Stretching it, pulling it, rolling it- I snapped my hair band today. The snap made me think of the permanent lines or striae that occur when we stretch and pull our skin a bit too far– stretch marks. These marks are seen when the skin is pulled by rapid growth (puberty), weight gain (pregnancy, muscle building) or stretching. In 75 to 90% women it’s a lasting token that reminds them of the rigors of pregnancy. As the skin stretches, tiny tears are seen in the dermis; they start appearing as red or dark horizontal threads along the skin and gradually end up as permanent scars. With effective skincare routines, patience and time, we can diminish them away.
- Cream it up– Use oils; olive, argan, or coconut and creams with jojoba extracts, aloe vera, vitamin E, cocoa or shea butter to reduce recently developed stretch marks. The key here is being regular with your moisturization over an extended period of time.
- Slough it off– Exfoliation is useful to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Scrubbing away affected layers of skin to expose the unharmed and fresh layers of skin below is a great step that you can take. The success of exfoliation completely depends on the severity and the location of the scars.
- Style it on– Does beach time scare you away? The good news is that current fashion favors many styles of swim suits that also happen to hide the stretch marks. The ‘boy short’ style suits hide the scars on your buttocks and upper thighs while the high-neck swimming suits hide the ones on your chest area.
- Baby bump tips– Drink loads of water and juices during pregnancy to keep the skin hydrated. Avoid the urge to scratch your tummy. Use a powder or rub some lotion to alleviate the itchiness. Exercising tones the body skin and increases skin elasticity.
What have you been doing to prevent stretch marks from coming? Write in and let us know.