Stretch marks are lines that appear on your skin in a different color and texture than your normal skin. They usually run parallel and they range in color from purple to bright pink to light gray. When you touch stretch marks with your fingers, you might feel a slight ridge or indentation on your skin. Stretch marks can appear just about anywhere, but they’re most common on your stomach, breasts, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks.
Stretch marks can be caused for different reasons depending on the individual. Essentially, the most common reasons for stretch marks to develop are anything which involves the stretching of the skin rapidly such as:
Pregnancy - Pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks on the body of a woman due to the extreme stretching of the skin around the abdomen as the baby develops. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy also play a role in the formation of stretch marks.
Weight – Increased weight and weight gain can also lead to the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. This is because the skin is stretched in order to accommodate the extra body fat that has developed. This can also involve rapid muscle mass gains such as weight lifters or body builders have, though those stretch marks are more likely to have them on their arms. Growth spurts in adolescents may also result in the appearance of stretch marks on various parts of the skin. For some people, losing a mass amount of weight quickly can bring stretch marks. However, this is more to do with them being more visibly obvious; chances are they were there when they were overweight.
There are many solutions available for removing stretch marks. It is important to treat stretch marks as soon as they become visible to prevent them from becoming worse and damaging the skin permanently.
There are several ways to improve the appearance of stretch marks:
Tretinoin cream (Retin-A, Renova) - works by restoring collagen, a fibrous protein that helps give your skin elasticity. It’s best to use this cream on recent stretch marks that are red or pink.
Laser therapy - encourages the growth of collagen and elastin.
Microdermabrasion - involves polishing the skin with tiny crystals to reveal new skin that’s under the more elastic stretch marks.
Radio frequency treatments including Venus Legacy, Venus Freeze, and Venus Viva
Microneedling - like DermaPen
Collajam - a gel that firms and tightens the skin minimizing stretch marks and improves the skin elasticity by reorganizing the collagen, no associated pain with occasional minimal downtime
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