While 90% of women will experience stretch marks at some time in her life, stretch marks are often seen as a female-only concern. In reality, stretch marks are not a gender-specific problem. This is just the first of many myths surrounding this commonly misunderstood skin imperfection. Here we cover the three biggest myths about stretch marks and set the record straight.
Vitamin E creams and cocoa butter may be marketed to pregnant women for stretch mark prevention, but they’re not alone in needing to take steps to prevent these marks from forming in the first place. Often, stretch mark prevention is more common among pregnant women because they know they’ll be gaining weight fast, meaning their skin will need some extra love and care as it stretches to accommodate their growing baby. However, men and women of all ages are susceptible to stretch marks, particularly if the skin is lacking in collagen or has been exposed to excess UV rays, such as during tanning. While it’s more difficult to know when men and women who are not pregnant may develop stretch marks, applying Vitamin E moisturizers and following the basics of sun safety will support skin’s natural collagen production and elasticity.
Weight gain is a common cause of stretch marks, but it isn’t the only one. Muscle building can lead to an increased risk of developing stretch marks, particularly among professional body builders. Likewise, changes in the body during puberty because of growth spurts can lead to an increased risk of stretch marks. Application of corticosteroid creams can also affect the skin’s collagen levels, leading to thinner skin and boosting the risk for scarring.
While it’s easier to prevent stretch marks in the first place, once they have formed there are still ways to diminish their appearance. For new stretch marks, microdermabrasion may be an option to stimulate new skin growth and minimize their appearance. For late-stage stretch marks, NanoFractional Radio Frequency (RF) treatments are an effective option. This skin resurfacing technology helps to reduce the appearance of skin damage and improve texture by delivering heat energy below the skin’s surface using tiny pins, which creates micro-dermal wounds. These wounds send a signal to the body to start the natural healing process, repairing skin and reducing the appearance of stretch marks in the process.
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