Body weight loss is a condition that commonly leads to the development of stretch marks. If you have recently lost a certain amount of weight and you find yourself dealing with stretch marks, read on to learn more about this skin condition and the possible treatments that you can try.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Also known as striae, stretch marks are a type of scarring that occurs in the skin after it has been overstretched. This scarring occurs in the epidermis, the visible layer of the skin. The middle layer of the skin is called the dermis and it is here that collagen can be found. Collagen is the compound responsible for the elasticity and tautness of your skin. However, when your skin expands at a rapid rate, the production of collagen is unable to keep up. As a result, the dermis tears up and leads to the formation of scars. The scars start off as purple or dark red raised lines. Over time, the color eventually fades to pink or white. If you are suffering from stretch marks as a result of your weight loss, then you probably have the scars on your abdomen, buttocks, thighs and upper arms. You may also detect stretch marks on your breasts and hips. Even though stretch marks are not necessarily painful, they can make you feel self-conscious about your body.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
If you are currently trying to lose weight and you wish to prevent stretch marks from forming on your skin, there are some stretch mark prevention tips that you can try. First, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. If you regularly drink caffeinated beverages like coffee then you might need to increase your water intake. Aside from promoting general health, water boosts the elasticity of your skin so stretch marks are prevented. If certain areas of your skin are feeling itchy, refrain from scratching these parts. Instead, massage these areas with gentle creams and oils. Massaging will stimulate the growth of new cells and will boost blood circulation – two factors that are important in stretch mark prevention.
How to Treat Stretch Marks
If you already have stretch marks then there are still plenty of things you can do to deal with your skin condition. For instance, there are now many over-the-counter products that are designed to help with the reduction of stretch marks. These creams and ointments help reduce scar tissue and also boost production of collagen. However, these products must be applied diligently over a certain period of time before the skin can start repairing itself. Skin care products that contain plenty of vitamin A are also effective in treating stretch marks. There are also several treatments that you can choose to undergo to get rid of stretch marks. For instance, you can try a chemical peel where the top layer of your skin is gently removed to minimize the visibility of stretch marks and promote skin repair. Laser therapy, on the other hand, destroys scar tissue and stimulates production of collagen. Several sessions of laser therapy are necessary to produce the best results.