Stretch marks are fine lines of thin stretched tissue that may appear on the body, often during rapid weight gain or pregnancy. Naturally, our skin is very flexible. However, during rapid growth, the production of collagen is disrupted (collagen is a protein found in our skin that makes up most of the connective tissue giving it a smooth texture). This leads to reddish lines on your skin with a rough texture that will eventually turn grayish or white before fading. Stretch marks can affect both men and women, however, they are more prevalent in women, especially during pregnancy.
Apart from pregnancy, often times people who are obese, people how have excess amounts of body fat, or even body builders can both develop stretch marks as a result of the rapid bodily changes that occur. Heredity can also play a role in the development of stretch marks. Some people are naturally born with dry skin that is less elastic than that of other people. In these instances, it will require less body change in a short period of time to develop stretch marks. Also, many steroids which are taken through contact with the skin can cause stretch marks in one’s body.
Stretch marks will eventually fade over time, although they will never naturally be removed from your skin. There are a few medical operations and products that you can use to help remove the stretch marks from your body, ranging from surgery to a variety of creams available which claim to help remove stretch marks. These operations and creams are very expensive and most of them are not very good or dangerous, so it is best to help reduce your chances of developing stretch marks in the first place.
This can be done by insuring that you are drinking a sufficient amount of water daily. It is also important not too drink excessive amounts of caffeine found in coffee, soda, and other drinks, as caffeine will help weaken the dermis, the layer of skin which gives it elasticity. Research has also shown that a healthy balanced diet helps reduce the chances of stretch marks.
Make sure that your diet includes protein rich food such as eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products. Zinc rich foods such as fish, as well as foods rich in vitamins will also help. A proper intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy and grain foods can all help reduce your chances of developing stretch marks.
Stretch Marks are a truly unfortunate condition. It is best that you make all attempts at avoiding them if possible. Try to be sure to maintain a healthy balanced diet and have a sufficient intake of water. There are certain times in your life where the chances of stretch marks are high and it is not feasible to avoid these because of circumstances, such as pregnancy. In these cases talk to a dermatologist (skin doctor) to determine what treatment is best for you if they do develop on your skin.