Most people like to call their stretch marks as tiger stripes. There are now countless articles and blogs that talks of body empowerment to embrace these changes in our body wholly. These stripes are a badge of honour representing all the amazing things a woman's body is capable of doing (this "tiger stripes" - let the men hear us roar!).
Still, it is not a sign of insecurity to find ways on how to deal with the marks if there is a possible and natural way of doing it. It turns out; there are healthy and effective ways to minimize them, for both men and women. So, keep on reading to know more.
But first, what are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks resemble streaks or stripes on the skin that are usually pink, red, or purple that can slowly fade to white. They typically do not entirely go away, although the marks can lighten in time.
Scientifically speaking, stretch marks happen when collagen and elastin fibres in the middle layer of the skin break. This then causes the blood vessels in the skin to be more visible, which result in the red or purple hue of the marks.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
There can be various causes for stretch marks; we listed the most common reasons below.
Rapid Weight Gain or Loss. Gaining or losing weight in a short period can cause excessive skin stretching. You can spot them in the areas of thigh and stomach first.
Pregnancy. The usual case of marks for women, as the actual stretching of the abdomen as the baby grows. It can also be found on the breasts, especially younger ones.
Muscle Gain from Weight Training. When the muscle expands so fast, it stretches the skin. Since there is only so much on the body, it has to give way that is when stretch marks appear.
Genetic Disorders. Certain diseases can cause stretch marks by affecting cortisol levels (Cushing's Syndrome) or collagen levels (Marfan Syndrome). Stretch marks may appear in areas like shoulders, lower back, and hips without weight gain.
What is the best treatment method?
Realistically, no magic cream can cure it all at once. But do not despair, as, with consistency, the fading can be fast-tracked with the use of certain treatments.
Topical Treatments. There are creams sold in the market such as retinoid creams that can aid in the overall appearance of stretch marks, though it will not get rid of them entirely. Regular use can help steadily lighten its appearance until they are closer in colour to the surrounding skin.
Exercise. Daily exercise can keep the skin firm, and also lets you stay at an optimal weight (that will lessen the change of gaining weight). But do it moderately as excessive weightlifting may cause this effect too.
Diet. Similar to everyday exercise, creating a daily diet of high protein and low in fat and sugar can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor to come up with a meal plan and exercise routine (if possible) that will keep your weight gain at a controlled level.
Taking a collagen supplement. Including collagen in your daily dietary intake may enhance the ability of the skin to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Collagen is vital in keeping skin flexible and firm. As we age, collagen production decreases, making the skin more vulnerable to wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
Drinking a high-quality collagen supplement can further boost the collagen production in your skin. Check out our best-selling marine collagen at www.revite.co