From pregnancy to weight loss to weight gain, women are on a never ending quest to avoid the development of stretch marks. Once developed, women search out methods for reducing the appearance of these, oftentimes, ghastly red markings which plageue the stomach, buttocks, hips and thighs. With products claiming to prevent and remove stretch marks, many women are frustrated and confused as to what products are truly effective. Understanding the basic concept behind stretch mark development, the methods for prevention and the successful stretch mark treatment options will ensure all women, pregnant or suffering from fluctuating weight are ensured the optimal beautifying outcome.
Stretch marks are a cosmetic disorder with no known physically damaging complications. With collagen as the protein in the skin which keeps the skin’s elasticity in full effect, stretch marks commonly develop as the physical signs of the body’s distress with sudden change in weight gain. As a stretch mark appears the process of tearing in the skin begins under the dermis and is attributed to the thinning of the stretching of the skin and blood vessels. For some women, this process, while progressive over several weeks and months, may attribute to some discomfort including excessive itching and dryness.
Generally caused by pregnancy, anyone can become prey to the development of stretch marks. From women who experience a sudden weight change, for children who push through a growth spurt, and even individuals who push for weight training, adding muscle quickly, stretch marks will, undoubtedly, appear. Realistically, there is no way to prevent a stretch mark from developing however, for some individuals, the degree and number of stretch marks devleoped may be slowed with the use of topical products and based on the genetic composition of collagen naturally occuring in the skin.
Ridding the sign of stretch marks is virtually imposssible. Because the collagen in the skin is stretched to its limit, using moisturizing creams and gels provide very little success, even when provided by a dermatologist. Because the gel or lotion must penetrate the outer layer of skin, also known as the dermis, and work to promote collagen development, the stretch mark will develop long before this process is even initiated. For pregnant women, the use of Vitamin E oil, gel and lotion is the most effective, right at the first few weeks of pregnancy and may prevent a stretch mark from appearing in such drastic coloring and size. However, such measures will not completely eliminate the development of the unslightly skin disorder. While the stretch mark can not be avoided, the use of Vitamin E, in significant quantities throughout pregnancy, will promote elasticity and softness in the skin so as to allow for more relaxed stretching of the dermis. Once afflicted with a stretch mark, however, many women turn to treatment methods including laser therapy following the birth of the child.
Laser theray, in the treatment of stretch marks, will not eliminate the stretch mark. Instead, laser therapy will promote the production of collagen in the stretch marks which are significantly depressed while also promoting the development of coloring to shade out or hide the stretch mark. What is important to understand is the laser therapy option will not get rid of the stretch mark and, instead, will simply reduce the signs of the skin disorder.
As with any skin disorder, understanding the process by which the disorder develops is vitally important in preventing and treating the condition. While there is not a 100 percent effective cure or prevention for stretch marks, there are options available for both women who are pregnant and women who are not. Discuss options from prescription topical creams to the use of laser therapy with a dermatologist.