Virtually anyone can get stretch marks on their body, men, women and even children. It is not a disease or illness as much as it is an affliction caused by an inadequate amount of collagen in the system, coupled with a sudden or prolonged weight gain. Stretch marks are embarrassing and unsightly to the afflicted person. Yet all hope is not lost; there are some preventive steps and medical supplements that can reduce or virtually eliminate them altogether. Knowing how they appear beforehand is just as important as their treatment.
Excessive weight gain is the primary culprit of stretch marks. Any gender can get stretch marks and it is very typical with women who become pregnant and gain weight in the abdominal region. One of the best preventive measures to combat rapid weight gain for pregnant or non-pregnant individuals is a healthy diet regiment that excludes heavy starches and sugars. The time to stop weight gain is early, when the skin tissues are not taxed to point of tearing and scaring. Foods rich in lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruits are essential in losing and maintaining proper weight. Persons who have experienced weight gain over a longer period should consult a doctor or dietitian and then follow a prescribed diet routine. Pregnant women can also benefit by adhering to a reasonable diet that will keep excess pounds off in spite of the regular weight gain expected with pregnancy. Persons should also adopt a regular routine of physical exercise that burns unwanted calories, promotes high energy levels and results in increased overall health. Regular water consumption is vital in keeping the skin hydrated with moisture which allows adequate elasticity of the skin.
Natural Ointments and Lotions
Natural ointments and lotions that contain herbs and chemicals will help to decrease or remove stretch marks. Some of these products may have a few artificial ingredients but they are in whole natural remedies. Cod liver oil, lavender and coco butter help moisturize the skin, heal scars and replenish skin nutrients. Pregnant women can combat the appearance of stretch marks by applying natural ointments and lotions before the signs of pregnancy occur, thus allowing the skin to expand (during pregnancy) and contract (post pregnancy) without damage. These products should be massaged into the skin as many times as needed or prescribed. Stretch marks can be reduced with the aid of Vitamin C by increasing the dose to at least 500 milligrams per day. Glycolic acid in combination with Vitamin C increases the potency.
Commercial Creams and Applications
Revitol is a commercial cream that can be obtained without a prescription and works well to eliminate stretch marks. Both Retin-A and Vitamin E oil both contain collagen boosters that not only contain collagen but promote its manufacture in the body. They effectively add strength, durability and elasticity to the skin cells, allowing them to stretch without separation and tearing. The sooner they are used, the more effective they are at keeping stretch marks from developing.
Laser and Surgical Treatments
Vascular laser treatments can be a bit costly but help to eliminate stretch marks. Pulsed dye laser treatments work well on fresh or early appearing stretch marks that are typically discolored. Fractional laser treatments are reserved for older stretch marks by resurfacing the skin area and are used on non-colored indented stretch marks. Surgery can be considered a last resort but an effective means of removing stretch marks permanently. The surgery involves a “tummy tuck” where damaged areas are physically cut out and new skin is joined in its place. A dermatologist or doctor should be consulted before any laser or surgery option is explored. These procedures can require several visits.