Stretch marks – those unsightly serrated edged white or pink line stripes that seemingly appear out of nowhere in places on the body, such as the breasts, inner arms, buttocks and stomach, are embarrassing and often a discouraging reminder of a weight gaining, enlarging body.
Stretch marks are caused by the dermis being stretched beyond a body’s natural point of elasticity. The dermis is the second layer of three layers of skin and is made up of approximately equal parts of collagen, elastic tissue and reticular fibers.
This common form of skin scaring is caused simply by the body expanding too quickly through pregnancy, muscle building, puberty, or simply eating too much, too often.
Is There a Cure for Stretch Marks?
It’s important to understand that stretch marks are considered a permanent scar with no cure, similar to the more common of physical scars caused by deep cuts or keyloids. The best remedy, of course, is to avoid getting them altogether, but for those who are not so lucky, there are treatments offered, at various price points, to minimize the appearance of skin damage.
Three Optional Treatments for Stretch Marks
In the case of the extreme long and large areas of tearing, laser treatments may be the best option. Though expensive and a bit painful, the laser application works to stimulate new collagen growth which helps to fill in the stretched gaps the marks have caused. It works from the bottom up so the results can be quite dramatic.
For others, actual plastic surgery may be an option, but this too is expensive because the surgeon removes the damaged skin entirely, similar to a tummy tuck or buttocks reduction and there is always risk of scarring from the surgery itself.
The most common treatment to minimize the appearance of stretch marks are over-the-counter creams. With the myriad of miracle products on the market today the most effective creams will be found in the ingredients. Creams that contain collagen stimulating properties such as peptides, which fools the skin into stimulating more collagen giving the skin support and thickness, are what to look for. Another key ingredient to look for is a natural skin healer such as Sigesbeckia orientalis (St. John’s wort). The oils derived from this plant, aids in the process of restoring surface elasticity to the skin.
There is Good News for Those With Stretch Marks
One final note on stretch marks: many who have endured the embarrassment have found that over time, stretch marks are minimized by the natural healing process of the body. Once the weight is lost or the baby is born there is a noticeable decrease in the scarring. Over time, a significant lightening of the lines can occur, giving the appearance the scars have disappeared entirely.