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Stretch Marks: Is There Anything You Can Do?

Stretch marks are tiny tears in the middle layer of the skin, the dermis, which occur when the skin is stretched excessively. Learn what you can do to prevent them and care for them!

The skin is actually a very complex tissue. It is composed of three different layers; the epidermis, which is the tough top layer, the dermis, which is the middle layer which contains many of the hair follicles, sweat glands, etc, and the hypodermis, the deepest layer. The hypodermis contains a large number of blood vessels, this is why there are hypodermic needles; needles that inject a substance into this layer because of its high amounts of blood vessels.

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Stretch marks are tiny tears in the middle layer of the skin, the dermis, which occur when the skin is stretched excessively. They can vary in color from a light pink to a dark purple. This tearing process breaks down elastin and collagen fibres which causes scarring. Over a very long period of time, usually years, stretch marks can fade in color, but the scars remain. Is there anything you can do to prevent or repair them?

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are caused when the skin is stretched to the point of breaking down, similar to an elastic losing its elasticity. Losing collagen and elastin in the skin causes stretch marks. When there is a breakdown or loss of elastin and collagen fibres or excessive stretching in the skin, the mark actually shows through to the epidermis (top layer of skin).

The main cause of stretch marks is a dramatic increase in size of tissue, in the area of the marks. Pregnancy, weight gain or loss, and bodybuilding are the main causes of stretch marks. However, some people are just more genetically prone to stretch marks. As well, skin type can have an effect. Dryer skin has less elasticity than oily skin, and therefore is more prone to have stretch marks.

Although some people are more susceptible to stretch marks, anyone can get them. I personally am very susceptible to stretch marks. I have tried quite a few different things, and my conclusion is to be proud of them. There really is no way to cure them besides laser surgery.

How Can I Prevent Them?

The only thing you can do is try to prevent them. You can do this by applying a moisturizing cream daily to area's that are prone to stretch marks, such as the anterior part of your underarm, and any other place you see them appearing.

Because the stretch marks are actually in the middle layer of the skin, the moisturizing cream won't completely prevent the stretch marks. There really is no way of completely preventing them, or completely removing them without surgery.

So I say, be proud of them, it shows that what you are doing is working and your body is growing at such a fast rate that your skin doesn't even have time to stretch and is ripping. It's the only positive I can pull out of this. Not to mention chicks dig them. Well, that's what I tell myself. Keep training hard and if you have any questions feel free to email me.

Best of luck,