Stretch mark cream — it’s not just for women. We usually think of women developing stretch marks, mostly because of pregnancy, but men can get stretch marks too from things like weight lifting or weight gain. Unfortunately women can get them for these reasons as well, still making women that much more susceptible to this unsightly condition. That brings us to a few common questions. Is there a way to prevent stretch marks? Or if I already have them is there a way to get rid of stretch marks? Does stretch mark cream really work?
What Are Stretch Marks?
To understand stretch marks it is important to learn a bit about our skin, the area that is affected by stretch marks, first.
Skin is the largest organ of the body. It is our outer covering, or shell so to speak, so one of it’s key functions is to protect us. But because it is a large external organ it is subjected to many elements.
Skin is made of three layers, the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. Stretch marks, also known as striae, are formed in the dermis. The dermis is the flexible middle layer of skin that contains the collagen and elastic fibers that give skin it’s strength and elasticity.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are a form of scarring that occurs when there is tearing in the dermis. When the skin is stretched beyond what it is capable of handling scarring takes place. But there are also certain hormones that can contribute to the formation of stretch marks.
These hormones, which are often present during times of pregnancy, puberty and weight building, prevent the formation of collagen and elastin fibers. Collagen and elastin are proteins in the connective tissue that are needed to keep constantly growing skin firm. A decrease in the production of these fibers creates a lack of support in the skin and as the skin stretches it will become more vulnerable to tearing.
Genetics can play a role in the ability of your skin to stretch without getting stretch marks. Diet can also play a role. By eating a nutritious well-rounded diet your skin will remain healthier and retain it’s ability to stretch better than if your diet is lacking nutrients need to regenerate skin cells. It appears exercise may also play a positive role.
Stretch Mark Cream
Stretch mark creams work by penetrating to the dermis creating an environment that allows the skin to be more flexible. If the skin has a greater ability to withstand stretching the formation of stretch marks will be far less likely.
Stretch mark cream works best when it is used as a treatment to prevent stretch marks. Once stretch marks have developed they are more difficult to lighten or eliminate because the skin has experienced scarring, which makes trying to remove stretch marks is a bit more challenging than trying to prevent them.
But by using stretch mark prevention cream during pregnancy or when starting a weight lifting routine you should be able to help prevent stretch marks. Adolescents experiencing a growth spurt may also want to use stretch mark cream to help with preventing stretch marks.
Common ingredients to look for in a stretch mark prevention cream include: Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Retinyl Palmitate, and Grape Seed Extract.
Revitol Stretch Mark Cream and Palmers Cocoa Butter Lotion are a couple of popular options of stretch mark prevention cream, but there are many other options available as well. You may want to talk to a friend who has had a good experience with a stretch mark cream they have used to learn about some of the other options.
Stretch marks don’t pose any health risks or contribute any health problems; their drawback is strictly their appearance. Many people with stretch marks feel self-conscience which can have an impact on one’s self esteem. So finding a good stretch mark cream can make a big difference in the way someone feels about himself or herself. That extra confidence can make all the difference sometimes.