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We all enjoy clean and clear skin. We do not want any scars or permanent marks that bring down the aesthetic look of our skin. We are constantly looking for ways to keep our skin healthy, clear, and beautiful. We want to keep it free from acne, blackheads1, whiteheads, or any other injury scars. Similarly, most of us hate the presence of stretch marks, and we constantly look for ways to prevent stretch marks.
We need one quick answer on how to prevent stretch marks, but the truth is that one must fully understand them, their cause of formation and whether or not we can reverse them.
What is a Stretch Mark?
A stretch mark is a scar caused by a sudden rupture of elastin 2or collagen in the skin. They are lines appearing on the body when it undergoes sudden stretching or shrinking. It is very usual for teens to have stretch marks as their body grows during puberty, and it is also usual for teens to feel conscious of their skin and look for ways to prevent stretch marks.
What are the Causes of Stretch Marks?
Anyone, irrespective of their sex, can have stretch marks. Research has shown that more than 50% of women have stretch marks. So stretch marks are widespread, but so is our desire to prevent stretch marks. However, first, let us look at who or when an individual can potentially get it.
Stretch marks are common during pregnancy. Studies prove that every 8 in 10 women get stretch marks due to pregnancy. As the pregnancy bump starts to grow, women might notice stretch marks on their abdomen, thighs, or even breasts. This happens as the women undergo hormonal changes and as their skin stretches to fit the baby in. The skin in that region becomes lighter and thinner, and it is nothing to worry about as it is very natural to occur.
As mentioned earlier, it is also very natural for a woman to like them or to want to prevent stretch marks. Still, one must accept that these are normal physiological processes and that they are bound to happen.
2 . Weight Gain
A sudden increase in weight might result in stretch marks. An increase in weight applies a lot of pressure on the skin which is suddenly forced to put up with extra body mass. In this case, one can have stretch marks on their arms, legs, butt, hips, and most places in the body. This again is natural, and the need to prevent stretch marks will be discussed later in this article.
Refer to the video to be acquainted with different ways of gaining weight in a healthy way.
3. Weight Loss
It is not just weight gain but also weight loss that results in stretch marks. Putting on weight may result in a lot of wear and tear on the skin, which results in stretch marks, and while losing weight, the same stretch marks could become more noticeable as the skin shrinks. Hence, one good way to prevent stretch marks is by losing or gaining weight gradually instead of pressurizing your body.
It is often advised to slowly let your body build and have smaller goals instead of having unhealthy goals such as gaining 2-4 kgs in a week. Give your body the time to adapt to the changes you are making slowly; it will also increase the collagen and elastin required to support the stretch. Surprising your body with sudden changes might cause harm and, as aforementioned, will undoubtedly give you stretch marks.
Indulging in everyday exercises such as running, yoga3, or weight lifting might also give you stretch marks. These exercises focus on making your muscles strong by first stretching them hence making them more elastic.
However, overdoing it can result in stretch marks. Forcing your muscle to stretch in a shorter period or suddenly shocking your muscle with a considerable stretch can also result in stretch marks.
Therefore, just as we would gain or lose weight, even this must be done gradually and slowly, giving the body sufficient time to adapt. This way, you can prevent stretch marks as much as possible.
2e. Due to Medical Condition
As an individual is overweight while one is obese, the skin stretches way too far, resulting in stretch marks. While one may want to prevent stretch marks, one should first focus on the medical condition. Stretch marks are not the primary issue at this point, but being obese is. Focusing and treating obesity first is a wise call.
ii) Cushing’s Disease
This is caused to an abnormality in the hormone cortisol that affects the organs and tissues of the body. This condition causes specific physical changes to the body, increasing the likelihood of stretch marks. It is the same with another rare disease called Marfan and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes that again cause harm to the tissues of the body.
Consuming certain medications too might result in the formation of stretch marks. So yes, stretch marks come as a side effect of certain medications. Some medications bring specific physical changes to your body. They might result in weight gain, bloating, and other hormonal changes that predispose you to have stretch marks.
If you feel that consuming certain medications is giving you stretch marks, then it is always advisable to consult your doctor to discuss the side effects you are facing. It usually happens with medications that bring about or work on your body’s hormones. One can prevent stretch marks by looking for alternative medicines if that is an option available.
Remember that during sickness, the goal is not to prevent stretch marks but to heal from the medical condition that is harmful to your body. Having stretch marks will not harm your body in any way.
3. How can one Prevent Stretch Marks?
Now that we know what causes it and who is more likely to get stretch marks, let us now look at how one can prevent stretch marks. Once you have stretch marks, accept the fact that they are going to be permanent.
They are not harmful or painful but are undoubtedly permanent. The scar might lighten with time, but it is in sporadic cases that it heals itself. Researchers have come up with multiple ways of treating stretch marks but let us first learn how to prevent stretch marks in the first place.
1. Consume a Healthy Diet
A poor diet may result in stretch marks too. Provide your body with sufficient nutrients such as vitamins E, D, and C. Nourish your body with a good amount of zinc and protein. One can meet this requirement by having a balanced diet.
Try and consume as much greens, pulses, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid highly processed foods such as refined sugar, refined flour, and refined oil that are not only poor in nutrition but also harmful to the digestive system. Focus on clean eating, eating whole foods that are easier for the body to digest and absorb nutrients from.
A healthy diet is a solution to most of your problems. So always eat healthily. This will reflect on your skin and will also bring good radiance to your skin.
2. Stay Hydrated
Having dry skin is going to make you more prone to having stretch marks. Therefore, focus on keeping your skin soft by hydrating your body. It is one of the best ways to prevent stretch marks. Consuming sufficient water will also help your body flush out unnecessary toxins 4that will boost your health and eventually your skin’s health too.
In fact, sometimes, consuming excessive coffee might also predispose you to stretch marks. So hydrate yourself well enough to prevent stretch marks.
3. Immediate Treatment
It is very evident that stretch marks are inevitable. We could try our level best to prevent them, but what if they do end up coming? Treating these stretch marks as soon as they come might help in reducing them to a great extent. Go and consult a dermatologist who can work on the scars while they are new.
Stretch marks may not fade away entirely, but their visibility could be reduced; at the same time, dermatologists will also teach you ways of not letting these stretch marks grow. It is always best advised to get professional help instead of relying on creams that fakely claim to prevent stretch marks.
You may treat stretch marks, but preventing stretch marks is a wiser approach as you work towards having flawless skin. To treat your existing stretch marks, you may approach a dermatologist5, who will prescribe the needed treatment, such as laser therapy, chemical peels, collagen production medicines or ointments, products with shea butter, almond oil, olive oil, vitamin C, vitamin e, hyaluronic acid, cocoa butter and many more. These methods will help you with your stretch marks.
Above all, one can prevent stretch marks by having the right diet and practising a healthy lifestyle. Healthy skin is a result of healthy living. Hence, boost your health with vitamins, minerals, and proteins, as aforementioned.
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