Stretch marks are the purple red, purple blue, or blue linear streaks that can occur anywhere on the body. They are common in the areas where adipose tissue deposits are most prominent. In women, stretch marks usually appear on the hips, thighs, near the armpit, breast and abdomen; while in men, stretch marks are more common in their shoulders, upper arm, and abdomen. Although their color fades in time, stretch marks never really go away.
Stages of Stretch Marks
When the collagen, blood vessels and elastin fibers in the middle layer of the skin known as dermis are ruptured due to excessive skin expansion, inflammation begins. This results to the angry reddish or bluish hues with a purple undertone of the stretch marks in the early stages. As time goes by, the inflammation eventually heals and the color fades into calmer hues of white, gray or brown. When your stretch marks fade in these colors, it means that they have aged.
Stretch Mark Prevention Tips
Avoid Weight Oscillations:
When your weight fluctuates, you are giving your skin a hard time. You gain weight rapidly this month, and you lose the same amount of weight the next will likely give your skin stretch marks. Gaining weight corresponds to body parts increasing in thickness and size, thus leading to skin expansion. When skin stretches, the blood vessels, connective tissues and collagen underneath it are damaged and inflamed, hence the presence of stretch marks. Yo-yo weight, or weight that goes up and down, causes tremendous damages to your skin, thereby increasing your chance of getting stretch marks. If you are on the chunky side, it is best to eat highly nutritious foods, exercise and adequate hydration. If your weight is on the desired scale, do your best to maintain it.
Avoid The Use of Corticosteroids:
Doctors prescribe corticosteroid creams for certain medical purposes. They are members of primary synthetic steroids widely used as anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic agents. The main problem of corticosteroid creams is that its presence suppresses the action of fibroblasts, which generate new dermal skin cells. When someone uses topical corticosteroids, production of new skin cells are not as abundant as before, leading to skin atrophy and the appearance of stretch marks. So as much as possible, avoid using topical corticosteroid creams and resort to other alternatives with milder side effects.
Avoid Unprotected Sun Exposure:
Beauty experts and dermatologists have long stressed the importance of wearing sunblock every day for protection against UVB and UVA. Sun exposure is the culprit for many skin problems such as premature wrinkle, fine lines, dark spots, and of course stretch marks. Going out without proper and ample protection against the damaging rays of the sun only accentuates your existing problems with stretch marks; and if your skin has zero stretch marks, unprotected sun exposure will likely introduce you one. Since sun exposure cannot be avoided, make sure you apply a thin layer of sunblock lotion with at least an SPF of 25. Go higher if you live in a tropical country.
Use Stretch Mark Creams:
Stretch marks are feared mostly by women during pregnancy because this is a phenomenon where your body adapts to the growing baby inside your belly, and your body’s level of cortisol is high. There is not much anyone can do to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy but apply safe and doctor-recommended anti-stretch marks creams and lotions in parts prone to stretch marks.
Massage Your Skin:
Regular skin massage benefits your skin via improved blood circulation in the area. When you regularly indulge your skin in a great massage, your skin gets more oxygen supply and nutrients, therefore enhancing the nourishment your skin receives.
Improve Your lifestyle:
A lifestyle that consists of sleep deprivation, smoking, stress, high contents of alcohol, lack of exercise, and a diet high in salt, sugar and preservatives is not doing your skin a favor. In fact, engaging in such is the perfect recipe for destroying the suppleness and adding years to your skin. Hence, insalubrious skin increases your chance of getting stretch marks. A skin is in tip top condition is your best armor in preventing stretch marks from appearing. Start by having a great, healthy and active lifestyle.
Stretch marks are linear streaks that appear in perpendicular to tension lines in the skin, They initially appear red, pink, blue, or purple then gradually fade into silvery-gray, dirty white or brown several months or years later. One can prevent having stretch marks via maintaining the desired weight in a healthy range. Avoiding excessive use of topical steroid-based creams and going out under the skin protected also increases your skin’s defense against stretch marks. Other simpler methods like the consistent use of anti-stretch marks during pregnancy, regular skin massage and living a healthy and active lifestyle give an extra boost in protecting your skin against unattractive stretch marks.