Experts Debunk the Biggest Myths About Stretch Marks


Stretch marks are a pure a part of life… or are they? It appears we’re by no means finished debating whether or not they are often prevented, handled or gotten rid of altogether. And though it appears ladies as an entire have gotten extra accepting of them and different elements of our pure look — like physique hair — stretch marks are undoubtedly nonetheless a sore spot for some. Even I’ll admit that it took me a very long time to embrace these squiggly traces throughout my chest and thighs as a substitute of attempting each “miracle” product to do away with them.

Now, whereas we agree that what a girl does together with her physique is unquestionably her selection, it’s excessive time we bought to the underside of what’s and isn’t in our management. Ahead, 2 medical doctors — Dr. Harold Lancer and Dr. Howard Sobel — debunk the largest myths about stretch marks, from therapies to prevention (if that exists), and clarify how they really type.

Partially true: Stretch marks are a pure a part of physique growth

According to Lancer, that is true in some circumstances. Sometimes, it has to do with a fast shift in weight, and different instances, it could possibly rely in your gene pool, puberty or hormone (similar to estrogen) manufacturing. In laypeople’s phrases, ladies cannot 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.”

False: Stretch marks happen solely in ladies

This is full fiction, however Lancer notes they’re often a lot much less frequent in males (possibly about 1 p.c of circumstances). When males do develop stretch marks, it often has to do with medical therapies or weight and physique mass shifting.

True: Stretch marks change coloration

There could also be fact to this. Most stretch marks begin ruby-red or violet and finally lighten to pink or pale pink. Ultimately, coloration fluctuation will rely on the particular person’s ancestry and ethnicity. And none of those colours point out an issue, as stretch marks aren’t a risk in any technique to your well being.

False: You could make stretch marks disappear with merchandise

We hate to be the bearer of dangerous information, however on the whole, topical therapies alone aren’t going to forestall or resolve stretch marks. However, there are some issues you are able to do to at the 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 each day moisturizer like DDF Moisturizing Dew, however keep in mind this may solely lighten the marks, not treatment them.

And in accordance with Lancer, it’s also possible to use retinoids to fade their coloration 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, if you’re critical about eliminating your stretch marks, one of the best factor you are able to do is seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist for cost-effective, extra therapeutic therapies.

“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.”

False: Tanning can cowl up stretch marks

Tanning truly makes stretch marks look extra distinguished. If that is laborious to know, Lancer suggests considering 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.”

False: Diet has no impact on stretch marks

We realize it looks like a “stretch,” however in accordance with 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.”

Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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