Stretch marks are not painful, not harmful, not itchy but it is a cause of anxiety and psychological trauma for those especially women that have it on their skin. It causes a large number of women emotional distress and they are always ready to do anything to treat it. No wonder the industry for the treatment or removal of stretch marks is worth a billion dollars and still counting.
Let us now discuss……
What are stretch marks?
They look like lines, streaks or stripes across the skin. Stretch marks can be pink, red, brown, black, silver or purple. They usually start off darker and fade over time. They are scars and disfiguring lesion. They are a product of rapid growth, weight gain or misuse of creams. These marks damages self image and brings anxiety.
What are the causes of stretch marks?
No known cause have been pin-pointed. However, stretch marks have been associated with the following according to NHS.
Striae are often caused by sudden growth or weight gain.
You may be more likely to get them if you:
- are pregnant
- are going through puberty
- lose or gain weight quickly
- are female
- are overweight or obese
- use some kinds of steroid creams or tablets
- have a family member with stretch marks
- bleach or use bleaching creams
- eat fatty foods
- treat your skin poorly
- mixes cream to use
- always change creams
- do not exercise
- live sedentary lifestyle
- if you have any of this disease conditions according to Wikipedia:Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and “adrenal gland diseases”.
Common sites of stretch marks in the body
- Abdomen (tummy)
- Upper arms
- Back of the legs
- Front of the elbow
Treatment options for Stretch Marks
Stretch lines often fade over time without treatment and do not pose any serious long-term health risks. Striae that appear during pregnacy normally become unnoticeable between 8-12 months after birth. They continue to disappear with age.
In a society where the way we look now matters so much, the following treatment method have been put forward though not effective.
1. Creams, oils, and topical preparations
There is no high-quality evidence that applying lotions, creams, or oils to the skin can help the appearance of stretch marks.
Topical treatments are preparations containing active ingredients that are applied to the surface of the skin.
Several studies have compared the effects of topical treatments to preparations containing no active ingredients, or to the effects of receiving no treatment at all.
These investigations found no statistically significant difference between the groups, suggesting that currently available treatment options do not enhance or speed up the healing process of stretch marks.
Creams like, retinoid (often called tretinoin) creams or hyaluronic acid – these may help them look better if used on new stretch mark, but you should not use retinoid creams if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Light and laser therapies.
A variety of light and laser therapies are available to help stimulate the growth of collagen or elastin in your skin. Your doctor can help you determine which technique is appropriate for you.
This type of treatment involves a hand-held device that blows crystals onto skin. These crystals gently remove a fine layer of skin, promoting the growth of new, more-elastic skin.
Please note that all these treatment method will not cure stretch marks. Life style modifications like exercising, stopping bleaching, stopping your use of bleaching products, losing weight gradually, tanning your skin to cover the stretch lines, avoiding fatty foods, taking a lot of Vitamin C and E and drinking plenty of water are your best bet in making your marks disappear or fade away.
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