Ever wished to wear your favorite outfit but were scared of oops moment
because of stretch marks? Or felt embarrassed due to bands of white lines
prominent over your belly, hips, thighs, or arms!
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are long, rippled, and disfiguring streaks develop on the skin
over a period of time due to overstretching of skin or extension. Stretch
marks are not all the same. In the beginning, they may look like thick red or
pinkish lines whereas over a period of time it fades to blue or brownish
- Major causes of stretch marks are:
- Stretching of skin:
Stretch marks can occur mainly due to overstress on the skin layer, for example, rapid weight gain or extension of the belly region during pregnancy. These marks are visible very often if your skin lacks collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives elasticity to the skin.
Pregnant women get stretch marks over the waist due to prolonged extension of the uterus with growing fetal weight. These marks might cause itchiness sometimes or become darker in color. Hence, following a healthy and balanced diet is recommended during pregnancy to get sustainable weight gain which is also required for optimal fetal health and development.
- Puberty in females:
Stretch marks are quite common among teenagers. It is caused by sudden physical changes and rapid weight gain or weight loss supported by hormonal changes.
- Body Building:
Muscle pumps or intake of anabolic can increase your chance of getting stretch marks due to a rapid increase in muscle mass. It can be commonly noticed on the upper arms and chest line.
- High levels of hormone cortisol:
Excessive production of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland) may weaken elastic fibers in the skin that can result in the development of stretch marks over the arms, hip, thighs, breast, and belly area.
- Stretching of skin:
Are stretch marks harmful?
Stretch marks are not harmful or painful however it does make
changes to your looks. It may fade down over a period of time or
become lighter but there is no strong evidence for the complete
disappearance of marks.
What is the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks?
Following a balanced diet can reduce the chances of stretch marks
caused by sudden weight gain or muscle gain.
Various products and treatments promise to reduce stretch marks
although very little evidence supports the complete disappearance of
marks by any treatments.
Moreover, certain remedies or treatments if taken in the early stage
may help in making stretch marks less noticeable:
- Collagen supplements:
Incorporating good collagen supplements into the diet can synthesize new collagen protein and may also help in the regeneration of skin collagen cells for better elasticity.
- Application of creams, ointments, or oils:
Gentle massage of topical creams containing glycolic acid and tretinoin in an upward direction as directed by the dermatologist may lighter marks at an early stage. Certain products are known to reduce marks in up to weeks however no strong evidence has been found yet.
- Cosmetic or Laser therapy:
Various light therapies are available that can stimulate collagen production that may help fade stretch marks but it’s costly compared to other available treatments. A doctor’s examination is recommended before going with any surgical procedure.
A device with encapsulated tiny needles is inserted into the skin to stimulate collagen production. This procedure could be painful and may rupture blood vessels.
One of the safest and most economical procedures in the world that uses heat to generate and repair collagen fibers. A significant change may be seen after certain sessions of radio frequency.