Stretch Marks: What Causes These Unwelcome Scars?
Many people wonder what causes stretch marks. These purple, reddish, and glossy lines can occur anywhere on the body, but are commonly seen on the abdomen, breast, back, under and upper arms, butt...
Many people wonder what causes stretch marks. These purple, reddish, and glossy lines can occur anywhere on the body, but are commonly seen on the abdomen, breast, back, under and upper arms, buttocks, hips, and thighs. They pose no health risk but are unpleasing to look at. There are many possible causes and treatments to consider.
Rapid weight loss or gain can cause these lines to appear. Even though it is commonly believed that stretching alone does not cause them, it does play a role in where they appear and the direction that they run. If a person has a healthy middle layer of skin, called the dermis, they are less likely to form. This middle layer of skin is elastic and helps the skin retain its shape and keep it taut. Both men and women can have this problem, even body builders and weight lifters. Slow weight gain or loss is likely to cause problems.
Hormones have been proven to be one cause of these striae. Increased levels of steroid hormones can cause changes in the skin's dermis, and as explained above, there is less supportive material and so as the skin is stretched which causes epidermal tearing. Increases in these hormones are seen during pregnancy and rapid growth spurts in teens.
Genetics can play a role in their creation, as well. Some people are more prone to them than others. Assessing a families skin will give an idea of how likely other relatives are to developing them.
Treating these shiny lines can be as simple as applying stretch mark creams. Applying these creams or lotions to the affected areas, ideally as soon as they are noticed, will help them fade and be less noticeable. Other treatments include moisturizers such as cocoa butter or shea butter, retinoids, dermabrasion, laser treatments, and surgical procedures like the tummy tuck have been used. Other products include vitamin C, wheat germ oil, peptide-containing products, and glycolic acid.
Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using any product. Many suggest that a healthy, well-balanced diet and exercise program will help lesson their occurrence. Diets that contain beta-carotene and vitamin A will help the body reproduce healthy skin cells that are strong and flexible.
Close to 90 percent of women have stretch marks. Even though there are some causes that can not be prevented, like genetics, it is reassuring to know that easy to use stretch mark creams are available to fade, repair, and improve appearance.
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