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How to Help Your Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are thin, stretched tissue and this is also how they look on the skin. They occur in people who put on or lose weight rapidly. The outer layer of the skin is fine, yet in the inside layer the collagen and elastin, which gives the skin its elasticity and strength, becomes thinner and weak. The marks look a reddish purple color at first. This is due to the stretched skin being more transparent and the small blood vessels that lie deep in the skin showing through. Later, when the blood vessels contract the purplish color then fades to white, which is in fact fat under the skin showing through.

Stretch marks tend to appear on the breast and abdomen during pregnancy. Hormones form part of the reason. So that the tissues can stretch easily during childbirth collagen ligaments have the role of softening them. Skin collagen however softens as well thus stretch marks can form easier. Women are also more likely to get stretch marks again if they have weaker collagen than others. Stretch marks may also appear on the upper arm, chest and thigh areas of bodybuilders and doeter. Appearing like a series of horizontal lines on their backs adolescents may also get stretch marks.

Preventing Stretch Marks

Its important to avoid yo-yo dieting. If trying to lose weight aim for about 0.5kgs (1 lb) weekly. If your pregnant, there is not much you can do except keep your fingers crossed and think, 'this is a small price to pay for a beautiful baby!' although applying baby oil into the abdomen each night might help.

Lasers can be used to treat your stretch marks in the early stages, when they are still red. Small blood vessels absorb heat from the lasers beam and use it to seal themselves. This will lessen the red colour and speed up the contracting process however long term effects are unknown. If you have a lot of loose skin on the tummy area surgery is another option. Also known as a tummy tuck. You will be left with scars around the belly button and across the lower stomach. Recovery takes up to several weeks.

Stretch marks are unfortunately permanent in the sense that the skin in these areas will never be totally normal. Fortunately they go they eventually turn into much less obvious, thin, white scars. And to start treating the a stretch mark issue why not try one of the many regenerative treatments that are proving successful.

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