mark prevention is reported to be effective with products containing Centella or hyaluronic acid. These are generally hydrating lotions that are used to treat skin lesions and keep the skin from drying out.
Hyaluronic acid increases collagen synthesis and promotes fibroblast activity. To prevent stretch marks, look for these components in skin creams, lotions, and other products.
How to get rid of Stretch Marks?
Getting rid of stretch marks is a major concern, although the process is slow and could be a little complicated but not impossible. Here are some possible ways:
Abdominoplasty, often known as a belly tuck, is a procedure that removes extra skin from the abdomen. The abdomen is the only part of the body that may be operated on for stretch marks. Stretch marks on other regions of the body are not suggested to be removed.
Abdominoplasty carries several dangers, which is why it is not recommended for everyone. For example, the procedure might leave scars, which can be even more unsightly than stretch marks. Post-anesthesia complications are another issue you may encounter. In addition, there is a chance of infection and skin necrosis after surgery.
Microdermabrasion is the procedure of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. The goal of this surgery is to enhance general skin health while also addressing stretch marks. This is a rather expensive cosmetic surgery, and one session will not be enough. In order to see desired outcomes, you will need numerous sessions.
A laser is a device that emits a single wavelength of light. This method is widely used in medicine and cosmetics to eliminate skin diseases, body hair, warts, and other unwanted growths. Stretch marks are efficiently treated with laser, which decreases redness and irritation. Stretch marks are likely to fade as a response to this treatment.
Chemical Peels and Creams
Though many chemical peel users laud the procedure’s efficacy in eliminating stretch marks, this is far from the case. Chemical peels based on phenols can penetrate the dermis, but not to the depths required to cure stretch marks. Nonetheless, these peels can reduce the visibility of the stripes, although not to the extent that you might think. It would be more beneficial to use stretch mark creams and lotions daily since this would finally offer you the desired effect.
Stretch marks are not usually a health issue that needs to be addressed. It is a normal process that occurs after losing a significant amount of weight, and it is more common among pregnant women.
However, some others find them unsightly, which can make them feel self-conscious and uneasy. There are a variety of approaches to preventing and treating them, some of which may be more effective than others.
Stretch marks, in any regard, are not a serious skin problem, therefore you may choose whether or not to cure them.