Stretch marks are practically an inevitability for women. Considering losing weight, gaining weight, adolescence and pregnancy are pretty much the name of the game for us, it’s just about certain that at some point in our lives, we’ll deal with stretch marks. Besides being frustrated about the non-glamorous side effect, putting up with stretch marks can be a bit easier when you know why they’re there.
To help understand stretch marks from the root of the problem, we spoke to cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Oscar Hevia. Below, Dr. Hevia explains what causes stretch marks, how to prevent them from happening, and how to treat them once they’re present.
Beauty High: What causes stretch marks?
Dr. Oscar Hevia: The exact cause remains a mystery, but generally, researchers suspect that excessive skin stretching in genetically prone individuals is the major cause. Also certain hormonal conditions (like pregnancy, adolescence, and fluctuations in weight) can also predispose some individuals.
Are stretch marks preventable?
Certain people are very prone to developing stretch marks and are unlikely to prevent them entirely, but certainly, many of the hormonal conditions mentioned above should be avoided to minimize development of stretch marks.
How can you get rid of stretch marks?
Many stretch marks improve a lot over many months without treatment. There have been numerous treatments touted to help, including lasers, peels, “natural” oils, Retin-A, and silicone gels, to name a few. However, since stretch marks are essentially a scar from the inside out, there is no treatment that makes them disappear completely.
Are there different treatments for stretch marks on different parts of the body (i.e. should we treat stomach marks differently than legs, arms, etc.)?
No, stretch mark treatments are not site-specific.
What kinds of products can you use to get rid of them? What ingredients should you be looking for?
Unfortunately, there are really no products to “get rid of them.” A recent study suggested improvement with topical silicone gel.
Image via Istock
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