Stretch marks are visible lines on the skin surface, mainly found in the abdominal wall, but can also occur over the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breasts. Pregnancy is obviously one of the main causes of stretch marks, but rapid weight gain or loss, rapid growth and stress can also result in stretch marks. Another factor is genetics, which has a hand to play in whether you will be affected by stretch marks or not.
Around 75 per cent of all women have some sort of stretch marks during their lifetime. They are basically scarring which appears on the dermis – as opposed to the epidermis which is where conventional scarring from injury will appear. If you have a lighter complexion, you will tend to develop pinkish stretch marks whilst darker-skinned women get stretch marks that are lighter than their skin tone.
What are stretch marks?
The skin consists of three main layers: The epidermis (the outer layer), dermis (the middle layer) and subcutaneous or hypodermic (which is the deepest layer). Stretch marks form in the dermis or middle layer of the skin when the connective tissue is stretched beyond the power of its flexibility – usually because of the rapid speed that the skin is stretched. The collagen is weakened and its normal production cycle is interrupted and damaged. This ultimately results in fine scars under the top layer of the skin. Initially the marks look pink or red, but over time a thin, silvery line appears on the skin surface.
How to get rid of stretch marks
There are several things you can do to reduce the appearance of stretch marks – as unfortunately there is nothing you can do to avoid getting them – especially if you are pregnant.
Drink a lot of water. The body is made up of a lot of water – so it makes sense that to have smooth, youthful skin you need to keep it hydrated! Good for your skin, and all other functions within the body.
Use a good quality body lotion of the affected area. Keep your skin hydrated with a good quality, rich lotion or cream. It will make your skin feel and look smoother and more toned.
Use a home treatment. There is a product which can be used at home for 5 minutes each area – just 2 to 3 times a week which will dramatically improve the appearance of your cellulite – as the photos show.
To find out more about this treatment and how to get rid of stretch marks click here.