Stretch marks are things we see on our skin that we just absolutely hate. They’ve been there for years and we feel like they’re always going to be around. Is it ever possible to get rid of them for good? Are the results of certain stretch mark products too good to be true? As stubborn as stretch marks may seem to be, they are treatable and even preventable. First, you need to know how they develop in the first place. It’s not that there’s no way of getting rid of stretch marks. You just have to choose the best solution for you, individually. Here are some facts and common questions on stretch marks.

When you look in advertisements and glossy magazines, you rarely see anyone on them with unsightly stretch marks. In fact, those beautiful faces and bodies are flawless! Why? Because they are always air-brushed, and there’s a reason for this. In reality, many people, including both males and females, have stretch marks. It is almost undeniable because it is just so easy to get them. We can get stretch marks simply by losing or gaining weight rapidly. Women can get them through pregnancy. Men get them by gaining muscles too fast. And young individuals can get them through puberty, when there is a growth spurt. In conclusion, it is so easy for our skin to be stretched beyond its limit. Imagine stretching a rubber band too much-it is bound to tear and snap. When our skin tears, it tends to form scars, and these scars develop into what we know as stretch marks.

Stretch marks are basically scar tissue. When you have scar tissue, this means the affect area in your skin has fibers that are already broken. We often “accidentally” stretch our skin over its limit when we binge-eat for instance. But our skin also stretches a lot simply because of gravity, hence the sagging effect, as we grow older. To date, there is no proven way to reverse the damage entirely. However, there are a number of methods that could help eliminate stretch marks to an extent or make them appear less obvious. These methods include laser treatments, plastic surgery, skin peels, exfoliating products, special moisturizers, herbal remedies and more notably, stretch mark creams.

Plastic surgery is the most costly and generally more painful method in eliminating stretch marks. It is considered quite effective but not 100 percent guaranteed. Plus, it is invasive and just not worth it to most people. Laser treatment and skin peels are the next methods that may be less daunting. They are still quite costly, but the pain could be more bearable than plastic surgery. These methods are specifically designed to improve the affected skin’s appearance.

Probably the safest methods is the application of topical treatments such as exfoliating products and stretch mark creams. Good topical treatments contain natural products that are safe and still effective in treating stretch marks. Beware of products, however, that claim to “cure” stretch marks overnight. Looks for brands that are more realistic and have convincing explanation of how their products actually work.

Stretch marks often occur on the breasts, upper arms, buttocks, thighs and/or abdominal region. They are typically deep red, purplish red, dark brown, pink or whitish in color. As mentioned earlier, there are more ways than one to reduce stretch marks. Aside from the ones mentioned earlier, it is best to avoid prolonged sun exposure and frequently employ moisturizers on affected areas. Aloe Vera is particularly great at moisturizing, soothing and healing areas on the skin affected by stretch marks. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory that has been used for centuries to clean wounds and treat other conditions.

Realistically, results from using a good stretch mark product should show in about 2 weeks. Stretch mark creams are often used 3 times a day. With this, more obvious results may show in about a month. Of course, results will depend on your genetic background, skin type and the condition of your stretch marks. Any “magical” results that are achieved with a silver bullet cure should be looked upon with more skepticism.

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