Stretch marks are streaks or lines that develop on the skin and they happen when the skin is quickly stretched. They can occur on a wide range of body parts and they can happen in women as well as men. Stretch marks are type of scars that happen when the skin cannot snap back to its original form after a period of quick, intense growth. Some of the causes are pregnancy, rapid weight gain, weight loss or puberty. Other common causes of stretch marks are puberty and medical conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome. Pregnant women who experience rapid weigh gain in a short period of time are a prime candidate, as are bodybuilders who gain a large amount of muscle in a relatively short time. In fact, over 50 percent of women experience stretch marks during pregnancy. Stretch marks can happen on the stomach area, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms and lower back.
So what exactly are stretch marks? Known as striae atrophica and striae distensae, stretch marks are tears in the dermis. As the body rapidly grows, the connecting fibers in the dermis (skin) slowly stretch to accommodate this growth. This causes the dermis to tear, allowing the deeper layers of skin to show through. Our skin has elastic properties but growing too fast can overstretch the skin’s elastic limit. When the skin is overstretched, it loses its elastic property and its connective fibers break, creating a stretch mark. When stretch marks first appear, they are very dark in color — purple or red. They can be raised above the skin and slightly puffy and itchy. Over time the color fades from red to a pale color, though your skin tone determines what color the stretch marks will finally be.
Are there any remedies for stretch marks? You may not be able to remove stretch marks but you may be able to improve the appearance. Some topical remedies are Vitamin E, cocoa butter, fish oil or a stretch treatment cream can be helpful. A proven method is the use of SilcSkin anti-wrinkle pads. These pads are made from 100% medical-grade silicone. SIlicone has been used for years by the medical industry to treat keloid scarring. They work by creating a climate underneath the pads that hydrates the skin and plumps it up, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
The additional benefits are that they’re non-invasive, inexpensive and can be worn while you sleep. Just make sure your skin is clear of lotions, sweat and oils. A good idea is to use SilcSkin’s Cleanser to prep your skin before using the pads. Once your skin is clean, simply remove the backing from the pad and press down the adhesive side onto the area to be treated. Leave it on for a few hours, though 7 to 8 hours would show better results. For optimal results, wear the pads each night for 2 weeks.