I decided to write about stretch marks as this skin problem may be familiar to most of us since we can get them during different stages of life:
after rapid weight gain
if you have family history of stretch marks
if you have underlying health condition such as Cushing's syndrome
after prolonged and inappropriate use of corticosteroid medication (including creams and lotions)
Stretch marks appear when the skin rapidly stretches as a result of sudden growth or weight gain. The stretching causes the middle layer of the skin (dermis) to tear, allowing the deeper layers (where the fat is stored) to show through. Before stretch marks appear, the affected skin will become thin, flattened and pink and may feel itchy.
Over time stretch marks will change from pink color to silver. They will usually show on the skin where the fat is stored like tummy, buttocks, breasts, upper arms, thighs or shoulders.
Stretch marks cause no harm and most of them fade over time but they are often a significant source of distress to those affected.
It seems obvious that we can get stretch marks when we grow quickly but I want to tell you more what happens in those two conditions:
PREGNANCY - 8 out of 10 women will get them in later stages of pregnancy (after 6th or 7th month)... yep... Of course it depends on your skin type, elasticity and family history (if your mother has them most likely you will have them too). But also during pregnancy hormones are produced that soften the ligaments in your pelvis so they're more flexible when you give birth. However these hormones also soften the fibers in your skin, making it more prone to stretch marks.
USE OF CORTICOSTEROIDS - in rare cases stretch marks can develop after prolonged and inappropriate use of steroids creams used to treat skin conditions such as eczema. They reduce inflammation but can also reduce the amount of collagen in your skin, making it more likely get stretch marks. Steroids creams generally thins the skin so please forgive the pharmacist that don't want to sell you OTC Hydrocortisone for your face or genital area.. Now you know why :-)
Any hope to prevent stretch marks then?
Unfortunately not.... :( The idea that you can prevent them by rubbing oils, magic lotions is not supported by strong evidence. There is not many studies carried over years. Or if carried on cocoa butter or olive oil it shown no effect on getting stretch marks compared to placebo.
It is always a good idea to keep skin well hydrated by rubbing oils onto skin. Bear in mind that oils like almond, avocado, wheatgerm, olive do not penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin where the stretch marks are formed. They keep skin moist and it looks better, skin is more toned and it also helps with the itchiness. By this we hope to lower the chances of getting stretch marks.
Plus action of massage itself could be beneficial as it increases blood flow to the affected area.
BUT there is one particular oil worth focusing on: ROSEHIP OIL
Clinical trials taken in 80's in Chile shown that when rosehip oil applied to the affected skin for over 4 month period resulted in great improvement in appearance of scars, burns, deep wrinkles, UV damage, dermatitis.
Rosehip oil was found to regenerate the skin, reduce scars and wrinkles, prevent ageing, helps skin to regain it's natural color and tone.
Make sure this oil is one of the ingredients of your body oil.
And remember, you are just beautiful the way you are, try to accept things that you can't change! we can spend lifetime constantly fighting with windmills and not focusing what is really important to us..