Remarkably enough, one of the biggest concerns that women have when it comes to getting pregnant is their worry about stretch marks. Although pregnancy is one of the common causes of stretch marks, it is certainly not the only one and learning how to prevent stretch marks will enable you to feel more confident during your pregnancy and to prevent getting them for any number of different reasons. The good news is that you can prevent them and you can also treat them once they have occurred.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are essentially the damage to the top and second layer of skin, which is known as the dermis. This layer of skin is not meant to grow at a very rapid pace, and so during times of puberty, pregnancy, or any time a lot of weight or muscle is gained quickly, the skin may not be able to keep up with the growth rate. The result is that skin will stretch and scar, causing stretch marks which can be permanent if left untreated.
Do These Only Happen To Women?
Even though you may only think of stretch marks in terms of heavily pregnant women, both women who have never been pregnant and men are also able to get stretch marks. These days, with such a large rate of obesity in children, teenagers, and adults, it is not rare to see individuals of both genders and all ages with stretch marks throughout the body.
One very common reason for stretch marks in men is during periods of very rapid muscle growth. In fact, you will see many professional athletes who have significant stretch marks on their biceps, shoulders, and chest, which is a direct result of rapid muscle growth at some point in their lifetime.
Can You Prevent Stretch Marks From Occurring?
Even though you can treat stretch marks once they have occurred and significantly reduce their appearance, preventing them from occurring in the first place is certainly a much better idea. There are several ways that you can do this, the first of which is to prevent excess tissue growth in the first place. While this cannot be avoided in the case of pregnancy, you can avoid stretch marks by putting on muscle mass at a slower rate, and not gaining excess amounts of fat during your lifetime.
Another way to help prevent stretch marks from occurring or getting worse is by properly moisturizing the skin during times of growth. For instance, if you are pregnant, moisturizing your skin with a cream or oil that is high in vitamin E can help to nourish the skin and increase its elasticity so that it does not scar. Cocoa butter is one of the most effective products for stretch marks, and is commonly used by women who are pregnant on a daily basis.
What Can You Do To Treat Existing Stretch Marks?
If you already have stretch marks, then one of the most important things that you could do would be to avoid sun exposure since the sun can make stretch marks more apparent. No matter what your skin color, exposure to the sun’s rays can further damage what is essentially scar tissue, and make it harder to conceal later on in life.
It is also possible to reduce the signs of stretch marks by properly moisturizing the skin. Most experts find that the best way to do this is by applying some type of stretch mark cream, vitamin E oil or cream, or cocoa butter right after taking a bath or shower. This will enable the nutrients to penetrate further into your skin so that it can heal.
Do Laser Treatments Really Work?
There are a number of new laser treatments that can help to reduce the signs of stretch marks, though once the skin has been scarred, it can be difficult to get perfectly healthy, scar free skin again. Therefore, it is certainly worth taking the time to treat your skin during pregnancy while also avoiding the sun exposure so that you do not have to pay for what can be very expensive and sometimes painful laser treatments for stretch mark removal.
What Else Should You Know About Stretch Marks?
Another thing to keep in mind is that some people will be more prone to scarring than others, and your skin will be less likely to heal fully as you grow older. Taking antioxidants and a wide variety of vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E will help your skin to become more pliable and less likely to scar. These vitamins will also enable the healing process to begin and can certainly help to benefit the rest of your body as well.
In short, prevention is always the best cure especially when it comes to the health of your skin and by taking proper precautions, you may be able to prevent stretch marks from occurring altogether.
Update: May 25: Our research has found that people interested in significantly reducing their existing stretch marks have been getting great results using TriLASTIN cream. Here you can see some example results: