All About Stretch Marks

You know that you can’t stand them, but do you really know what a stretch mark is and where it comes from? Probably not! Stretch marks are a type of scarring on the skin that have an off-color hue. When you notice the stretch marks, you can pretty much tell right away that they don’t fit in with your skin. For some people, stretch marks disappear over time, but others are stuck with them for life.

Where do stretch marks come from?

Many times, stretch marks, also known as “striae,” are the result of the skin stretching rapidly, meaning rapid weight gain or loss. For example, many teens end up with stretch marks as a result of puberty and the same is true for many pregnant women. Other reasons why stretch marks appear include excessive weight lifting, hormonal changes and obesity.
What does it look like?
The first time you see a stretch mark it may look pink, red or purple, almost like a bruise, but over time, they tend to fade to a lighter color.

Where can I get them?

Unfortunately, stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body. More often, individuals get them in areas where large amounts of fat are stored, including the abdomen, breasts and thighs.
Are they harmful?
No! Stretch marks do not pose any health risks, but some people are ashamed of stretch marks. Don’t be! Many fade over time, and if they don’t, there are some new studies that have shown potential ways to eliminate stretch marks.
How do I get rid of them?
There have been a variety of studies claiming that this product or that product can cure all stretch marks. But the truth is that everyone’s body is different, and what helps one person, might not help the next. Here are a couple of products that may help remove your stretch marks:
1. Glycolic acid – Often thought as a rejuvenator for the skin, glycolic acid works by increasing the product of collagen within the skin. Treatments include visiting your dermatologist, and can cost more than $100. Results usually don’t appear until after a few treatments.
2. Retinoids – These products are packed with vitamin C, and some studies have shown that they can help reduce stretch marks when they are in their early stages. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid retinoids.
3. Laser treatment – Although it’s the more expensive treatment, it is the one used by many dermatologists. Make sure to talk to your dermatologist about this treatment because even though it seems like a sure-fire approach, it doesn’t always work perfectly. Plus, it is very expensive.
If you are concerned about your stretch marks and how they make you look, remember that many, many people are plagued with the exact same thing. Stretch marks won’t ever hurt you! For more information about stretch marks, please speak to your dermatologist.

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