At some point during our lives we have all witnessed those unsightly, unwanted lines on our bodies and hoped for them to somehow disappear. Stretch marks can be quite an eye sore to those who have them. Stretch marks most commonly occur during sudden changes in body size, such as during pregnancy, puberty, or rapid weight-gain. Although rapid stretching of the skin is the principle cause, stretch marks are more likely to affect some people than others, leading to a greater need for stretch mark treatment. Ninety percent of pregnant women will get stretch marks around their abdomen, hips and thighs, and unfortunately, they seem to be genetic — if your mom had stretch marks, odds are that you will too.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks appear as linear streaks on the skin that has been overstretched, and they run perpendicular to maximum lines of tension in the skin. They begin as flat red lines, and over time they appear as slightly depressed white streaks. They tend to be present near the armpits, on the thighs, abdomen, chest, and groin.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks occur in the dermis, which is the strong middle layer of skin. The dermis is comprised of fibers which allow the skin to stretch as the body grows, but if the skin stretches too rapidly then the fibers become thin and can break, leading to stretch marks.
If tears develop, the blood vessels can show through, and this is what gives stretch marks their reddish, purple appearance, leading to the need for stretch mark removal treatments.
How to get rid of stretch marks?
As they say prevention is always better than cure. When stretch marks show up, it is best to treat them as early as possible. Research has shown that in the early stages of stretch marks, when they are still red or purple, they most readily respond to treatment
Use a moisturizer. A study comparing herbal moisturizers found that people who lotioned-up daily showed significant improvement in skin appearance and elasticity. Think of it this way: if your skin has a lot of stretching to do, it’s less likely to tear and create stretch marks if it’s hydrated.
Use glycolic acid. Glycolic acid used on stretch marks can increase collagen production, making your skin more elastic overall. As an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), it’s in the same family of compounds often used in chemical skin peels.
Try Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil is often said to be the miracle cure for stretch marks, though one study shows that it has proven to be most effective on women who have already been pregnant before.
Increase your Vitamin C intake. Dermatologists suggest that 500 mg of Vitamin C, taken as an oral supplement, can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Here’s a rundown of the products available for stretch mark removal and what they can do:
Dr. Organic Vitamin E Restoring Skin Care Set (with free gift)– A full set designed to deeply moisturize skin and reduce stretch marks, packed with vitamin E and other organic ingredients.
Elemis Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend– Victoria Beckham’s secret to preventing stretch marks while pregnant, this luxurious blend can also be used from head to toe to improve the condition of the skin.
Alex Cosmetic Essential Body Oil– A rich face and body oil for everybody wishing to find the effectiveness of intense hydration and toning of natural oils. A combination of five natural oils visibly improves the skin while botanical light fragrances soothe your senses and provide long-lasting refreshment to your skin.