It is one of the most common skin conditions that affect, surprisingly, both men and women. However it is more of a nuisance to women, especially when developed during a pregnancy.
Many consider it to be a lost cause which cannot be treated once they appear on the body. Fortunately, that isn’t the case.
Before we present the breakthrough updates on ways in which you can effectively manage your stretch marks, let’s learn what exactly stretch marks are and why they are so stubborn to remove and how they can be removed.
What are these Scarring Lesions?
Our body is prone to changes every day. What we eat, where we live, what physical activities we get involved in- these and other, various factors play a vital role in how our body continues to change. And stretch marks are one of the most common experiences a person goes through.
Also while they don’t pose any long-term health concerns, many people don’t prefer having them at all. Simple reason being: they aren’t pretty to look at.
They appear as long stripes or lines on the skin, with some people having more of these streaks on their body than others. Now, there isn’t a fixed, certain colour of these marks.
For some they are of a red colour, others may have something in a purple shade or even dark brown. It really depends on the colour of your skin. The skin is also raised and you will have a strong itch in the earlier days of the stretch marks.
While some of these marks, also known as ‘striae’ may lighten and fade with time, others are stubborn and stay put. It gets you frustrated and even has lead to self-esteem issues in some people, whose stretch marks are quite visible.
So how do they happen?
As the name suggests, these marks happen when the skin stretches or shrinks abruptly. This movement causes the rupture of the collagen which supports our skin.
Did you know our skin consists of three layers? Stretch marks appear and form on the middle layer which is called dermis.
While the dermis consists of strong connecting fibres, when there is a very sudden stretch, the dermis begins to tear, and as it tears, the layers of skin underneath begin to show- hence the look of stripes.
Common Places for Stretch Marks:
One of the most common assumptions is that stretch marks happen to just pregnant women. While it’s true that about 50%-90% of women are affected by stretch marks before delivery, due to rapid weight gain, this is not the only exclusive reason for striae.
They can happen on any part of the body, reason being your skin just can’t stretch enough. Our bodies have a protein-like substance called collagen in the body. This makes our skin elastic. However if your skin isn’t very elastic-prone, these marks start to show up.
Here’s a list of the most common places for stretch marks to appear on the body:
Reasons for Stretch Marks:
And now, let’s look into some of the major reasons why you are most likely to get these stretch marks:
*Weight gain (women and men are prone to getting these marks after sudden weight gain; usually highly visible in the arms and torso)
*Pregnancy- as discussed earlier, it is one of the root causes to have these stripes on skin, particularly on the stomach. It mainly happens because alongside the stretch of skin, there is also a surge in hormones. The dual action leads to a number of stretch marks created in the last two trimesters of the pregnancy.
*Breast Implants: Many aren’t aware of this fact but breast implants surgery also leads to a surge in these marks appearing on the body.
*Growth spurt: Stretch marks are also common in children. This happens when puberty hits. However it is a normal thing to happen and the marks on children actually get dimmer or fade away as they age.
*Weight Training: It is one of major side-effects in cases of weight training and bodybuilding. When the fat is reduced and muscles start to bulge, stretch marks tend to become visible.
*Steroid intake: steroid medications lead to a rise in stretch marks on the body especially on arms, thighs and stomach.
*Medical syndromes: Syndromes like Marfan syndrome, which weakens your skin fibers and causes unusual growth as well as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), are prone to stretch marks being formed on the body.
Now that we’ve taken our time and looked into what stretch marks are,:
let’s jump into the good news.
these marks can be taken care of in a variety of ways- through medical treatments as well as home remedies.
Let’s dive into what these options are:
Medical Treatments in Dubai
While it is known that many stretch marks fade overtime, if you feel it isn’t fast enough and need quicker results, then you can opt for one of the following treatments available at high-quality, leading clinics like Dr.Amal Al Qedrah offering stretch marks removal services.
These methods, while not removing the marks entirely, help in decreasing their visibility.
*There are a few laser therapies you can opt for:
The pulsed dye laser therapy uses a blast of light whose energy is absorbed as heat by the blood vessels. This heat then breaks the blood vessels, leaving behind a natural skin tone.
You can also opt for the Fractional CO2 laser therapy which is a relatively new treatment in which old, white stretch marks are taken care of.
The Excimer laser therapy actually takes care of any pigment problems that may arise using an ultraviolet B (UVB) light. .
Aside from these, a few other options that may be a little heavy on the pocket but will deliver fast results are:
*Microdermabrasion has become a game-changing procedure through which the top layer of the skin is exfoliated like you would do in a scrub session, only harder and deeper. It helps to fade away those red stretch marks, recently formed.
*Chemical Peel is also a very popular choice. Much like its name, it uses chemicals to actually burn of the top layer of damaged skills, revealing the new, fresh skin underneath. It will help in making your stretch marks faded.
*Cosmetic surgery can also be applied which just removes the skin with stretch marks.
* Radiofrequency and Ultrasound are the two methods that focus on collagen creation. Collagen production helps with diminishing the look of stretch marks on any part of the body.
Home Remedies That Help:
Again, while we are on the topic, there isn’t a confirmed treatment which will make those stretch marks completely disappear, but you can do plenty to help with their appearance, right from the comfort of your home.
If you check out a well-known drugstore or your local pharmacy, you will see a bunch of interesting products lined up for purchase that state they will remove your stretch marks.
The key is to know which ones will actually get the job done.
Look for the tried and tested stretch mark creams and lotions. It is important to make use of these products as soon as the stretch marks appear. They have less impact on marks that have been on the body for a long time.
Also, it isn’t just about applying it, but you need to actually massage it in. Researchers have noticed that making use of organic and natural ingredients like almond oil, cocoa butter, bio oil or olive oil, help in decreasing the appearance of these stripes.
However to see better results, make it a habit to apply these products often.
What’s the bottom line?
Stretch marks can happen to anyone. Till now, there hasn’t been such an invention of a service or product that will rid you of the stretch marks completely.
Yet, there is plenty you can do to make them less noticeable.
Now, we will look into the tactics that can be done to take precautions before the onset of these stripe marks:
Before you light the torches and ask how pregnancy marks can be avoided when the pregnancy is already in session, let’s recap our talk on how stretch marks can originate from various sources.
Here, we are specifically talking about stretch marks that arise due to weight gain. What you can do is to keep eating healthy and adapting exercise in your daily routine. Also staying hydrated will help in the long run.
These factors will if adapted in a pregnancy will also help- sure it wouldn’t help you rid of the stretch marks entirely, but it will help in lessening their presence at various parts of the body.
A Quick Checklist on Stretch Marks
So now you know all the details on one of the biggest dilemmas faced by both men and women. But the good news is: we can manage it.
Here’s an interesting fact-sheet for you to look at as we conclude this insightful piece on ways stretch marks can be taken care of. Your life doesn’t need to be limited by these scars. You can control it and decide how you wish to look.
*It’s not harmful. It’s just a scar.
*Stretch marks differ from one person to another.
*Certain medical creams can cause stretch marks.
*Stretch marks that happen without any visible reason should be checked out by a dermatologist.
* Puberty can cause stretch marks and this should not be alarming.
*Medical or Home Remedies may help reduce the visibility of these marks.