Can you really prevent stretch marks?

by Paul on March 28, 2014

Everyone who has ever had a stretch mark or two knows that removing or even diminishing them with skin care products that boast about being able to do it is actually close to impossible. The saying which goes for most medical conditions – that it’s easier to prevent than to treat – is also the way most people approach the matter of stretch marks: since they’re so difficult to remove, perhaps preventing them is easier.

Common Causes for Stretch Marks

how-to-prevent-stretch-marks-during-pregnancyThe underlying cause of all stretch mark causes is a loss of skin elasticity due to intense stretching of the skin (just like the name says, obviously). That extreme stretch causes the elastic fibers in your skin (like collagen, for example) to break, which results in a stretch mark. The tear is rose-colored at first, like a delicate capillary, turning white with time. If you plan to remove the stretch marks at a specialized dermatology spa via laser treatment, it’s better to do it in the initial stage, when the stretch mark is still rose-colored. The white varieties may be harder to remove, making them quasi-permanent. But what causes the stretch which results in stretch marks in the first place?

1. Puberty:

Since your body rapidly changes into adulthood, fast growth in your hips and lower abdomen might result in the unwanted stretch marks.

2. Pregnancy:

The same kind of fast skin stretch also occurs during pregnancy, especially on the abdomen and breast areas, or even on your legs if you gain a lot of weight. Moreover, the skin may be even more sensitive and prone to damage during this delicate period due to hormonal changes, which makes pregnancy come with the risk of many other skin conditions. This is why a lot of stretch mark prevention products are advertised as being specifically designed for the pregnancy period.

3. Body building or strength training:

Developing a large muscle mass causes the same stretch, and the wear and tear effect that those sport moves may have on your skin is also a contributing factor for stretch marks.

4. Extreme weight loss or gain:

Every time you lose weight fast or gain weight fast your skin needs to cope with containing your new shape, which leads to stress and a loss of elasticity. This is why extreme dieting and the much-dreaded yo-yo effect should be avoided at all costs: they take a toll on your skin as well as your general health.

A Few Ways to Maybe Prevent Stretch Marks

Having a healthy skin regimen all over and in all areas of your daily life should pay off in respect to stretch marks as well. For example, watching what you eat in order to make your diet contribute to healthier skin will not only be good for your face or skin elasticity and so on, but it may also prevent you from getting stretch marks. Anyway, since it implies eating healthier, it’s good on so many different levels so you should do it regardless of the stretch mark problem.

As a more localized treatment, the only thing available is applying some sort of lotion meant to improve the skin’s elasticity, but the efficacy of such treatments is still highly debatable. You can choose from stretch mark prevention creams available from cosmetic product brands or just apply things like natural oils (especially cocoa butter, coconut oil and grape-seed oil) as a home-made alternative. Nothing is guaranteed to work, but give it a go and maybe the outcome will be at least better than it would have been without using the lotions. Unfortunately, there still isn’t an indisputable way to prevent stretch marks, but you can always just remove them with your dermatologist if things get out of control.

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