#FitnessFacts: STRETCH MARKS

Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, are tears in the middle layer of the skin, called the dermis.

When the dermis is stretched beyond it’s limit, the fibres within it can become over-stretched and break. This can cause the darker blood vessels that lie under the skin to show through.

Over half of our population has stretch marks, & there are many factors that can contribute to getting them- such as your gender (women are more prone than men), family history, weight gain, pregnancy, & even some diseases.

When women become pregnant, hormones are produced by their body that soften the ligaments in their pelvis, to make room for the baby. However, these hormones also soften the fibres in their skin, making them prone to stretch marks.

There are a few things that can help prevent stretch marks, but there is no sure way to completely prevent them. The primary way is to maintain a healthy diet, with enough of Vitamins A, C, E, & Zinc. Proper hydration is majorly important as well, so check out my #FF on WATER.

Massaging & exfoliating your skin in the shower can help keep your skin fibres strong. Daily application of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, or Vitamin E can help maintain moisture & skin elasticity.

Also, be sure the areas of your skin that might be prone to stretch marks occasionally get some mild sun exposure.

There are a few ways to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but none that can completely remove them. Some over the counter creams & gels can help, but none have been proven to be consistently successful.

The 3 most effective reduction treatments are: prescription creams from a doctor or dermatologist, microdermabrasion, or the most expensive & effective method, laser therapy.

Stretch marks become lighter over time, & are a completely natural act of the human body. Remember that the majority of people have them, & they are nothing to be ashamed of- despite what mainstream media may say.

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