Stretch marks are very common, but there are sometimes a few misconceptions and a lack of knowledge associated with them. Make sure you explore this portion of the site to fully realize your options and understand the problem. Here a few facts that you may not be familiar with…
They’re Not Just Caused By Size Increase
When people think about the causes of stretch marks they usually think about pregnancy and weight gain. But hormones can also cause them. The dermal layer may be hindered in its production of collagen and elastin. This makes the skin overall less stretchy so the marks can occur even if you’re a healthy weight and not pregnant. The skin may just lose its elasticity.
Certain medication or conditions may also cause stretching. Medicines which contain corticosteroid can have a negative impact on collagen levels. Corticosteroid is usually found in products used to ease inflammation (such as eczema cream). A condition called Cushing’s Syndrome causes purple or pink stretch marks to form on your body. This is because it can make the skin thinner and weaker.
Genetics may also play a big part in your chances of getting them.
Cocoa Butter Isn’t Proven to Help Stretch Marks
Cocoa butter is often claimed to stop stretch marks. People usually give it a try because it’s cheap and natural. But there isn’t actually any evidence to suggest it works! There was a study done in 2008. 175 women who were undergoing their first pregnancy were given either cocoa butter or a placebo. The cocoa butter or placebo were applied daily. After several months the results were noted. There was no difference in the development of stretch marks amongst the group who used the butter, and those who didn’t.
There are many products on the market that claim to get rid of stretch marks. Most will not work. How will a simple cream heal scar tissue? There isn’t any cream which can do this at the moment. However some creams can have a positive impact in reducing the chance of getting stretch marks. Look for ones which contain vitamin C.
Tanning = Bad, Spray Tan = Good
For some reason a lot of people try to make their stretch marks less noticeable by tanning them. They want them to get darker and become the same color as the surrounding skin. Unfortunately this doesn’t work because they don’t tan. Remember that they’re essentially scars, and scars don’t tan because it’s not constructed from the same tissue as the healthy epidermis.
So most of the time the skin is going to get darker from tanning, but the marks will stay the same. This will make them even more obvious! Spray tanning however is a good idea, since it works on the surface of the skin. It can temporarily make them much less visible.
Some Home Treatments Actually Work as Well as Creams
As we said above; it can be hit and miss with a lot of creams. You don’t want to spend all that money without knowing if they work. However some home treatments are actually pretty good – they don’t cost much at all, and more importantly have some science behind them:
- Water – What’s cheaper than water? Drinking lots of water and staying well hydrated can keep the elasticity in the skin. This can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and help prevent them.
- Exfoliation – All you need is a sponge. Rubbing away at the skin removes the dead skin cells and really helps the natural renewal process.
- Foods rich in vitamin C – Vitamin C can help stretch marks (as shown from the study we linked above). So foods like peppers, oranges and strawberries can help reduce the chance of stretch marks occurring.