I really don’t know any woman out there who doesn’t have stretch marks. That said, some women have stretch marks that are more prominent that others and for those women, stretch marks become a source of self-consciousness. For some women, stretch marks are solely located around the belly area, but for some other women they have stretch marks on their arms, breast, tights and buttock area. Although, it’s going to be very hard to avoid having stretch marks, there are a number of things women should know about stretch marks in order to minimize their chances of having to deal with too many of them.
There are so many facts that most of us women don’t know about stretch marks that make avoiding them easier. Here are 12 things you need to know about them:
1. Stretch marks are scientifically known as are a form of scarring. They usually rear their ugly heads during puberty, or as the result of excessive weight gain, such as during pregnancy.
2. Did you know that even people who engage in body building can get stretch marks? Yes, stretch marks have nothing to do with the number you see on your scale.
3. Stretch marks are the result of skin being stretched beyond its natural elasticity. This stretching causes a disruption of the body’s collagen production. Collagen is a special protein that helps keep the skin elastic and, therefore, able to stretch when we gain weight. When this collagen production is disrupted, the skin loses its elasticity, which makes it more prone to stretch marks.
4. Stretch mark are usually found in a series as small, indented streaks. They are generally rough and uneven. In women with light skin, they are usually a pink or reddish-brown color. They might sometimes almost look purple. For darker skinned women, stretch marks are usually brown.
5. Genetics plays a larger role in whether or not you will develop stretch marks. So, if your mom or her sister have stretch marks … you possible will be more likely to get them as well (alas).
6. To help avoid getting stretch marks, it is important to monitor weight gain closely. Pregnant women need to put on weight as a natural part of the childbearing process. They should, however, be careful to not gain more weight than what is recommended by the doctor. Pregnant woman should not, of course, starve themselves in order to avoid stretch marks. They should, however, take care to watch their diets and put pregnancy weight on slowly. This gives the skin more time to gradually stretch to accommodate for the growing baby inside.
7. The last trimester of a pregnancy is when women generally put on the most weight.
This is because this is when the baby is doing most of its growing. To help avoid stretch marks during this time of the pregnancy, and at any other time, be sure to regularly apply rich body creams, cocoa butter, olive oil or shea butter on your skin. Make sure to consult with a doctor, first, however, because some ingredients found in certain creams can be harmful to unborn babies.
8. Body cream (aka proper hydration to your body) helps decrease the likelihood of developing stretch marks because it helps keep the skin flexible. Likewise, drinking plenty of water helps maintain the skin’s elasticity. This is especially true if you are pregnant.
9. Fortunately, stretch marks generally fade after weight lost. For women who gain stretch marks during pregnancy, stretch marks usually fade to a slightly lighter color than the surrounding skin, though the etching will always remain.
10. For women who are bodybuilders, it is important to put on muscle mass slowly. Quickly adding on muscle mass will force the skin to stretch beyond its ability. Therefore, a bodybuilding program should be designed to slowly add on bulk.
11. For women who are not pregnant and who are not bodybuilders, the best way to avoid stretch marks is to simply monitor your diet and maintain a healthy body weight. Don’t forget that drinking plenty of water is a great way to help keep the skin more pliable.
12. If you still develop stretch marks, which many women do during puberty as their bodies rapidly grown, there is little that can be done to get rid of them. Although there are many lotions and creams on the market claiming to be able to get rid of stretch marks, there is no proof that they work. There are also surgeries available to help with lessening the visibility of stretch marks, but they can’t get rid of stretch marks completely. Instead, the best option is to cover up the stretch marks. Many women used over-the-counter sunless tanning lotions to do this, or they get a sunless tanning treatment from a salon. These lotions help even out the skin color, since the pigmentation of stretch marks is lighter than the rest of the skin. Getting a real tan, however, does not have the same effect because stretch marks are scarred tissue and scarred tissue does not tan the same as healthy tissue.
Through precautions and a healthy lifestyle, most women can help minimize stretch marks. That said, some of life’s big life-changes, such as puberty and childbirth, can make avoiding stretch marks nearly impossible. Therefore, it’s important to apply body creams or hydrating natural oils and drink plenty of water to keep the skin’s elasticity and, if all else fails, cover up those stretch marks and chalk it up as just another part of being a woman!