What are stretch marks?
Of course, everyone has a general idea of what stretch marks look like, but it is important to understand how they develop and what can trigger their formation. They are pink, red or purple indented streaks, and they are forms of scarring on the skin. They are caused by tearing of the dermis, which can diminish over time but will never disappear completely. Mostly, they are caused by the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or weight gain, but they can also be influenced by hormonal fluctuations that occur during puberty, bodybuilding and pregnancy.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately ninety percent of women will develop stretch marks during the last months of their third trimester. They typically appear on the abdomen, but they can also show up on the breasts, lower back and buttocks. Wearing a bikini is the furthest thing from the average woman's mind at this point, unless it's a one piece bathing suit (which tends to be much more comfortable if you are self-conscious about your body). However, once pregnancy is over, many mothers yearn to be able to feel confident in their skimpy swimwear, and getting rid of stretch marks can become a real concern at this point. Now, let's take a look at some examples of how you can prevent them before, during and after pregnancy. While studies show that it is very hard to remove the marks completely, it is definitely possibly to significantly diminish their appearance.
Prevent and diminish the appearance
Stretch mark prevention is still a contentious topic that prompts a great deal of debate. Since there are limits to the elasticity of the skin, long periods of intense stretching naturally result in characteristic streaks and scars. One thing is clear--when it comes to these marks, prevention is much easier than treatment. This is because they are essentially scars, and are therefore extremely difficult to eliminate in their entirety. Preventative measures can help to reduce the severity of the marks that appear, and it is best to start utilizing them during the earliest stages of pregnancy (or even when you are still trying to conceive). However, don't despair if you are already pregnant. It is never too late to start treatment for stretch marks, and you will still experience excellent results on areas that have already been affected by them.
The first preventative measure involves using some form of vitamin E treatment that aims to strengthen the collagen and elastin found deep in the lower epidermis. This strengthening process results in strengthening of the skin and an increase in natural elasticity. There are many different sources of vitamin E to consider, but some of the tastiest include almonds, vegetable oils, seeds, sunflower, oats, peaches, and (my favorite) avocados. Secondly, you should consider using a treatment that contains Vitamin D3. This vitamin is a natural derivative of vitamin D that is produced by your own body when you expose your skin to the sun, and it will complement the actions of vitamins E and A (which aid in the regeneration of the epidermal layer of skin tissue).
Four natural remedies
Let's look at some of the most effective natural remedies that may be able to prevent or diminish stretch marks.
Potato Juice -The vitamins and minerals in potato juice can help restore skin cells, thus making the annoying marks less apparent. Simply slice a potato and then rub it on your belly to coat your skin with the juices.
Lemon Juice - The natural acids in lemon juice can help to fade and bleach them, allowing the marks to blend in with your regular skin color. All you need to do is rub the juice onto your affected areas using circular motions, and then let it dry. After about ten minutes, rinse it off.
Cocoa Butter - Massaging cocoa butter into your skin a couple of times a day will moisturize dry skin and also help stretch marks to fade. In addition, if you use cocoa butter throughout your pregnancy, you may have a better chance at warding them off.
Olive Oil - Another good way of reducing your chances of developing prominent marks involves applying olive oil to your skin during pregnancy. Olive oil contains vitamin E, which (as mentioned above) regenerates the epidermal layer of skin tissue. The oil will also help to soften your skin so it can expand more easily, making the marks less likely.
So, in conclusion, we've learned what stretch marks are and how they are associated with puberty, bodybuilding and pregnancy. Further, we've discovered some exciting ways to prevent and or diminish them (including four natural remedies). Now, while it is true that natural methods are economical, there are a few alternatives that may be even more effective. The most common modern methods are laser therapy and cosmetic surgery, alongside treatments that are clinically proven to produce results. Two of the most effective are Revitol stretch mark prevention cream and Dermology stretch mark prevention.-By Tommy Raymond Johnson