What Are Stretch Marks?
To so many, the idea of stretch marks are something that simply comes with everyday life – whether we want to have them in our lives or not. Stretch marks, also sometimes referred to as striae dispense, striae gravidarum, striae atrophicans, or simply, striae, are actually a certain kind of scar that can be caused if your skin is shrunk down or stretched out too quickly.
Think, for example, of someone who might have recently had a serious loss or gain in weight. Perhaps they’ve been pregnant, or have gone through a major surgery. These kinds of situations are ones where stretch marks can easily arise. That being said, stretch marks don’t always have to be a permanent feature. There are several different methods – besides fading with time – that you can use to help improve the process of saying goodbye to stretch marks.[toc]
Does Everyone Get Stretch Marks?
It should be noted that not everybody is actually affected by these particular scars – at least, not in the same way. There exist many different factors that may play a part in the creation of stretch marks. This creation is typically caused by collagen and elastin underneath the skin breaking. Such things as family genetics or hormones can play a role in this process.
If you’re looking to say goodbye to your stretch marks, it’s important to think about how you’re taking care of your body both inside and out. It’s necessary to stay hydrated as much as possible, and you’ll want to have a diet that includes fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants that can help both fade and prevent stretch marks.
If you’re the kind person who might develop these scars, you’ll be most likely to get them during the following situations:
- During pregnancy
- Gaining or losing a lot of weight
- Gaining or losing a lot of muscle
- Going through puberty (growth spurts)
The way your stretch marks look may start off as purple or red on the skin. These marks might even itch. As time goes on, however, this color will generally fade away to a silver or pink.
Stretch Mark Risk Factors
While it’s true that stretch marks can affect each and every one of us, albeit at different levels, some of us just have a greater predisposition to the harmless scars. Many important factors that play into this predisposition, and even these factors may be affected by your particular health. If you are affected by any particular health issues or diseases, you might have a higher risk level of getting stretch marks.
Some risk factors include:
- Genetic history of stretch marks
- Becoming pregnant or giving birth
- Corticosteroid use
- Breast enlargement or reduction surgery
- Any kind of genetic disorder
- Being a woman
- Being overweight or obese
How To Reduce Stretch Marks From Weight Gain/Loss
The kind of stretch marks that can be gained from serious and quick weight gain or loss are some of the most commonly found. Additionally, they are some of the most difficult to prevent.
These stretch marks are often sign number one that someone has put on weight in a certain area. The areas where these stretch marks are most commonly found are around the hips, buttocks, and thighs.
On top of this, stretch marks can also appear during weight loss. Though someone might be very excited to reach a goal weight, if they’ve lost a lot of weight in a short period of time, there may be stretch marks that appear. These stretch marks are likely to show up in similar areas to those experiencing weight gain.
One product we highly recommend for weight gain-related stretch marks is the Body Merry Stretch Mark and Scar Cream.
This particular scar cream works to help reduce and prevent the appearance of scars and stretch marks by firming and moisturizing your skin with a blend of natural ingredients.
The lotion is formulated to deliver hydration and provide protection to help smooth any rough patches or marks, as well as to provide your skin with moisturizing relief.
How To Reduce Stretch Marks From Working Out
It might be hard to consider the idea of stretch marks from exercise, but it’s totally possible to gain these little scars from regularly working on muscle gains. These particular stretch marks generally show up on the insides of the arms.
If you’re not thinking about the possibility of stretch marks in this area, it’s difficult to prevent them. That being said, even if your arm stretch marks are pink or silver, you can still effectively treat them.
For this, you’ll want to look for products that contain vitamin A, which is known to successfully treat stretch marks caused by muscle growth. Vitamin A helps hydrate the skin and encourages healing in the tissues. Additionally, this particular vitamin may even help rebuild collagen fibers that might have broken in the stretching of the skin.
A product that we recommend for this is Bio Oil, one of the more popular stretch mark removal products today. This particular product has been clinically proven and dermatologist recommended for scars and stretch marks. It’s designed to help improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, dry skin, and aging skin.
How to Remove Stretch Marks on Breasts
The breast area is one that can very quickly and easily be affected by rapid weight changes in the body. In fact, the breasts are known to change in size far quicker than other parts of the body when experiencing overall weight loss or gain.
For women, changes such as weight loss or gain, monthly hormonal cycles, puberty, and of course, pregnancy can leave these stretch marks in the breast area.
These stretch marks are extremely common, and though they generally affect women the most, can also show up on men as well when there is a serious amount of weight gain.
Another thing that easily affects stretch marks in this area, however, is a lack hydration. Exercise – or lack thereof – may also contribute to these stretch marks. Good hydration and an effort to exercise daily can help to prevent the most noticeable stretch marks in this area.
Vitamin E is highly recommended when it comes to getting rid of stretch marks on the breast. Another remedy that is found to be successful is massaging shea butter into the areas of the stretch marks at least twice a day.
A specific product that we recommend to get rid of breast stretch marks is Organic Vitamin E Oil from Health Priority. This particular product is 100% all-natural, and is designed specifically to heal damaged skin.
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks on Buttocks
Buttocks area stretch marks can affect both men and women. Again, these stretch marks are caused due to the stretching of the skin as caused by a change in body shape, size, or weight.
Common factors that can help with the development of stretch marks in this area include but are not limited to hormonal changes, weight gain or loss, obesity, bodybuilding, and pregnancy, to name just a few.
Of course, one of the absolute biggest causes of stretch marks in the buttocks area is in fact puberty. During this time, the body grows much faster than the skin. Collagen and elastin beneath the skin can’t always keep up with the growth spurts; therefore, stretch marks are created. These stretch marks are some of the most common to find on the body, following those on the thighs, breasts, and stomach.
There are several ways to help prevent these particular stretch marks. Some of the most successful ways include the regular hydration of the skin, sticking to an exercise plan, and making sure that you have a balanced diet.
Of course, hydrating the body on the inside is just as important as hydrating the skin on the outside. Because the body is largely made up of water (about 60%, in fact!) it’s absolutely important to maintain healthy hydration levels.
A product that we recommend to get rid of butt stretch marks is Botanic Tree’s Stretch Mark Cream. The cream is formulated with scar prevention and defense. Additionally, the product helps work to deliver hydration to the skin.
Formulated with 100% organic extracts, this product is great for bringing that much needed support to the skin, collagen, and elastin. The formula includes such ingredients as olive oil, shea butter, vitamin B5, moringa, cocoa butter, and more.
Users of the product noted that it made them feel like their stretch marks are being noticeably reduced. Others said that they appreciated that the product helped reduce the itching of their stretch marks. Finally, customers said that they feel as though their skin is softer after using the product.
How To Decrease Stomach Stretch Marks
The stomach area is another area in which stretch marks most commonly occur. This can happen for both men and women, and is yet again due to the fact that when the skin stretches too rapidly, the collagen underneath it breaks apart. As with buttocks and breast stretch marks, weight loss or gain is the number one cause of stretch marks this area, followed very closely by pregnancy.
There are several methods through which you can begin to fade your stomach stretch marks. Natural oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or organ oil are effective when it comes to fading stretch marks, particularly if you’ve caught your stretch marks early.
If you have older stretch marks, however, have no fear: these kinds of topical treatments can be useful even if your stretch marks have faded to a pink or silver color.
It’s important to note that when it comes to stomach stretch marks, maintaining a healthy, consistent weight and staying hydrated is key. When thinking about how best to prevent and treat your stretch marks, start by identifying your current lifestyle – are you sedentary? Athletic?
Do you eat a well-balanced meal three times a day? Perhaps you’re the kind of person who has just gone through a period of rapid weight loss or gain due to certain health issues. It’s important to speak with your medical care provider when identifying the cause of your stretch marks, especially if they’re due to rapid weight loss or gain.
The daily rubbing of natural oils into your stomach stretch marks can have a significant impact on the speed of their fading, particularly if you’re using products that are designed to bring essential vitamins and nutrients to the affected areas.
How To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
During the third trimester of pregnancy is when most women tend to develop stretch marks from pregnancy. These stretch marks can occur all over the body, but most will find that they gain these scars in the buttocks, inner thigh, breast and stomach areas while pregnant.
During the third trimester, the body is rapidly growing. Skin and collagen production isn’t quite as fast; therefore, stretch marks occur. On top of this, it is believed that pregnancy hormones can help make the skin more susceptible to gaining stretch marks.
Pregnancy is typically the time where most women will notice their stretch marks. It’s thought that between 50% and 90% of women develop their stretch marks before the baby is delivered.
According to AmericanPregnancy.org, though these stretch marks can be particularly itchy, they pose no risk to the baby or the mother. Though the sixth or seventh month is typically when stretch marks start to appear, some mothers will see them forming as soon as they get their “baby bump”.
Pregnancy is certainly something that will cause you to be a little more careful about what you are putting into and on your body.
Because of this, there are several products on the market that are designed to be helpful for both baby and mother. One such product is Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter, a product that is safe to use both during pregnancy and during breast feeding.
This product works to remove stretch marks, but also to get rid of the annoying itch that may accompany them.
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks Naturally
There are many ways to help boost skin health – both by eating a balanced diet and by using certain treatments. If you’re ensuring that your skin is healthy both inside and out, you’ll be far more likely to see a decrease in pesky stretch marks.
Some of the home or natural remedies for stretch marks can help make the fading process move a little quicker. In fact, there are actually many processes that you can do right at home that may help increase the effectiveness of any other topical remedies you might be using.
1. Vitamin A
This can be often referred to as a “retinoid”. Retinoids help make the skin look and feel like it is younger. These particular vitamins are found in tons of topical creams and lotions. They typically help improve skin’s overall health. Citrus fruits, dairy products, fortified cerials, and more also have vitamins which may contribute to the general well-being of the skin.
When incorporated with such things as coconut oil, sugar can help bring about a great method of microdermabrasion. This can help exfoliate and nourish the skin.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera isn’t just for helping with sun burns! In fact, this particular natural remedy may help heal several layers of skin, making it great for using on stretch marks.
4. Hyaluronic Acid
Though the name may sound a little strange, hyaluronic acid helps to stimulate and kickstart the process of collagen production in and under the skin. Collagen is important for both the healthy appearance and the general shape of our skin.
5. Coconut Oil
A favorite in moisturizing, coconut oil is great for use on places where the skin might be scarred or damaged. Stretch marks tend to be the result of damaged skin; therefore, daily use of this particularly useful oil may help fade your stretch marks.
Zinc can be found in such foods as pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, nuts, spinach, red meat, and oysters. This particular mineral is one that greatly benefits skin health.
7. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has specific natural bleaching properties, so this citrus fruit may help reduce the visibility of your stretch marks. For this home remedy, it’s recommended that you use fresh lemon juice on your stretch marks daily.
8. Egg Whites
Another home remedy, egg whites are high in amino acids and proteins. Not only do egg whites help in lightening the red or purple color of newer stretch marks, but they can help tighten the skin overall.
9. Potato Juice
Potato juice is another home remedy that may have skin lightening enzymes that’ll reduce the red or purple color of your newer stretch marks. In addition to stretch mark fading, potato juice is sometimes used to lighten dark circles.
10. Olive Oil
This particular natural oil is full of moisturizing properties, antioxidants, and nutrients that are useful for repairing the skin.
11. Black Tea
Black tea has tons of vitamins and minerals that are useful for skin health. Vitamin B12, which helps control pigmentation, is found in black tea.
Hydrate, Hydrate Hydrate
Of course, a huge part of getting rid of and preventing your stretch marks is making sure that your body is hydrated properly. The human body is made up of nearly 60% water, depending on the individual.
Every single day, we lose some of that all-important water through simple activities such as sweating or urinating. Of course, the intake of water is something that will vary from person to person.
Unique health needs are a huge factor when it comes to the levels of hydration your body needs. A general rule, however, is that eight 8-ounce glasses of water is a recommendation to follow.
If you work on ensuring the hydration of your body, you’ll be setting up the necessary building blocks for healthy skin. This foundation is key when it comes to helping provide support for any other stretch mark remedies.
Other Stretch Mark Treatments
Other stretch mark treatments may include such things as a retinoid cream or laser treatment.
Retinoid cream comes from vitamin A, and is a topical treatment for the skin. Your skin may feel softer and look healthier after you apply this treatment. The treatment works best for those with fresh stretch marks, although it can still be beneficial for those with older stretch marks.
Of course, you’ll want to speak to a trusted health care provider before using this treatment, especially if you have certain medical restrictions or health considerations. Further, it should be noted that several doctors agree that retinoids shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.
Another stretch mark treatment is laser therapy. The lasers that are used during these treatments work to help stimulate the collagen and elastin in your skin, supporting their growth. Again, this is something that you will want to speak with your health care provider about, as there are several types of laser therapy that could be most beneficial for you and your specific skin care and health care needs.
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks for Men
Typically, women will find stretch marks more often than men. That being said, men are also affected by stretch marks. Though pregnancy or monthly hormonal changes don’t necessarily affect men, there are other factors that may cause stretch marks to appear on their bodies. For example, a change in workout routine or sudden loss or gain of weight can certainly affect men. On top of this, puberty is a huge cause of stretch marks in men. Finally, genetic predispositions to stretch marks can occur in men as well.
Stretch marks will generally appear for men on the back or arms. When the stretch marks are due to muscle gain or puberty, these few places are most likely to be affected. If you are looking to increase your muscle mass via weight lifting, or are doing any kind of weight training in your routine, it’s important to think about a steady approach to your muscle gain. Rapid muscle gain can occur faster than the collagen or skin can handle, therefore creating stretch marks.
Stretch Mark Removal From Arms
The arms are another place that stretch marks can occur, though this area is typically less common. Muscle gain, puberty, or weight gain are typically the cause for stretch marks in this area. As with weight gain, the muscle expansion causes skin breakage that can lead to stretch marks.
Of course, weight gain also has a big influence on the way stretch marks appear in this area, as there are many fat deposits in the arms. Stretch marks can appear here because weight gain might happen at a faster rate in this area.
Great products to use on stretch marks like these are ones that include high levels of vitamin-A, such as bio oil above.
Preventing Stretch Marks
There are a lot of great products that can prevent your stretch marks. However, one of the best ways to get rid of stretch marks is simply to avoid them altogether through prevention. Ensuring hydrated skin and a hydrated body is totally key when it comes to the first step of stretch mark prevention.
If you’re looking to prevent your stretch marks, there are many things that you can do.
Keep A Steady Weight
While this might be one of the more difficult prevention methods, it can be one of the most helpful overall when faced with the task of preventing your stretch marks. A healthy diet and frequent exercise can help you when it comes to weight management, and therefore can help you prevent your stretch marks.
Hydration is important! Make sure to dink enough water to stay properly hydrated to prevent your stretch marks. Soft skin doesn’t see as many stretch marks as dry skin. It’s important, therefore, to drink enough water to keep your skin nice and soft. Finally, it’s important to think about how much caffeine you take in, as caffeine may increase your stretch mark risk.
Eating and Maintaining a Balanced Diet
Diet is a huge part of overall health, especially where your skin is concerned. It’s important to make sure that you’re getting nutritional meals that are rich in such vitamins and minerals as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and protein. Unprocessed foods are a solid way to go when it comes to eating well.
Don’t Forget Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very important to the elasticity and strength of your skin. This partiular vitamin can help reduce wrinkles and can help prevent stretch marks. Additionally, this specific vitamin is key when it comes to collagen development. The vitamin can be found in regular servings of vegetables and fruits.
Get Vitamin D
While too much exposure to the sun can adversely affect your body, it’s necessary to get a certain amount of vitamin D in order to have and maintain your skin health. The vitamin can also be found in certain cereals and dairy products.
Eat Zinc-rich Foods
Zinc is also incredibly important for the overall health of your skin. The nutrient works to help with wound and scar-healing. Additionally, zinc can help reduce inflammation levels throughout the body. If you’re looking to add more zinc to your diet, think about the addition of nuts and fish to your everyday meals.
Treat Stretch Marks When You See Them
If you’re not able to totally prevent stretch marks form occurring, that’s okay! As soon as you see them, though, make sure to properly catch them with topical creams and vitamin oils.
Can Stretch Marks Totally Disappear?
The American Academy of Dermatology has stated that yes – while it might be difficult to get stretch marks to completely and totally disappear, they can fade with time. Of course, many different topical treatments can help reduce the notability of stretch marks, or can help get them closer to totally disappearing.
Topical creams or gels are often very commonly used treatments for stretch marks. These gels and creams are typically going to have the greatest effect during the earliest stages of your stretch marks. In order to tell the age of your stretch marks, think about their coloration. The color is an extremely effective – and easy – way to think about how old your stretch marks really are.
New stretch marks tend to be pretty vibrant so far as their coloration goes. Purple and red are classic new stretch mark colors. The older the stretch mark, the less vibrant it will be.
Older stretch marks tend to fade to a silver or pink color, depending on your natural skin tone. The placement of your stretch marks can affect the way that they show up. It’s important to think about this when deciphering the age of your stretch marks.
Further, it’s important to consider stretch mark prevention and treatment as a daily routine. Taking the time to use those topical creams or lotions is only going to help increase the likelihood of success when getting rid of your stretch marks. The lotions can easily be added to your evening or morning routines. Using the products daily will increase the effectiveness of them.
A great method for removing stretch marks is to take hot baths. The water helps with overall circulation, which helps contribute to skin health. However, this also presents a great time for microdermabrasion methods such as a loofah or paste that can get rid of dead skin cells. This is the kind of method that can be incorporated into a weekly routine, and can be used with other products that may help both prevent and fade your stretch marks.
Hydration is another great method, and is one that will end up contributing to your overall health and well being. Ensuring that you’re drinking enough water, along with making sure that you work lotion into your every day routine is a great way to help speed along the process of stretch mark fading. Hydration in this way is great if you’re able to catch your stretch marks early. However, it is still a great way to help lessen the visibility of those stretch marks that you might’ve had for a while. Vitamins A, D, C and E are key when it comes to pairing some much-needed skin nutrients with your hydration methods.
Stretch marks are little scars that each of us may have to deal with at some point or another in our lives. When it comes to stretch marks, prevention is key – after all, it’s the most effective method of keeping stretch marks off your body entirely. A close second to prevention, treating stretch marks the moment you see them forming will get them to fade most quickly. Of course, it’s absolutely possible to minimize the appearance of stretch marks you may already have.
Stretch marks may appear in several different places on your body, depending on your lifestyle. If you have a predisposition for stretch marks, you may find that you get them easier than others do. Prevention is definitely something to work into your daily routine if this is the case for you. Additionally, many prevention methods will help with your overall health and well-being, which may help benefit your skin to an even greater degree.
There are numerous ways that you can begin to fade and can ultimately be rid of your stretch marks – no matter where they’re found on your body. From topical solutions that can work to fade older stretch marks, to the natural remedies that help prevent them from even forming to begin with, it’s totally possible to help speed the fading process of your stretch marks.
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