What Are Stretch Marks?
As a consequent of the loss of elasticity, stretch marks or striated skin occurs because of connective tissue breakdown. Stretch marks develop in the epidermis of the skin, which are the stretchy, fibrous substances deep beneath the elastic, middle layer of the basic structure of the skin.
Stretch marks emerge on different regions of the body indiscriminately. They usually appear because of expanding skin that accompanies pregnancy, drastic weight changes, and connective tissue disease. Stretch marks do not present any health-related threat. They are unappealing markings on the skin.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Skin is extremely pliable; however, the skin does have its breaking points. Striations may surface because of enlargement of the abdomen throughout pregnancy. In relation to children, they can get striae because of rapid growth spurts or obesity. The occurrence of striae is the result of insufficient collagen development.
Often, medications and other chemicals impeded normal collagen production. Stretch marks may have a relationship with prolonged usage of the steroid hormone called cortisone and Cushing syndrome. Typically, stretch marks are dark, lustrous, narrow bands. Moreso than health skin, striations may feel spongy feel to the touch. They appear on the flank, breasts, abdomen, upper regions of the lower extremities.
Prevention and Treatment Of Stretch Marks
Conventional medicine conveys that stretch marks are not harmful, and they do not need remedial treatment. For most people, they are an aesthetic matter entirely. Stretch mark over-the-counter treatments provide little effectiveness, and they will not eliminate unsightly striae. It may seem that there is nothing that can be done to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but there are practical options available.
Although, there are products that reduce their outward aspect. The prevention of stretch marks is the most effective method to tackle the problem. Hydration is essential in not getting striae, which means drinking enough water daily. Adequate water in the body increases the skin’s elasticity, prevents the appearance of striations.
The consumption of natural, raw foods enhances the diet with sufficient measure of A, E, and C vitamins, which improves the pliability of the skin. Daily exercise promotes circulation and weight management. The practice to applying collagen-rich emollients on the areas of the skin that are exposed to stretch marks maintains suppleness, particularly during body building or pregnancy.
In severe striation cases, treatments such as topical retinoids, cosmetic laser, blue light therapy, and plastic surgery are useful to encourage collagen regeneration and eliminate the appearance of stretch marks successfully. Prior to starting any treatment to resolve the look of stretch marks, a physician should be consulted.