In the ongoing quest of trying to get your youthful looks back and maintaining your beauty, women are still dealing with something they have had to deal with for thousands of years, stretch marks, most often brought on by sudden weight gain and loss.
Weight training and obesity are two known causes for stretch marks, however; the most common cause for stretch marks is child birth. These horrible marks, which can cause sagging skin, tend to be a nightmare for women, especially after bearing children because their once smooth tummies, have become corrupted by the access weight they once carried, carved out with small craters and deep lines, causing a very bad appearance and worst of all they are very, very difficult to get rid of. Unbelievably these wretched marks can affect up to 90 percent of women worldwide!
In light of this, there are a few ways to try and prevent stretch marks from occurring, while pregnant and just after pregnancy when the marks are still red or purple, although, unfortunately for some women they can still occur. The most problematic stretch marks are when they have had a chance to set in, turning to a silver or white color. This type of stretch mark is the most difficult to get rid of, if at all, unless you are willing to undergo a tummy tuck, as most of them are cut out. Admittedly a tummy tuck is something on my agenda, as the second child played havoc on my stomach, caused by an emergency cesarean. Within five minutes they had me under the knife and when they sewed me back up, unfortunately for me, they did it they did not take into account the access skin/ weight from being pregnant, which I am dually reminded of every time I look at my stomach.
As with all skin related issues, prevention is the key factor when dealing with stretch marks and by avoiding rapid weight gain or loss, this can improve your chances dramatically of cutting them down to a minimal, although, when it concerns pregnancy, this is impossible so when pregnant it is absolutely crucial to moisturize up to four to five times a day. Skin is much more capable of stretching when it is well moisturized as well as more plaint and plasticized.
Use products with cocoa butter or shea butter as they tend to be more effective when trying to prevent stretch marks and use anywhere that has had any type of weight gain, including buttocks, hips and breasts. Once stretch marks appear it is crucial to treat them as soon as possible as they are much more treatable when they are in the early stages, still with the color red or purple.
Many products out there will say they will take away stretch marks but in all factuality only a few truly work. Listed below are treatments that have been affective on many women and while some are inexpensive others are very expensive but in some cases tend to be more affective. I think the true question to ask yourself before trying any of the following treatments is; how far are you willing to go to get rid of them?
Products And Treatment For Stretch Marks
Glycolic acid has been acclaimed by dermatologists for its rejuvenation abilities. It is a member of the alpha hydroxy family and is derived from sugar cane. Though dermatologists are not 100% sure how it works for stretch marks, apart from the fact they believe it to produce collegan and increase its production naturally they do state it works. Higher doses then the typical doses pharmacies and health food stores sell can be administrated by dermatologists and can cost up to 100 dollars per treatment, although 4 treatments are usually required before actual results will appear.
During the early stages of stretch marks, Retinoids have been shown to be quite effective because the are known to increase collagen and elastic production. Retinoids are called by different names such as Retinol, tretinoin, Retin-A, Renova and so on and can be bought at many different locations as well as gotten through a prescription. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid Retinoids as it comes from a family of products that include vitamen A.
Glycolic acid and Retinoids
Apparently by using these two products together they produce better results then just by using one of them. Though Glycolic acid has not been fully studied for stretch marks, a study of Glycolic acid, Tretinoin and vitamen C used together has been which showed that just after 12 weeks of a daily application it showed a definite improvement as well as increased elastic in stretch marks. Before a Glycolic acid peel is applied different strengths of of perscriptions Retinoids are most often applied before in order to give the skin a boost.
Variations of Vitamin C have been becoming ever increasingly popular because it helps increase collagen production. This Vitamin not only helps with lines and wrinkles for its collagen production but it also may help with stretch marks. It is recommended to take this with Glycolic acid with Vitamin C as it may be more effective combined. Supplements of Vitamin C can also be taken for the same effect. It is suggested to take 500 mg 3 times daily, although, for a youthful appearance it has been suggested to take between 1500 mg to 3000 mg per day.
Wheat Germ Oil.
This is a home remedy that has not been studied very much but one study has shown that it did help with stretch marks in the early stages.
Laser treatments are now being used more than ever as it helps create healthy new collagen which has been damaged when stretch marks occur. A fractioned laser is now being used on the older, more hard to get rid of stretch marks which pinpoints tiny fractions of the skin in a grid-like pattern. This type of laser makes the appearance of stretch marks less noticeable as it virtually smudges the stretch marks. Fractioned lasers are used for various things such as acne scars, age spots as well as stretch marks. It usually takes up to 3 treatments, each treatment costing roughly 1000 dollars but it is quite effective at smoothing out the stretch marks and those that have it done are always happy with the results.
As mentioned, tucks are quite effective but many people do not want to go to this measure to get rid of stretch marks unless of course they are extreme. Doctors who deal with stretch marks caused by obesity or weight lifting most often refer to these stretch marks as “striae distensae” and in the case of stretch marks caused by pregnancy they refer to it as “striae gravidarum.”
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Copyright © 2010 Tanya Wallace