More chances than none, most of us will unfortunately develop stretch marks somewhere on our bodies at one period of our life. Also known as Striae atrophicae, these off-coloured scarring of the skin are caused by tearing of the dermis, which over time can be diminished but not disappear fully. They are usually the result of stretching of the skin from fast growth;usually puberty or changes in weight. Such as pregnancy or muscle building.
Stretch marks first start off as a reddish/purple lines and gradually fade to a lighter version or white. They can be grooved or textured. They effect the dermis of the skin, which is the resilient middle layer of the skin that helps it maintain its shape. Stretch marks can be anywhere on the body but usually appear where there is a lot of fat. Mostly appearing on the tummy near the belly button, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs, hips and butt. Something good about them is that they do not pose any health risks.
How are they caused? Our glucocorticoid hormones are the ones to blame for stretch marks. They stop the fibroblasts in the epidermis from forming collagen and elastin fibers that are important to keep the skin that is growing taut. This then makes support of the skin weaken, causing tears in the dermal and epidermal levels. If the two are affected then laser cannot remove stretch marks.
How do we prevent and remove them? Well, unfortunately there was only one study done on a product that was proven to prevent stretch marks, it contained Gotu Kola extract, vitamin E, and collagen hydrolysates. Contrary to popular belief, cocoa butter has not been proven to have the ability to prevent or reduce stretch marks, yet it is a great moisturizer.
There are many treatments that can be used to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks, including laser treatments, dermabrasion, and prescription retinoids.
Some products I recommend to help with stretch marks are Clarins Stretch Mark Control, it will help fade the colour as well as smooth out texture. And the Clarins Anti-eau body treatment oil. Using these two together will give you maximum benefits but the main thing is to realize that you should love your body the way it is. I have stretch marks on my butt and I love them! They are like tiger stripes.
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