The Problem with Stretch Marks

The Problem with Stretch Marks

What are they?

Stretch marks are a problem that several people suffer with. From pregnant women to bodybuilders. But how do they happen and who is susceptible to them? Stretch marks are simply caused by the skin not being able to react quick enough to the stretching of the skin. Elasticity, or the ability for an object to resume original shape is the primary factor in whether or not an individual will get stretch marks. Most people who are prone to getting stretch marks are genetically inclined to getting them.

Stretch marks range in color from red, purple, or skin color. The coloration is determined by which ones are newer and which are older. Typically the reddish hue are the newest formed, purple is anywhere from 1-3 weeks (or longer), and then skin colored or white are stretch marks that are old and could have been there from several weeks to months or years.

What causes them?

Stretch marks are caused by the stretching and tearing of the ‘dermis’ layer of skin. There are three layers of skin: the epidermis, or top layer, dermis, middle layer, and then the hypodermis, bottom layer. When the skin is stretched too fast for the body to keep up, there is scarring of the skin which results in stretch marks. Typically caused by pregnancy or weight gain.

The epidermis is what we see when we typically think of skin but there are many different components between the skin and then the muscle. The epidermis is mostly composed of the oldest layer of skin and the entry points for hair follicles. The dermis layer is composed of newer skin and finally the hypodermis contains different structures and fat which protects the muscle below. As you can see from the diagram above, the skin has multiple layers and in those layers there are nerves, pores, fat, and blood vessels.

What can I do to treat them?

There are several over the counter remedies that you can use in order to help manage stretch marks but not entirely get rid of them. The only real way in order to get rid of stretch marks completely is by the use of laser skin treatment which could cost hundreds to even thousands of dollars and require more than one session for full treatment. But the average person cannot afford to pay that much money just to get rid of a condition that isn’t life threatening. But for those who want to manage or even prevent the appearance of stretch marks, there are a few remedies that you can try that won’t break the bank. The most common remedy is cocoa butter or shea butter. The reason why so many people use cocoa butter is because it acts as a moisturizer and is also easily absorbed through the skin. Some have had great results using cocoa butter and I have personally used it myself and I would greatly recommend it. Another remedy is Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil works the same way as cocoa butter by acting as a moisturizer and being easily absorbed by the skin, but it also provides nutrients that may be able to increase blood flow and help repair damage. The final product that I would recommend is L-Lysine. Lysine is often touted as a remedy for cold sores in which it works wonders, but also is an essential amino acid. An essential amino acid means that the body does not produce this compound and is needed to be either supplemented or ingested through food.  The reason Lysine is so important is because it is one of the amino acids used to produce collagen and keratin. My recommendation is to get two products in order to heal from the outside and inside. Take one product that is taken orally such as the L-Lysine and one externally as a lotion or cream. Here are a few products that I recommend.

Comments are closed.