The ABCs Of Stretch Marks

By: lynter
Stretch marks, as the name suggests, are crack like lines that form on the skin. When skin is tight or lagging, the weight or pressure causes it to stretch further than it should. The connective tissue becomes damaged, and small tears form the lines we are referring to.

Who do they Affect?

Men and women both suffer from them, and most women get some after pregnancy. The most common reason for stretch marks appearing is after a person either loses weight or puts weight on over a short time. As all women do this when pregnant, a high percentage will have them. The areas affected most often are the breasts, hips, arms, thighs and abdomen.

Many people who have them become ashamed of their bodies. They are reluctant to wear swimmers or anything that reveals the lines. The problem with stretch marks is that you usually don't know they are forming until it's too late, and you suddenly have them.

Hormones can also affect the likelihood of stretch marks. This is why some teenagers will discover them during puberty, especially if their weight has fluctuated. Certain pharmaceuticals can contribute as well, such as steroids or the pill, bad diet or anxiety disorders.

Over the Counter Products

You can purchase any number of products for helping with your problem. Some stretch marks are light in color and easier to treat, where others can be pink, red or even purple and very raised and lumpy. The latter is much harder to repair, so do your research before handing over a fortune. There are people who swear by some of the brands on the market today, and some are guaranteed to at least make them fade. There are also excellent creams to maintain skin elasticity for preventing them in the first place.

Avoid caffeine and keep up the water intake, ensuring you drink at least eight glasses a day. You need a diet full of adequate vitamins and minerals, and exercise regularly to keep your skin toned. If you want to lose weight, you are better off doing it gradually.

Treatment Options

If you treat your stretch marks sooner rather than later, your chances of success are much higher. There are creams, beauty treatments, scrubs and laser therapy which all have their fans. Retin-A is one that can be used on darker lines with positive results, as long as they haven't been there for more than twelve months. There is also microderm abrasion, but it can hurt and is expensive. Although Lasers are very efficient, you can spend thousands on treatments and they can be such agony some people need anesthesia to get through.

There really are no guaranteed treatments for stretch marks. With the right product used the right way, along with diet, exercise and hydration, you should be able to make them fade. With so many people hiding theirs, you certainly shouldn't be ashamed. They are a natural part of life, so look at them more like signs of experience and maturity.

Do Treatments Work?

You can purchase any number of products for helping with your stretch mark problem. Some are light in color and easier to treat, where others can be pink, red or even purple and very raised and lumpy. The latter is much harder to repair, and laser treatment may be the only option. There are people who swear by some of the treatments on the market, and some are guaranteed to at least make them fade. There are also excellent creams to maintain skin elasticity for preventing them in the first place.

Summary:

People who drop pounds rapidly or vice versa will often get stretch marks. These marks are like cracks made from scar tissue, and are actually signs of the connective skin tissue having been damaged. There are many treatments on the market you can try, some more affordable than others.
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