Things you need to know about stretch marks
First things first - Stretch marks are absolutely NORMAL.
What are stretch marks?
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear. These may be red, white, pink or purple in colour.
The first signs of them are usually red or purple lines in fair skin or hyperpigmented lines in dark skin – often raised but sometimes flat. Eventually, they turn a white or silvery hue with a wrinkled appearance, and it's at this point that they become permanent. The most common locations for stretch marks are areas that are prone to fluctuations in size and growth spurts, such as the stomach, bottom, thighs, legs, back, and breasts.
Stretch marks are common in men, women and children and are absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.
Why do we get stretch marks?
When skin stretches or retreats quickly, the collagen and elastin that supports it ruptures. It's no secret that the most common causes of striae are pregnancy, growth or weight change; but they can appear whatever your size, age or circumstance. If you develop stretch marks, you’re most likely to do so during these times:
- - Growth spurts that happen in puberty
- - Pregnancy
- - Rapid weight loss or gain
- - Weight training when you have rapid muscle growth
How to treat stretch marks?
Like any scar, stretch marks are permanent, but treatment may make them less noticeable. It’s important to understand that no single treatment works for everyone — and many products don’t seem to work at all.
Some ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks are by keeping our skin soft, supple and hydrated. These can help soften the visibility of stretchmarks. Stretch marks are notoriously hard to treat once they turn white, so it would be helpful to layer your skin with rich oils, butters, and humectants while the marks are still pink to decrease their visibility. Creams, lotions, and massage oils won’t make the stretch marks disappear altogether, but they will make skin feel smoother with boosted elasticity. Drinking water and eating foods rich in healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, oily fish and avocados can also boost your skin's elasticity. So go grab some nourishing food!