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Stretch Mark Introduction

In this day and age, when everybody’s trying to have the perfect body, stretchmarks are considered to be an obvious sign of imperfection. It is not uncommonfor a person, especially women, to have stretch marks, but it is something theywish they could be without.

Stretch marks, also called striae, are a form of scarring of the skin with anoff-color hue. They are oftenthe result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth(common in puberty), weight loss or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy, musclebuilding, or rapid gain of fat). Stretch marks often start off as reddish or purplish in color andthen become glossy skin that appears streaked in silver or white.

They occur in the elastic middle layer of skin (i.e. the dermis). However, ifconstantly stretched, the dermis can break down leaving behind stretch marks.Most commonly, they appear on the abdomen, breasts, upperarms, buttocks, and thighs.

Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors that might increase one’s chances of gettingstretch marks. These include: being female, rapidly gaining or losing weight,having a family history of stretch marks, being on corticosteroids, beingpregnant, etc.

It has also been proven that stretch marks occur more often in white women thanin women of other races.

There might be no certain way of preventing stretch marks. The only thing one might do is to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.

Getting Rid ofStretch Marks

There are a few ways of dealing with stretch marks. These include:

Plastic surgery. It is among the fastest and most effective ways of gettingrid of stretch marks. When it is done, there are no signs of them on the skin.However, there are certain disadvantages. Firstly, it is expensive, so only fewpeople can actually even consider this method. Secondly, it is painful andthere is a certain period of recovery that one must go through.Laser treatment. In this way, the skin regenerates, leading to an even tonedskin. This has also been proven to be one of the most effective ways ofremoving stretch marks.Creams. These are actually the slowest treatment available. The best creamsare the ones that contain Retin-A and alpha-hydroxy acids. It iswidely known that creams cannot actually remove stretch marks, but they canimprove the appearance of the skin affected.Microdermabrasion. It is a very effective method of removing stretch marks.It is painless, and not that expensive. However, more than one treatment isnecessary for the optimal results.

Of course, before trying any of these methods, one should consult adermatologist.

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