Ways to Reduce The Appearance Of Stretch Marks

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May 24, 2011


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Ways to Reduce The Appearance Of Stretch Marks

Want to know how to reduce stretch marks? Stretch marks are caused when someone gains weight quickly and the middle layer of the skin, called the dermis, becomes damaged and broken. Stretch marks are very common and painless, although when they form at first they may be itchy and uncomfortable. Stretch marks can happen in either sex but are more common in women, when they commonly develop during the rapid weight gain associated with pregnancy. Stretch marks are most common on the thighs, upper arms, breasts and abdomen, and can also be known as stria or striae.

Why Do Stretch Marks Appear?

Although stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy, they can occur whenever skin is stretched over a short period of time. Stretch marks can also be associated with puberty when a teenager goes through a rapid period of growth or with using certain steroid creams to treat conditions such as eczema. Whatever the reason for developing stretch marks, most people who develop them find them unsightly and ugly, and try many different things to either make them fade or cover them up.

Stretch marks are not harmful and there is no medical need to have them treated at all. Stretch marks will fade over time and will become much less noticeable. Stretch marks when they form first are pink or red in color and can be raised from the skin. Over time the stretch marks begin to fade and become flatter, as well as more silvery in color. There is no miracle cure for stretch marks but keeping the skin moisturized and supple will help boost the skin’s own processes for renewal. Although there are many moisturizing products on the market which are marketed especially for stretch marks, any moisturizing cream or lotion will do the same job. Good results have been reported with body oils which are massaged into the skin twice a day and help diminish the appearance of the stretch marks. The sooner someone starts using cream to treat stretch marks, the better the results.

Is Surgery Any Good At Reducing Stretch Marks?

Cosmetic surgery is also another way of reducing stretch marks but this should be approached with caution. Laser surgery can be used to try to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but it only works on stretch marks which are still red. The lasers seal up the small blood vessels in the skin and make the marks fade more quickly. Laser treatment cannot make the marks disappear completely though. In cases of women who have gained and lost a lot of weight during pregnancy, abdominoplasty or tummy tuck may be considered. This however is major surgery and should not be underestimated. Although the surgery will remove the stretch marks and any extra skin, there is always the risk that the scarring from the surgery will be worse than the stretch marks. Both of these types of surgery are expensive and results cannot be guaranteed. It may also be that the patient is still not able to wear the sorts of clothing that they want as the scarring is equally unsightly.

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