Having stretch marks can have an impact on your self-esteem. You may not feel like showing off your body in a swimsuit and avoid wearing certain clothes. They often appear after pregnancy or rapid weight gain or loss; though, there is also evidence to suggest that they are genetic.
It is estimated that about 90% of women will end up with stretch marks along their hips, thighs, and abdomen. Luckily, there are ways to prevent stretch marks or to, at least, minimize their appearance. Discover options and home remedies for treating stretch marks.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Stretch Marks Appear?
- How Can You Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
- How Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
Why Do Stretch Marks Appear?
Most people think that stretch marks are the result of gaining and losing weight, which stretches the skin. This also occurs during pregnancy. The stretching of skin is the primary cause of stretch marks, but there is more to the problem than that. Here is a closer look at the reason stretch marks appear:
- Weight gain or loss
- Medical conditions
Why do stretch marks appear? As the name implies, stretch marks are the result of the stretching of your skin. When you have a reduction in the elasticity of your skin, you are more prone to developing stretch marks. Producing an excess of cortisone can also increase the occurrence of stretch marks.
Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretch marks. As your belly expands during pregnancy, your skin is pushing the limits of its elasticity. Additionally, hormonal factors related to pregnancy can promote the appearance of stretch marks.
Weight gain or loss
Gaining weight rapidly or losing it quickly can also cause stretch marks. Adolescents may even notice stretch marks during a growth spurt. Essentially, most stretch marks are the direct result of changes to your body, such as growth.
Certain medications can promote the appearance of stretch marks. Using corticosteroid creams or lotions can lead to stretch marks – or increase the chances of developing stretch marks. If you are worried about whether or not a particular medication will cause stretch marks, you should talk to your doctor about alternative medications or other forms of treatment.
Existing medical conditions may also increase your risk of stretch marks or directly cause stretch marks. Issues that affect the adrenal glands can cause stretch marks. This includes Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and various genetic disorders.
For the vast majority of people, the appearance of stretch marks will be the direct result of stretching out your skin – either from weight gain or pregnancy.
How Can You Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
Before covering the best methods of reducing the appearance of stretch marks, you need to realize that you may not be able to completely remove them. You can greatly reduce the appearance, but the stretch marks will still remain visible to some extent. A few of the most used methods for reducing the appearance of stretch marks include:
Use a moisturizer
Using a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. As your skin become dehydrated, your skin loses elasticity. This can increase the risk of developing stretch marks. There are plenty of moisturizers that will help keep your skin hydrated. You could also make your own moisturizer using a combination of olive oil and Aloe Vera.
Use a retinoic acid cream
Retinoic acid creams also referred to as Retin-A, can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These creams promote the production of collagen, which is needed for your skin to be able to stretch without developing stretch marks. When you are using a retinoic acid cream, you should avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight as your skin will be more susceptible to burns. Retinoic acid creams are also not recommended for pregnant women.
Use glycolic acid
Glycolic acid is another medication that can be used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks by increasing the production of collagen. Unlike retinoic acid creams, glycolic acid is safe to use when you are pregnant. It is typically available in over-the-counter creams.
Use vitamin E
Vitamin E is a common treatment for dealing with stretch marks; though, its effectiveness has not been thoroughly verified through medical research. When applying vitamin E to your skin, you may want to use a carrier lotion to help get it into your skin.
How Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
If you are worried about stretch marks, then you may want to look into ways to prevent them from showing up. Some of the ways that you could prevent stretch marks include:
Avoid gaining or losing weight at a fast rate
The first step in preventing stretch marks is to avoid gaining or losing weight at a rapid rate. If you are attempting to lose weight, then make sure that you are using safe methods, such as eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Try to maintain your weight or gain and lose weight at a slower rate.
Use the treatments described during your pregnancy
Along with maintaining your weight and avoiding rapid weight gain or loss, you should use the treatments described for dealing with stretch marks when you are pregnant. Apply vitamin E, glycolic acid, and a moisturizer to your belly to avoid developing stretch marks once you give birth.
Keep yourself hydrated
Everyone should stay hydrated. This will not only help keep your skin hydrated, it will help promote better health all around. You need to stay hydrated to stay healthy. Proper hydration can prevent stretch marks and the signs of aging, such as wrinkles. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid foods or beverages that can dry out your skin. Staying hydrated will keep your skin from losing its elasticity, which should help prevent stretch marks.
Use a moisturizer
In addition to staying hydrated, you should apply a moisturizer to your body. This provides the same purpose as staying hydrated. With a moisturizer, you are directly hydrating your body and increasing the ability of your skin to retain water and stay hydrated.
These tips should help you reduce the appearance of stretch marks and keep them from appearing in the first place. Stretch marks are not fun to look at, but you can minimize their appearance using the tips and ideas presented. Start reducing your stretch marks with some simple home remedies.