Myths and Fact About Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can be a real sight for sore eyes. Stretch marks often grows in parts of the body where there is a high concentration of fat like on the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and armpits. Some people develop stretch marks that are almost invisible while some develop marks that appear like deep scars often even pinkish, reddish or, purplish but the colour eventually fades to white or silvery.
More than just an aesthetic problem, stretch marks, especially when severe, can dampen a person’s self-confidence. So if you have stretch marks, you are probably eager to lose them but, before getting yourself that latest stretch mark removal cream or jumping on the table to get that currently most effective dermatological procedure, below are some myths and facts you need to know about stretch marks.
Myth: Stretch Marks Are Caused Only By Skin Stretching
Fact: Sudden weight gain or weight loss is a common cause of stretch marks. This is the main reason why 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during and after pregnancy. Genes also play an important part in determining whether or not a person will develop stretch marks. So if your mother and sisters have them, you will most likely develop stretch marks yourself. Other determining factors include skin type, amount of body fat, and hormonal changes, especially those occurring during pregnancy and adolescence.
Myth: Does Stretch Marks Mainly Affect Women?
Fact: While stretch marks commonly bother women, men are nevertheless also affected. Men are equally bothered about them and similarly eager to lose them. Male athletes and body builders are prone to stretch marks due to severe stretching of the skin. Compared to women though, men develop stretch marks less often. The reason being is that women biologically store more fat than do men while men tend to have more muscles.
Myth: Stretch Marks Cannot Be Prevented
Fact: You can avoid developing stretch marks but still, your genes and skin type will be important determining factors. The most important tip experts make to help prevent stretch marks is to keep skin ultra-hydrated when stretching of the skin is expected, particularly during pregnancy. Products that come highly recommended are cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil, pure Shea butter, and other essential oils. Regular exercising is also recommended to tighten the skin to make the skin more elastic and therefore more capable of withstanding tears when stretched most especially when extreme weight gain or weight loss is expected, such as during pregnancy or dieting.
Myth: Your Diet Will Not Prevent Stretch Marks
Fact: Since weight gain is a common cause of stretch marks, watching what you eat indeed will help you prevent from developing them. Being selective about the food you eat will help you avoid putting on too much weight.
Myth: Stretch Marks Can Be Treated
Fact: Stretch marks are caused by skin trauma on the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin. Stretch marks are difficult to treat and are permanent. Nonetheless, topical solutions and dermatological procedures have demonstrated promising results, not at completely eliminating stretch marks but, in lightening and improving their appearance.
Stretch marks “solutions” generally either increase the production of collagen or replace damaged skin cells, or both. Others minimise discolouration, strengthen the skin’s structure, and improve skin softness.
Many of the dermatological procedures available will, in fact, offer to tighten your skin. If you still need to save up to avail of these products and procedures, you can always resort to improving what you eat, drinking more liquids, and to pump up your exercise routines.
Myth: Stretch Marks Disappear With Weight Loss
Fact: Weight loss is, in fact, a common cause for developing stretch marks. Gradual weight loss accompanied by regular physical activity may help prevent stretch marks from developing. In severe cases of weight loss, such as in people who are obese, stretch marks are very much more likely to develop.
Who’s at Risk for Stretch Marks?
• Pregnancy: Stretch marks commonly develop on a pregnant woman’s belly and breasts due to the rapid growth in those areas during pregnancy.
• Weight Lifting: Male and female body builders, especially those using supplements to promote quick muscle development, commonly develop stretch marks on their arms, chests, buttocks, and thighs due to rapid skin expansion to accommodate new muscle development.
• Puberty: Teenagers and preteens commonly develop stretch marks during puberty due to growth spurts that cause skin to stretch rapidly.
• Weight Gain or Loss: When weight is gained or lost rapidly, skin will expand or contract to accommodate for the amount of fat present beneath the skin. Because of this, gaining or losing weight rapidly can result in stretch mark formation on any part of the body.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stretch Marks
Control Your Weight Gain/Loss: Gaining or losing weight at a slow pace will give your skin time to compensate for changes in shape and will lessen the likelihood of tearing.
• Eat Foods that Promote Collagen Development: Collagen is a protein in your body that promotes skin elasticity and prevents the tearing that causes stretch marks. While your body produces collagen naturally, it may not produce enough on its own to prevent stretch marks. In order to help promote collagen development, make sure your diet consists of lean meats, green vegetables, and fruits that are rich in amino acids. Consult a doctor through before any nutritional changes to your diet.
• Avoid Tanning and Direct Sunlight: The UV rays produced by direct sunlight and tanning beds destroy collagen, so spending time in the tanning bed or in direct sunlight can increase your likelihood of developing stretch marks by making your skin brittle and prone to tearing. During periods of high risk for stretch mark development, replace tanning with a sunless tanner, bronzer, or spray tan for colour. If you must be in direct sunlight, make sure to wear a sunscreen that blocks UV rays.
• Drink Plenty of Water: Skin must be hydrated in order to stretch.For this reason, it’s important to drink the recommended amount of water each day while at risk for stretch marks
• Avoid Eating Too Much Sugar: When you eat more sugar than your body can use for energy, the excess sugar in your system can attach to proteins in your body and damage them. Collagen is a protein, so eating excess sugar can damage your body’s collagen and make it more likely for skin to stretch and tear.
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