Stretch marks are a pure a part of life … or are they? It appears we’re by no means executed debating whether or not they are often averted, handled, or gotten rid of altogether. And though it appears girls as a complete have gotten extra accepting of them and different elements of our pure look—like physique hair—stretch marks are positively nonetheless a sore spot for some. Even I’ll admit that it took me a very long time to embrace these squiggly strains throughout my chest and thighs, as an alternative of making an attempt each “miracle” product to do away with them.
Now, whereas we agree that what a lady does along with her physique is certainly her selection, it’s excessive time we obtained to the underside of what’s and isn’t in our management. Ahead, 2 medical doctors—Harold Lancer, MD, and Howard Sobel, MD—debunk the largest myths round stretch marks, from remedies to prevention (if that exists), and clarify how they really type.
Myth: Stretch Marks Are a Natural Part of Body Development
According to Lancer, that is true in some instances. Sometimes it has to do with a speedy shift in weight, and different occasions, it may possibly rely in your gene pool, puberty, or hormone (akin to estrogen) manufacturing. In laypeople’s phrases, each girl can’t essentially management whether or not they have them or not.
“Stretch marks may occur after puberty, although there are also familial traits, ancestry, or hormonal traits (estrogen) to consider, too. But there’s usually a body mass shifting with either weight gain or weight loss or fluid retention that causes a stretching component to the skin,” he says. This contains being pregnant, too.
Sobel agrees, saying, “Stretching of the skin is the most common cause, but stretch marks can be caused by hormonal changes, medications, and stress that weakens the elastic fibers in the skin.”
Myth: Stretch Marks Occur Only in Women
This is full fiction, however Lancer notes they’re normally a lot much less widespread in males (possibly about 1 p.c of instances). When males do develop stretch marks, it normally has to do with medical therapies or weight and physique picture shifting.
Myth: Stretch Marks Change Color
There could also be fact to this. Most stretch marks might begin ruby-red or violet and ultimately lighten to pink or pale pink. Ultimately, colour fluctuation will depend upon the individual’s ancestry and ethnicity. And none of those colours point out an issue, as stretch marks aren’t a risk in any approach to your well being.
Myth: You Can Make Stretch Marks Disappear with Products
We hate to be the bearer of unhealthy information, however basically, topical remedies alone aren’t going to stop or resolve stretch marks. However, there are some issues you are able to do to at the very least reduce their look, if that’s what you need. First, hydration makes an enormous distinction.
“Keeping the skin moisturized does help increase the skin’s elasticity and treat symptoms of existing stretch marks including itching and irritation,” says Sobel. He extremely recommends a day by day moisturizer like DDF Moisturizing Dew, however do not forget that this can solely lighten the marks, not treatment them.
And in response to Lancer, it’s also possible to use retinoids to fade their colour a bit. “There are really high-potency over-the-counter retinols, but you have to be careful in using them, so it should be under the supervision of a board-certified dermatologist,” he says.
Ultimately, in case you are critical about eliminating your stretch marks, the perfect factor you are able to do is seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist for cost-effective, extra therapeutic remedies.
“At the [Lancer] practice, there’s a complete history taken to make sure there isn’t some internal physiological flaw, like adrenal gland function disorder or ovarian dysfunction,” says Lancer. “If necessary, maybe some physical lab studies are conducted, just to fully ensure there isn’t some outstanding medical disorder. Then, topical retinoid therapy for two to four weeks before engaging in any procedural therapy.”
Myth: Tanning Can Cover Up Stretch Marks
Tanning really makes stretch marks look extra outstanding. If that is exhausting to grasp, Lancer suggests pondering of them as scars.
“Scars don’t have functional melanocytes to the same extent as non-scarred skin. Stretch-mark-damaged skin has an unreliable skin-repair mechanism, so chances are they will not tan to the same color as the rest of the skin, so it’s not a good idea.”
Myth: Diet Has No Effect on Stretch Marks
We comprehend it looks as if a “stretch,” however in response to Lancer, “if you have a highly inflammatory diet, then your metabolism is going to lead toward being overweight. Chances are, it’s going to increase the propensity for a hidden trait for making stretch marks more visible.”
Sobel agrees, including that “along with daily moisturizer, it’s important to drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated. Vitamins A, C, and E also help keep your skin healthy, as well as repair damaged skin, and can be found in foods such as avocados, berries, carrots, oranges, nuts, and bell peppers.”