“Brown skin, white lines. It wasn’t always like this. There was a time when my skin was blemish free, or at least free from these little devils.” Does this monologue define your life? Are stretch marks marring the beauty of your skin? If so, you’re not alone. Stretch marks tend to plague the lives of most humans, male and female. They happen due to many reasons, including, but not limited to, puberty and pregnancy. “But I’ve been taking so many measures to make them disappear.” Then why aren’t they going away? There are many things that affect and/or cause stretch marks. These include things you do daily that you may not realise.
Water is essential for living. It’s also essential to keep your skin hydrated. A lot of us have a tendency to drink less water throughout the day. Many times, the water consumed throughout the day is less than the recommended healthy amount (2 ltrs). Less water means your skin is less hydrated and collagen production reduces. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It gives skin elasticity as well as makes it stronger, and helps to get rid of dead skin cells. The more elastic and strong your skin is, the less the chances are for you to get stretch marks. So remember to stay hydrated!
2. Weight loss
This case is especially common after pregnancy. This is because many of us are incredibly bothered by the pregnancy fat and in a hurry to get rid of it. It means extra exercise to get rid of the fat. However, rapid weight loss also leads to stretch marks. This happens because you aren’t giving your body enough time to heal and tighten up. In addition, it leads to the synthesis of a hormone, which breaks off the production of collagen, leaving you more vulnerable to stretch marks.
3. Weight gain
A lot of people are also trying to build muscle. This often involves rapid gaining of weight. Rapid weight gain also occurs during pregnancy. This can lead to stretch marks, as your skin is being stretched, which increases the probability of damage of collagen, blood vessels, and elastic fibres in the body. This could lead to the inflammation of the blood vessels and elastic fibres, thus appearing red and scar-like. As your body doesn’t get enough time to cope with the expansion, stretch marks appear.
4. Miracle creams
Another common notion that keeps us from getting rid of stretch marks is our belief in all the “miracle creams” that come into the market and claim to get rid of stretch marks. An essential element that has been one of the only things that actually help make stretch marks fade away is tretinoin. Most of the creams that claim to make your stretch marks go away may help to an extent, but it really helps to take care from your side as well.
Newer stretch marks are easier to treat. When they are red and fresh, they are much easier to treat than when they’ve faded into thin whitish lines. When they are new, you can use laser treatment to make them fade, however, laser treatment is less effective on old marks.
Many times, you’ll find that the area around your stretch marks is itchy, and scratching it may feel relieving. The itchiness is caused due to the irritation that generally accompanies the stretching of the skin. However, scratching increases the probability of stretch marks appearing. The best option is to use lotion or moisturiser to soothe and hydrate your skin.
Something we love to do every day is taking a hot bath or a hot shower. Well, sorry to break it to you, but this could aggravate your stretch mark condition. Hot water tends to suck out the moisture in the skin. This is why cold showers may be better. Firstly, they do not get rid of the moisture in your skin, ensuring that your skin stays soft, and secondly, cold water tightens your skin, both of which will prevent your skin from stretching.
Remember that stretch marks, most often, never go away. Bottom line is that you need to take care of your body. This means maintaining a good diet, drinking lots of water, taking care of your skin and ensuring that your exercise routine is well-balanced and gradual. Prevention is much easier than treatment in a lot of cases, including this one.