Causes and Treatments
Stretch marks do not go away on their own. Once the scarring has occurred then it is there to stay. The colour may change over time, beginning as red or purple and then possibly lose pigmentation over time, resulting in a white hue or faded appearance. There are many topical creams and oils in the marketplace and some may claim that they rid of stretch marks, however there are no products that conclusively resolve this skin condition.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-colour hue. Over time they may fade but they will never entirely disappear. Stretch marks occur due to rapid body growth due to pregnancy, puberty or as a result of sudden weight gain or muscle building. Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis and is the result of skin stretching quickly. Stretch marks typically appear as Redding or purple lesions which can appear anywhere on the body, but mainly in those areas where fat is stored such as the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, back, thighs. They tend to atrophy and lose pigmentation resulting in a light or white appearance. All genders can experience stretch marks, and for various reasons.
Can you get rid of stretch marks?
There are a number of approaches to addressing stretch marks and these options range from temporary and superficially cosmetic products to invasive and long-term changes. Some may choose skin grafting with cosmetic or plastic surgeons but these are costly, take place over many months and often require patients to travel extensively and over repeated trips. On the other hand there are makeup and creams that can be applied temporarily however these require constant maintenance and perpetually drain the “beauty budget”. An emerging approach to resolving stretch marks are camouflage tattoo relying on traditional tattoo processes and custom formulated pigment matching to blend away any appearance of stretch marks. These approaches offer immediate and long-lasting results.
Are stretch marks bad?
Stretch marks pose no health risk by themselves and do not impact the body’s ability to function or perform its usual tasks like repairing itself. However they can be seen as a visual nuisance and may disrupt one’s ability to participate in some lifestyle activities without distraction.
How can I prevent stretch marks from happening?
There is no evidence that creams used during pregnancy prevent stretch marks. Once they have formed there is no clearly effective treatment, though many methods have been tested and studied. Once the dermis loses the necessary support and stretches under pressure the risk of scar tissue forming is very high. Certain lifestyle choices can be better managed in order to prevent against the risk of stretch marks. Heavy lifting and exercise routines should be performed under the instruction of certified professionals and under the knowledge of your family doctor. Muscle building, taking supplements or drugs may cause rapid muscle or weight gain resulting in stretch marks. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, balanced with sleep, proper nutrition and moderate exercise will help prevent against unhealthy fat storage and subsequent stretch marks.
Are stretch marks permanent?
Yes. Once the skin stretches and tearing occurs the resulting trauma remains in the skin forever. Although the appearance of the stretch marks may fade or change over time they will always be there.
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