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STRETCH MARKS - Removal and Cure - Prevent stretch marks

Stretch marks - What are they?

Stretch marks, medically known as "striae gravidarum", are caused by excessive stretching of the skin. Pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss and puberty, are the usual causes of stretch marks.

We have three layers of skin: the epidermis (outer layer), the dermis (middle layer), and the subcutaneous stratum (innermost layer). Stretch marks occur in the dermis, the resilient middle layer that helps the skin retain its shape. When the dermis is constantly stretched over time, the skin becomes less elastic and the small connective fibres within it break. The result is what we know as stretch marks.

The people affected with stretch marks

Almost half of all expectant women and many teenagers will acquire stretch marks. Pregnant women start to develop marks on the abdomen during the second half of pregnancy as the skin stretches to accomodate the growing baby. The reddish-brown pigmentation in the marks gradually fades, and the stretch marks or "striae" begin to look like glistening silvery lines of scar tissue.

if your weight doesn't tend to fluctuate, you are not likely to develop stretch marks. But in case you are suffering from wide ranges of weight fluctuations, you are highly inclined to getting them.

Ways to prevent, remove and deal with stretch marks

Here are some general suggestions to help with stretch marks:

  • Massage your skin with a glove.
  • Massage brush to increase circulation.
  • Apply moisturising cream to the affected area on a daily basis to keep the skin supple.
  • Depending on the severity and location of the scar tissue, exfoliation may be helpful. Removing layers of dead skin and unveiling soft, fresh skin can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. You can use oatmeal or baking soda to make your own preparations, or choose from the many scented, specially prepared formulas available. Be sure to apply plenty of moisturizer to keep the skin soft and hydrated after exfoliation.
  • Eat foods that contribute to the overall health of your skin, such as those high in vitamins C and E, zinc and silica.
  • Different types of creams and lotions promise to improve the texture of the skin and make stretch marks less noticeable. Many will provide some relief, but certain preparations are meant for use only on newer scars. Using these preparations on severe stretch marks, or those more than a year old, may not show marked improvement. Read the labels carefully to determine which products are best for you.
  • For severe stretch marks, skin peels or laser treatments may be necessary. They can be somewhat expensive, and they can cause minor to moderate pain. These methods cannot actually repair torn fibers in the skin, but they are reported to dramatically improve the appearance of stretch marks for many people.
  • Currently there is no way to actually repair damaged skin fibers, so one alternative to get rid of stretch marks is to remove them. This requires cosmetic surgery. During surgery, the skin is cut away; though in some instances, doctors cannot remove all of the damage. An added benefit of cosmetic surgery is the ability to pull the remaining skin taut. This will also improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Even though it is difficult to remove or cure stretch marks, you can make a drastic improvement in their appearance using one or more of the listed products or treatments. It may be helpful to discuss the different options with your healthcare provider.

We hope the above article helped you in removing and preventing stretch marks.

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