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STRETCH MARKS: WHY THEY APPEAR AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM

Stretch marks are a form of scarring that occurs when the skin is stretched too quickly or past its limit. It can also occur during pregnancy and puberty. “Normal” stretching of the skin results in beautiful, evenly textured skin (like how scars add character to someone), whereas stretch marks result in thin stripes on the surface of the skin.

Stretch marks appear in a variety of colors, although most are red initially. In time the color pales and may shift towards silvery-white or dark brown, depending on your skin tone.

Causes of Stretch marks

  • Stretch marks can be caused by rapid weight gain; for instance, pregnancy stretch marks will appear on the abdomen, thighs and breasts. Stretch marks can also occur during puberty (due to body size changes) and during weight training (due to muscle size increases).
  • Stretch marks can occur during sudden changes in hormone levels. This is not restricted to adolescence only, but can happen during hormonal changes after pregnancy, when you lose or gain a significant amount of weight, or when using certain medications that affect your hormones.

HOW TO GET RID OF THEM

You can’t stop stretch marks from forming, but you can reduce their appearance by taking the appropriate steps.

  1. Find a good stretch mark cream. This is probably your best choice in terms of effectiveness and value for money. But it is important to pick a cream that contains ingredients proven to reduce or remove stretch marks. Some of these ingredients include: – Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 (reduces the appearance of old stretch marks) – Copper peptides (prevent collagen loss, which will promote skin cell growth and elasticity) – Vitamin E (reduces scar visibility and firmness)
  2. Keep your skin hydrated. This is especially important if you want to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, as your skin must be more elastic and firm if you want to avoid new stretch marks or make old ones look less visible. You can do this by drinking enough water (especially after exercise), using moisturising body wash, and applying an oil-based cream daily on top of your regular moisturizer.
  3. Try an antioxidant-based cream. If you want to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks, your best choice is a cream that contains antioxidants such as green tea or vitamin E. The former helps prevent collagen loss and reduces the effect of free radicals (which damage skin cells), whereas the latter promotes cell division and aids wound healing.