You know the thing that gets me about stretch marks is that the number one descriptor is unsightly.
How to get rid of unsightly stretchmarks? Do you have unsightly stretch marks? What to do about all those unsightly stretchmarks? A more accurate descriptor would be ordinary. Do you have ordinary stretchmarks?Are you freaking out needlessly about your ordinary stretchmarks? Do you really want to try to get rid of ordinary stretch marks because it costs a lot of money and uh, well, I mean they’re kind of just ordinary soo.
1: Who gets them?
Answer: A lot of us.
Depending on the age group and ethnicity you’re looking at, anywhere from 50 – 90% of the population has stretch marks.
If you were to line everybody up in their swimsuits around a pool, every other person if not more, would probably have some degree of stretch mark. Not just women, but also men and teenagers.
2: Why do they happen?
Stretch marks occur has a combination of tissue stretching and hormonal changes. We often hear that stretch marks are especially associated with things like puberty, pregnancy, obesity and body-building.
What do all those things have in common? Bodies changing sizes. Sometimes when our bodies start growing rapidly the tissue beneath our skin start to stretch and actually change structure because it can’t produce two free proteins collagen and elastin fast enough. Without that key protein combination that middle layer of skin the dermis will sometimes break in places and those fibers might show through to the epidermis or our visible layer of skin.
Between those broken fibers, the blood vessels underneath might also show through hence the red or purplish appearance of stretch marks.
More recent research has suggested that the hormonal changes associated with things like puberty, pregnancy and weight gain contribute to that slowing down of collagen production which then contributes to stretch mark development. Some studies have also identified genetic components that predispose some of us to developing stretch marks whether you like it or not.
3: How do we get rid of these unsightly oh wait no ordinary stretch marks?
The simple answer is you can’t. Or at least not entirely.
Particularly with puberty and pregnancy related stretch marks,dermatologists usually reassure patients that they will eventually go away on their own. Those blood vessels showing through to the epidermis will actually constrict and the red and purplish coloring will fade with time.
If you look at a number of products for treating stretch marks you’ll probably see a common list of ingredients:vitamin A, retinol, glycolic acid, vitamin C, botanical oils and vitamin E all of which some studies suggest might help the dermis repair it’s collagen production.
However as the Mayo Clinic explicitly states these products as well as medical treatments cannot completely erase stretchmarks.
That said in the case of pregnancy dermatologists would probably recommend that in case of pregnancy women should moisturize their tummies to reduce the potential severity of stretch marks that will develop in those three trimesters but when it comes to completely avoiding them ain’t gonna happen, even with microdermabrasion and laser treatments. At best you’ll walk away with slightly less visible stretch marks sure and also hundreds if not thousands of dollars less to your name.
Statistically speaking having stretch marks is far likelier than being left handed and you know what? I’m left handed and I have stretch marks and I also have cellulite.
If we could just acknowledge that they’re ordinary and that they happen to us in all phases of life post-puberty than maybe we wouldn’t freak out about them so much, maybe we could love our bodies a little bit more stretch marks and all.