Stretch marks are discolored and slightly depressed or sunken lines that form on the skin. They are a form of scarring that occurs after the skin stretches or shrinks after rapid weight gain or loss. They often occur due to pregnancy, bodybuilding, weight loss, and weight gain. Various treatments can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Stretch marks occur due to the rapid stretching or shrinking of the skin that causes collagen and elastin to break. The function of elastin is to allow the skin to stretch, while collagen provides strength, structure, and support.
As the skin heals from the breakage, stretch marks appear in the affected areas. Stretch marks usually appear on the abdomen, hips, thighs, upper arms, breasts, lower back, and buttocks. Some people are more prone to develop stretchmarks than others.
Stretch marks are common and affect more women than men. Most women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. While they do not hurt, they can affect the individual’s mental health and body image. Symptoms of stretch marks include:
Sunken lines in the skin
Skin appears glossy and streaked
Treatment can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However, it is necessary to know they do not usually go away completely. Treatment options include:
Laser skin resurfacing
Most treatments require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Dealing with stretch marks as soon as they appear produces the best results. Old and deep stretch marks are harder to remove. The skin specialist can recommend the best treatment for your condition.
Studies suggest that some home remedies can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Aloe vera gel, Centella Asiatica herb, and hyaluronic acid can help. Massaging the products on stretch marks daily will produce the best results. It can take weeks or months to see results. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before using the products. Stretch marks may eventually fade over time, but they can take years.
There are ways to prevent or reduce the risk of developing stretch marks. Staying well hydrated or drinking plenty of water can keep the skin soft, reducing the risk of developing stretch marks. Drinks that cause dehydration will increase the risk.
A healthy diet rich in zinc, vitamins A, C, and D, and proteins can promote healthy skin. Getting regular exercise can increase circulation and boost collagen production. It helps the skin to remain strong and flexible, preventing stretch marks. Maintain a healthy diet and avoid yo-yo dieting.
Stretch marks can be hard to treat, but their appearance can be reduced. The marks often fade over time and do not cause health problems. Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options if they cover a large body area. Avoid using creams or medications that are marketed as stretch mark removal products. They can cause adverse skin reactions.
For more on the causes, treatment, and prevention of stretch marks, visit Skin Deep Laser MD at our office in Fort Worth, Texas. Call 817-263-SKIN to book an appointment today.