In today’s world, thin is in. Too many people go to great extremes to lose weight to fit into the slinky clothes that are sold in boutiques across the country. However, once their weight loss goals have been achieved and they purchase all of the latest fashions, they are shocked and even horrified at the marks that have appeared on the bodies.
Stretch marks are those ugly markings on your skin that appear during pregnancy, or puberty. They look like bands, stripes, or lines on your skin, and can be very embarrassing especially if you want to wear a bathing suit or shorts. Pregnancy can be a leading cause of stretch marks because of the cycle the body goes through over nine months.
Stretch marks are also caused by significant, rapid weight gain because your body does not have time to adjust itself to the added weight. Bodybuilders also suffer from stretch mark because of rapid muscle growth.
The one relief the people who suffer from stretch marks have is that they are not harmful or painful and in normal circumstances, they tend to fade, but that may take a period of time. Stretch marks are most often found on the breasts, hips, thighs, butt and abdomen.
So what exactly are stretch marks? It is important to understand that Stretch marks are small tears that form just under the tissue that helps to support the skin and it is what helps it stretch. These tears in the skin are from the inside and work their way to the surface and are basically scars. Most of the time, they are purplish red streaks that appear in overstretched skin.
Studies have shown that stretch marks are caused by sudden changes in the elastic supportive tissue that is found just beneath the skin. These same studies have also indicated that stretch marks can be hereditary.
For pregnant women, stretch marks are more noticeable when they first come out.
Some home remedies like rubbing your tummy with olive oil may help eliminate the chances of getting stretch marks.
There are many different treatment methods for stretch marks from over the counter creams to laser surgery.
Over the counter creams contain collagen; a natural substance that is found in your skin that gives it is elasticity. As your body ages, collagen is depleted and you may get stretch marks. When collagen is added to these creams, your skin absorbs the collagen and tightens. This can reduce the risk of developing stretch marks. In this respect, the claims that collagen improves stretch marks holds true.
Another treatment that is used to eliminate stretch marks is laser treatment. The laser is used to burn away all tissue and skin that is affected by stretch marks. It is however important to note that this method is extremely expensive and often more than one treatment is needed in order for it to be successful. When using laser treatment for stretch marks, your physician will determine at what stage your stretch marks are. Laser treatment works best in the early stages when the stretch marks are darkest because the laser responds better than it does in the latter stages when the marks are lighter.
Although the technique for laser treatment of stretch marks have improved a great deal in the past years, it still can be very time consuming, painful and expensive.
For those who are desperate to get rid of stretch marks there is a surgery that can be done. Your surgeon will determine what level of stretch marks need to be removed and perform the surgery either in his or her office or in the hospital. It is especially effective on stretch marks on the abdomen.
An added benefit to laser treatment is that it assists the body in producing collagen and this in turn restores the elasticity of the skin and eliminates stretch marks.
Stretch marks can make anyone feel self-conscience. For some, they are a normal part of life and for others they are a constant source of anxiety. Those people who want to get rid of the unsightly blemishes will do just about anything to clean up their skin.