Top Stretch Mark Myths And Facts Debunked

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Oct 14, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun 20, 2018

Stretch Mark Myths

Stretch Marks Myths

Stretch marks can be a real sight for sore eyes. Stretch marks or, “striae”, often grows in parts of the body where there is a high concentration of fat like on the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and armpits. Some people develop stretch marks that are almost invisible while some develop marks that appear like deep scars often even pinkish, reddish or, purplish but the color eventually fades to white or silvery.

Stretch marks can be a cause of concern for anyone that develops them. More than just an aesthetic problem, stretch marks, especially when severe, can dampen a person’s self-confidence. So if you have stretch marks, you are probably eager to lose them but, before getting yourself that latest stretch mark removal cream or jumping on the table to get that currently most effective dermatological procedure, below are some myths and facts you need to know about stretch marks.

Myths and Fact About Stretch Marks

Myth: Stretch Marks Are Caused Only By Skin Stretching

Fact: Sudden weight gain or weight loss is a common cause of stretch marks. This is the main reason why 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during and after pregnancy. Genes also play an important part in determining whether or not a person will develop stretch marks. So if your mother and sisters have them, you will most likely develop stretch marks yourself. Other determining factors include skin type, amount of body fat, and hormonal changes, especially those occurring during pregnancy and adolescence.

Myth: Does Stretch Marks Mainly Affect Women?

Fact: While stretch marks commonly bother women, men are nevertheless also affected. Men are equally bothered about them and similarly eager to lose them. Male athletes and body builders are prone to stretch marks due to severe stretching of the skin. Compared to women though, men develop stretch marks less often. The reason being is that women biologically store more fat than do men while men tend to have more muscles.

Myth: Stretch Marks Cannot Be Prevented

Stretch Marks Cannot Be Prevented

Fact: You can avoid developing stretch marks but still, your genes and skin type will be important determining factors. The most important tip experts make to help prevent stretch marks is to keep skin ultra-hydrated when stretching of the skin is expected, particularly during pregnancy. Products that come highly recommended are cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil, pure Shea butter, and other essential oils. Regular exercising is also recommended to tighten the skin to make the skin more elastic and therefore more capable of withstanding tears when stretched most especially when extreme weight gain or weight loss is expected, such as during pregnancy or dieting.

UK researchers Gavin Young and David Jewell did an experiment to see if certain creams helped prevent stretch marks among pregnant women. The conclusion was that any cream massaged into areas where stretch marks often developers may help somewhat prevent stretch marks from developing but that no particular ingredient was specifically found to help prevent it. The study also says that daily massage may have contributed somewhat to preventing stretch marks.

Myth: Your Diet Will Not Prevent Stretch Marks

Fact: Since weight gain is a common cause of stretch marks, watching what you eat indeed will help you prevent from developing them. Being selective about the food you eat will help you avoid putting on too much weight. Similarly, a healthy balanced diet is recommended for dieters to achieve gradual weight loss.

Myth: Stretch Marks Can Be Treated

Fact: Stretch marks are caused by skin trauma on the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin. Stretch marks, thus, are difficult to treat and are permanent. Nonetheless, topical solutions and dermatological procedures have demonstrated promising results, not at completely eliminating stretch marks but, in lightening and improving their appearance.

Stretch marks “solutions” generally either increase the production of collagen or replace damaged skin cells, or both. Others minimize discoloration, strengthen the skin’s structure, and improve skin softness.

It is currently more widely accepted that dermatological procedures like fractional laser treatment, which targets imperfections over very small patches of skin, indeed “remove” or improve the appearance of stretch marks as compared to using topical creams. Laboratory procedures can result to as much as 80 per cent visible improvement in the appearance of stretch marks. Skin application of products like creams or lotions which apparently enhance collagen production and replacement of skin cells are often criticized to be just a waste of money.

Many of the dermatological procedures available will, in fact, offer to tighten your skin. If you still need to save up to avail of these products and procedures, you can always resort to improving what you eat, drinking more liquids, and to pump up your exercise routines.

Myth: Stretch Marks Disappear With Weight Loss

Stretch Marks Disappear

Fact: Weight loss is, in fact, a common cause for developing stretch marks. Gradual weight loss accompanied by regular physical activity may help prevent stretch marks from developing. In severe cases of weight loss, such as in people who are obese, stretch marks are very much more likely to develop.

Myth: Medicinal Drugs Will Not Cause Stretch Marks

Fact: Ingesting certain medicines such as pills and steroids can cause stretch marks. These medicinal drugs, most especially when abused or incorrectly administered, can result to rapid weight gain, causing the skin to be stretched quickly and severely which in turn results to the development of stretch marks. If your health condition compels you to take these medicines, ask your physician about how you can prevent or minimize the likelihood of developing stretch marks.

Myth: Stretch Marks Treatments Are Covered By Insurance

Fact: Treatments for stretch marks involve dermatological procedures which are often classified by health insurance providers as cosmetic procedures and are, therefore, commonly not covered by your premium. To be certain, ask your insurance provider about your coverage.

If you already have stretch marks, there is no parting with it so it is useless to be disappointed with having them but you can always improve how they appear. Your dermatologist will be able to help you determine the procedure or product that will work best for you so you can be confident in your own skin.

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