Stretch marks are something that we all have to some extent. While some of us have more than others, the vast majority of people have at least a few stretch marks somewhere on their bodies. In fact, it’s estimated that 90% of us do. Unfortunately though, regardless of the fact that developing stretch marks is a perfectly natural part of a perfectly natural body, most people wish they could minimize their marks.
They are scarring on the skin that form in the shape of stripes. It’s impossible to categorically prevent, or rid yourself of stretch marks forever. However, there are steps that you can take to reduce the risk of developing them and help to your existing stretch marks fade.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused by four things; rapid growth, mental health issues, weight gain and pregnancy.
Growth spurts are a very normal part of growing up. These occur when kids suddenly grow at a much faster rate than they normally do. Although it isn’t fully understood, it’s thought that growth spurts tend to happen in the spring more than at other times of the year. The adolescent years are also packed with growth spurts.
Rapid weight gain can occur for a whole host of reasons. Puberty is often the cause. During puberty, hormonal changes can confuse the body’s metabolism and lead to significant weight gain in a short period of time.
Mental health problems can be the ones to blame. Depression and anxiety disorders in particular are known to result in binge eating disorders and the weight gain that they cause. Certain physical illnesses, such as diabetes, can cause dramatic weight gain too.
Pregnancy is certainly one of the most magical times in a woman’s life, but all women know that it comes with its fair share of drawbacks too. The appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy is almost guaranteed. The extremely speedy growth of the “baby bump” in such a short space of time makes stretch marks inevitable.
All four of these events cause the skin to be pulled and stretched. When the skin stretches, it creates marks which look like parallel lines along the skin. The interesting thing about this is that everyone’s marks are different. While some develop them horizontally across their backs, others get vertical marks along their hips, and mothers usually develop them right across the abdomen.
The Best Treatments for Stretch Marks
It’s totally normal to want to minimize your stretch marks, especially if you were unfortunate to develop them in a very noticeable place, like the shoulders. While people have traditionally turned to creams and lotions designed specifically for stretch marks, it’s becoming more and more common to consult plastic surgeons.
Laser treatments utilize the light of highly sensitive lasers to lift the microscopic layers of skin that surround the marks. The idea is that when this procedure is finished, the body creates new layers of healthy skin in place of the original mark. The laser therapy inherently spurs the body into healing the stretch marks itself.
However, this treatment is out of the financial reach of most people. While it is growing in popularity, and the results of such therapy can be awe-inspiring, topical creams and lotions remain the most popular treatment method. The results of these vary significantly but are generally less impressive.
CBD Treatment for Skretch Marks
Studies are showing positive results on CBD as a form of treatment for the skin. Experts revealed that CBD might help to improve skin’s elasticity, reduce cellulite and stretch marks. This is because through over a decade of studies on CBD and the cannabis plant, experts were able to discover the therapeutic effects of CBD such as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and more.
Beauty companies have also realized that CBD may have benefits, and therefore many have started to release topical creams infused with cannabis and CBD oil to combat anti-aging, stretch marks, burns, and scars.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
Prevention is always better than the cure, right? Preventing stretch marks isn’t always easy though. There isn’t any way to prevent growth spurts. We all try to avoid rapid weight gain, but sometimes it happens anyway. And pregnancy is a beautiful time that many women look forward to.
However, there are products that you can use to prepare your skin for inevitable growth and stretching. Lotions and creams can help your skin’s production of collagen and elastin. These are crucial components of the skin. In fact, dermatologists believe that roughly 80% of the dermis is made up of collagen alone.
Looking out for products containing collagen and elastin and using them liberally on the areas of your body where stretch marks are most common is an excellent step in prevention. However, the best possible way to take care of your skin, no matter what your skin condition, is from the inside out. A balanced diet, plenty of daily water intake, and a thorough skincare regime are usually enough to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.