The Skinny On Stretch Marks

What’s The Deal With Stretch Marks…

Stretch marks occur during pregnancy in women, in teenagers during rapid growth spurts, in bodybuilding during periods of fast muscle gain and in some conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome. Also, the use of steroid creams over extended periods of time may form stretch marks.

Not Stretch Marks — Tear Marks

Most women believe that stretch marks only occur because of natural expansion during pregnancy, but stretch marks don’t just form because of skin stretching during pregnancy.

And although partially correct, the reality is that stretch marks form when the skin tears, not stretches. This “not stretching” occurs because of certain hormones in your body.

These hormones will not allow the skin to make enough collagen and elastin. If the skin could make enough of these proteins to support all that stretching, it would never tear, and you would not get stretch marks.

A hormone called glucocorticoids is chiefly responsible for your stretch marks.

Treatments for Stretch Marks

The wait and see method: Stretch marks are essentially scars, and like all scars, they will eventually fade away over time.

Chemical warfare method: Vitamin C creams and retinoids can help reduce stretch marks.

Vitamin C cream can allegedly aid in collagen production and contribute to improving early-stage stretch marks, but this topical cream has not been officially studied, and no scientific proof exists.

Retinoids are an effective treatment for a number conditions such as inflamed skin and wrinkles. However, toxic effects can occur with prolonged intake.

Breaking out the big guns method: Chemical peeling and laser are a more serious way to go.

Chemical peels can improve the texture and smoothness of your skin. However, this treatment will not reduce the appearance of your stretch marks. It justs removed dead surface cells and increase cell turnover in the outer skin.

During a laser removal procedure, a beam of light removes thin layers of skin around the stretch marks. These start at $200 per treatment, and a series of treatments is required for significant improvement. Patients pay for each procedure individually which can total over $750.

I know it seems like a losing battle, but don’t get disheartened, there are low-cost, effective options that can help.

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