What You Need to Know About Stretch Marks

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One of the most frustrating skin conditions which virtually every woman encounters is the stretch mark. On the belly, stretch marks leave ruggedly jagged patterns. On the thighs, they’re a jarring intrusion on smooth, soft skin. On the buttocks, they look even more disconcerting, especially if there are waves and waves of them. Wherever they may appear, stretch marks are definitely unsightly. They not only make wearing a two-piece bikini or even a one-piece cut-out swimwear extra challenging, they also contribute to a woman’s feeling of insecurity. Unfortunately, the appearance of stretch marks may sometimes be unavoidable. If your body grows faster than how your skin can keep up with, you are very likely to get stretch marks. Skin is fairly elastic but when it’s stretched too far, the production of collagen, the protein which makes up the skin’s connective tissue, will most certainly be disrupted, resulting in scars or stretch marks. 1

There are certain life stages where stretch marks are most likely to appear. Growth spurts in puberty may have a child growing several inches in height and gaining a good number of pounds causing fine stretch marks on his skin. Pregnancy, which usually has an average woman gaining anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds 2, would usually result in a couple of stretch marks, usually on the belly and breasts.3 Marks are likely to appear on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms too. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 90 percent of expectant women will get stretch marks sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. 3

Rapid body changes can cause stretch marks too. People who have a difficult time managing their weight or body builders who push their bodies to the limit may find certain areas of their skin breaking out with stretch marks. At first, these marks are usually reddish or purplish in color.3 Over time, they will become lighter and lighter but they will still appear as stretch marks.

If you do get stretch marks, there are ways to cover them up, to smoothen out their appearance, to make ugly purplish gashes look friendlier, and to help them fade away into thin, almost unnoticeable lines.

Cover up. If you’re conscious about how your stretch marks will appear in a swimsuit, then opt for rash guards and board shorts. These are not only practical as they protect you against the harsh effects of the sun’s rays, they are very on trend too. Some go as far as wearing body makeup to cover their stretch marks, but this option may result in stains on your swimwear.

Drink water! Water will keep you and your skin well hydrated. Drinking water will not only support your quest for better-looking skin, it will also contribute to your overall health and wellness.4 It is recommended that adult males drink about 13 cups or 3 liters of fluids a day; an intake of 9 cups or 2.2 liters is ideal for women.5 Expectant women need, on the average, approximately 10 cups or 2.3 liters of fluid a day.6

Moisturize! Keep your skin well hydrated with lotion and cream. Expectant women would certainly find this activity refreshing as it would help soothe the dryness and itchy skin which comes with pregnancy.7

Opt for dermatological treatments. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon can certainly help your stretch marks go away. Microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, and laser treatment can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However, these options may seem radical for those who only have a few faint lines on their thighs.

Go for the natural solution. One of the world’s most award winning products, which has been effective in improving the appearance of stretch marks and scars, is Bio-Oil. Bio-Oil’s unique formulation is what makes it such a good product. It contains vitamins A and E alongside a cocktail of plant extracts, from calendula and lavender to rosemary and chamomile. Plus, it has PurCellin OilTM, which reduces the thickness of the formulation, making it light, non-greasy, and easier for the skin to absorb. It’s not surprising then that it has earned 284 8 skin care awards since its global roll out.

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Bio-Oil has been proven effective in improving the appearance of stretch marks among adolescents, pregnant women, and individuals who underwent rapid weight gain. In one study, 100 percent of subjects showed an improvement in the appearance of existing stretch marks after 8 weeks of using Bio-Oil. 9

Expectant women would do well to apply Bio-Oil on their breasts, belly, thighs, and buttocks by the time their second trimester comes around. Adolescents and individuals with stretch marks are advised to apply Bio-Oil on their areas of concern twice a day for at least three months.

Get better skin with Bio-Oil!

References: 1. FamilyDoctor Staff. (Reviewed by Patrice Hyde, MD, on January 2011) Stretch Marks. Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/teens/puberty-sexuality/stretch-marks.html 2. WebMD Medical Reference. (Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on May 06, 2014) Gain Weight Safely During Your Pregnancy. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/healthy-weight-gain 3. Krieger, Elizabeth B. (Reviewed by Jennifer Shy, MD on May 2015) The Truth About Pregnancy Stretch Marks. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/stretch-marks) 4. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, Kathleen M. (Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on May 08, 2008) 6 Reasons to Drink Water. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water? 5. Mayo Clinic Staff. September 5, 2014. Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256 6. Desjardins, M.H.Sc., RD, Ellen. January 5, 2015. Staying Hydrated: How much water should you drink during pregnancy? Retrieved from http://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/how-much-water/ 7. Updated May 2014. Pregnancy Stretch Marks. Retrieved from http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/stretch-marks.aspx 8. htttps:/www.bio-oi.com/en-us/product/accolades 9. proDerm, 2010

Pregnant woman image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net