– Avoid bleaching and toning products
– Professionals advise on best practices
Nobody likes skin blemishes, let alone when they are visible as stretch marks can be. Stretch marks can be a real turn off for many – men and women alike.
To get professional advice on best practices regarding prevention and treatment, our correspondent spoke with a dermatologist and skin beauty expert.
Dr. R.A Aramolate, Dermatologist (Grand Ville Medical and Laser)
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks in a layman’s language is a break in the dermal layer. The skin has three layers – epidermis which is the outer layer, dermal layer, which is the middle layer and the third is subcutaneous layer.
There are basically two types of stretch marks, red and white, that’s in a layman’s language. The red one is called straie rubrae, while the white is called straie albae. The red one is readily treatable. The white one takes a little more time.
What are the causes of stretch marks?
There are physiological and pathological causes; they can also be classified into intrinsic (from inside) and extrinsic (from outside).
Under the extrinsic causes, it involves the cream people use. Most of the bleaching and toning products contain hydroquinone, and what it does is that it strains the dermal layer, which is 95 percent of the skin strength. It breaks the dermis, when this happens, initially it will appear red because there will be more blood vessels that’ll go to that area of the skin. Collagen is transported there to reinforce the damaged area. If the body is not able to produce enough collagen, that area of the skin becomes white because the skin cannot be repaired.
Another way is when there is a rapid increase or loss of weight. The skin is expandable, but if the expansion is rapid and/or excess, you break it.
When you lose weight quickly, the skin doesn’t contract.
If you have such weight issues frequently, there’d be stretch marks.
Pregnancy is another cause of stretch marks, women add a lot of weight during pregnancy. That affects mostly areas like the abdomen.
The skin of people who are placed on steroids for a particular illness or are using steroids might break because they gain or lose weight rapidly. Stretch marks will be developed.
What are the treatment for stretch marks?
There are a lot of treatment modalities for stretch marks. I would say that combined treatment is the most effective. There are multiple stretch marks treatment methods ranging from laser treatment (resurfacing laser) to micro needling, chemical peeling (chemicals like lactic acid, glycolic acid which help in renewing the skin) and dermabrasion (but it is not very effective when used on its own.). Apart from these, there are specific products that when applied or injected into the skin cause collagen production.
In my clinic, for instance, I combine treatments from dermabrasion, to collagen producing products and laser treatment.
What are the preventive measures?
Obviously, pregnancy cannot be prevented. What we do for pregnant women is give them products they can apply mostly around the abdomen area which helps in collagen production while the abdomen increases in size.
Another way is avoid using hydroquinone-containing products found in toning and bleaching creams.
Also, when it is first noticed in the early stages, you should quickly approach trained professionals, not road side cosmetic products sellers, would recommend products that could worsen it.
Yomi Samson Dallas, Beauty Expert (Posh Beauty)
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are caused by child birth on the skin, they could also be caused by cream reaction. It is when the skin is stretched too rapidly.
What is the cause of stretch marks?
It could be caused by soap, creams that contain certain harmful chemicals, capsules like hips enlargement capsules and fat capsules.
Is there any link between diet and stretch marks?
No, there’s no link between food and stretch marks.
Why does it seem like stretch marks affect ladies more?
That’s simply because a woman’s skin is soft and tender compared to men.
What are the preventive measures against stretch marks?
It can be prevented by using snail shell and other mixing elements.
- MARIAM SUBAIR