Stretch marks can cause great embarrassment for women and men. This is despite the fact that they are not harmful to your health.
A large amount of money is spent every year on creams and treatments in the attempt to get rid of stretch marks, but do these actually work?
To answer the question, let us understand what causes stretch marks;
What are stretch marks?
There are two fibers under your skin called Collagen and Elastin that weave through the dermis layer of your skin. It is these fibers that give your skin flexibility, elasticity and firmness.
Stretch marks occur when your skin is stretched to such a point that the Collagen and Elastin fibers tear and rip apart from the dermis leaving the skin unable to pull back into shape.
The main causes of stretch marks are; pregnancy, rapid growth spurts during teenage years, and rapid bulking up due to weightlifting.
Unfortunately, in most cases, stretch marks are permanent. However their visibility can be reduced to a point where they won’t look as bad as they did prior to treatment.
Prevention is the only cure. It is important to ensure that Creams with Vitamin E and Cocoa butter are applied to the affected area during pregnancy before your tummy starts expanding. This will allow the skin to become more supple and elastic.
There are various treatments available to help reduce stretch marks;
Although surgical treatments are available, they are expensive, painful and in most cases not covered by medical insurances.
Macrodermabrasion: This is a process where fine crystals or sea salt resurface skin. This is done in conjunction with a tretinoin cream that is meant to stimulate Collagen production. The problem is that one can only resurface to a certain depth thus not removing all stretch marks. There is a series of treatments which can cost up to $ 400 per treatment.
Surgical Skin Resection: Some doctors claim that this may be the only way to remove stretch marks because it involves cutting out the offending marks. However, they don’t tell you what marks are left behind. There is also a lot of pain and discomfort and this not covered by health insurance.
Laser Surgery: This used to be the miracle cure for Stretch marks, but results have been less than convincing. In some cases, more scarring and discoloration have been caused.
Tummy tuck: In this process, the skin is cut, stretched and stitched (tucked) in such a way to conceal the stretch marks. However, this will only leave another scar on your tummy. retin a uk