How to stamp out stretch marks -

How to stamp out stretch marks

They're a telltale sign you've had a growth spurt. Whether from pregnancy, weight lifting, puberty or weight gain -- stretch marks are never a welcome addition to our bodies. But why do only certain people get these unsightly lines?

"Something in your genetic makeup makes your skin less stretchy than other people's skin," explains Dr. Melissa Piliang of the Cleveland Clinic. "The other factor can be hormones, so at puberty when hormones are racing or pregnancy, birth control pills can affect the hormones enough to cause stretch marks as well. And then it's weight gain, it's the increase in muscle or fat under the skin"

The sudden increase in muscle or fat causes stretching and breakage of the skin, leaving a linear scar that eventually fades to white. Common problem spots are the stomach, breasts, thighs and buttocks. Stretch marks can also appear in the armpits of weightlifters.

"Once you have stretch marks, they'll never completely disappear" says Dr. Piliang. "But there are some steps you can take to prevent them from forming. Use a moisturizer if you're in one of these growth spurts so if you're pregnant, your child is growing rapidly or you're somebody who is trying to get a lot of muscle bulk, use moisturizers and try to maintain a sensible weight and gain weight at a slower pace."

"If your skin has grown too quickly", she adds, "laser treatments can fade or lighten stretch marks. Creams containing retinoids may also help."

A trip to a dermatologist is the best way to find a suitable solution to diminish these unpleasant markings.

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