Stretch marks or striae appear as reddish, pinkish, and purplish stretches on different parts of the body including the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, thighs, and upper arms. The application of oils, creams, and lotions may not inhibit striae from developing. People usually believe that the shrinking of the skin due to weight loss can cause striae to disappear. Unfortunately, weight loss might cause old striae to worsen and new stretch marks to develop.
What Causes Striae
Striae result from the excessive stretching of your skin. Excessive stretching mainly occurs during the growth spurts that occur during puberty and pregnancy. Some health conditions like Cushing syndrome also contribute to the development of striae.
Stretch marks may also form as side effects of certain medications like corticosteroid lotions, pills, and creams. Lastly, stretch marks can form because of weight changes.
The chances of worsening stretch marks increase with weight loss. Losing weight at a rapid rate makes the situation worse. For instance, losing over 2 pounds of your body weight within a period of 7 days causes the body to produce hormones that interrupt collagen production in your skin. Interruptions can contribute to the development of striae. In addition, losing weight causes the striae caused by excessive stretching of your skin to be more visible and prominent. As the skin returns to its normal state after you lose weight, the striae get closer to each other. In this case, they appear as if they are many.
You can prevent striae from forming on your skin by ensuring that you have the acceptable body weight. Even during growth bursts that occur during puberty and pregnancy, you can prevent striae from developing by ensuring that your body weight stays within the normal range. You should also keep healthy skin by eating healthy foods (balanced diet) and drinking large amounts of water. Water and healthy foods may increase collagen production to help prevent weight loss and striae formation.
How to Treat Stretch Marks
Treatment methods for striae prior to and after losing weight vary. Ordinary retain creams may not be very effective, but they can help in improving the way the striae and scars appear. Prescription drugs provide a better solution to the problem. Sunless tanning ointments, sprays, lotions, and makeup product may also assist in changing the way the striae appear. However, medical procedures like pulse dye laser treatment, fractional photothermolysis, excimer laser, and microdermababrasion are more effective than other methods. However, such procedures might not eliminate all striae.
It is difficult to foretell the results of these treatment methods, but the fact remains that most treatments do not remove all striae.
Stretch marks may take several months or years to fade away. As time goes by, stretch marks change to white or silvery grew. Some striae may disappear completely after some time. In some cases, if the rate of weight loss is slow, the skin may adjust appropriately and decrease the unpleasant appearance of striae. Stretch marks may fade if you lose at least thirty pounds in twenty to thirty weeks.