Stretch marks – why did they happen and how the heck do I get rid of them?!

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Stretch marks (also referred to as Striae) may look unsightly to you, but be assured that they pose no health risk and research has shown that 75-90% of women over the age of 18 have them! Men do get stretch marks as well, but generally not quite as often as women do.

Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin that are created when the skin stretches rapidly due to weight gain, pregnancy, puberty, and even too much heavy weight lifting or steroid use! These marks can occur anywhere on the body but are generally more prevalent on the abdomen, upper arms, breasts, buttocks, hips, and thighs. The middle part of the dermis stretches to the point where the collagen and elasticity gives away and breaks down, and red or purple marks then appear on the skin. After some time, the marks typically will fade to a white or silver color, but they generally never do disappear completely.

There are a few ways you can treat stretch marks to get them to fade significantly. These treatments generally see best, and fastest, results when the mark is fresher, but they do work on older stretch marks as well. Laser resurfacing has become the new treatment of dermatologists for stretch marks and has proven to be quite effective; however, these treatments are a bit invasive, require several trips to your dermatologist’s office and are quite expensive! You have probably seen a lot of lotions and creams out there promising to help with stretch marks but you have to know what you’re looking for! Ingredients like glycolic acid will work to gently but effectively strip layers of skin so the rest of the medications in the cream will penetrate and heal faster, other acids can be too harsh and cause the other ingredients to sting and aggravate the skin layers further. Collagen building ingredients are also extremely important to look for in stretch mark creams, Centillica Astiatica is a good one. And you will want to look for vitamins and essential oils to help soothe and promote healing of the skin layers. The Zen Med Stretta Cream has received great positive feedback from its users, contains all of these important ingredients, and won’t irritate your skin while fading away your stretch marks. Because of the gentle healing ingredients it contains, it also works great on healing scars from cuts and other indented lines or wrinkles on your skin.

As with any skin treatment, always remember to be especially vigilant about applying at least an SPF 30 to areas being treated if you are going to be exposing your skin to the sun!


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