Understanding and embracing stretch marks
From the science behind stretch marks to the journey of self-acceptance, explore the causes, changes, and confidence-boosting solutions.
Stretch marks are a kind of scar that appears when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly, leading to a tear in the collagen and elastin. The skin does what it is good at and heals! Except when it heals from this kind of abrupt change, stretch marks can appear.
WHO GETS THEM?
Not everyone is prone to developing these marks on their skin. You’re much more likely to get them if you have been through something that causes your hormones to fluctuate or if there are others in your family who also have stretch marks.
The following times are when you have the highest chance of gaining stretch marks: • Puberty, when your body grows rapidly • Pregnancy • Quick weight gain or loss • Building muscle quickly, usually due to weight training
WHAT DO STRETCH MARKS LOOK LIKE?
When you first notice a stretch mark has appeared on your body, it can be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown or dark brown, depending on your ethnicity, skin tone and colour. When these marks first appear they can be itchy or even sore and are often raised to the touch. It’s important to know that all of these colours and textures are completely normal and very common!
Over time, the look of your stretch marks can change. They often become less pigmented, fading to a white, silver, golden or brown colour, again depending on your skin. Some stretch marks become smooth and are not noticeable to the touch, whereas other, deeper stretch marks can stay raised or sink slightly, so you may feel a dip when you run your fingers over them.
It can be a journey to appreciate what stretch marks stand for! If you feel as if you would like to reduce the visibility of stretch marks in some parts of the body, or, if you or your husband want to reduce the stretch marks you might have from workouts and weight changes, then there are ways to address this, if you think it would help with confidence. Certain laser treatments and microdermabrasion treatments are designed to help fade these marks. However, the most accessible and simple treatment is to apply an ointment, such as Bio Oil, consistently for a number of months to give the skin everything it needs to fade your stretch marks naturally.
These specially formulated oils work effectively to improve the appearance of stretch marks and uneven skin tone, using plant extracts and vitamins A and E, to help improve the skin’s texture and increase its elasticity. Always remember, stretch marks are the badge of honour that show you’re a mother and something amazing has happened with your body! Ultimately, the best thing is to work on accepting this as a positive and consider these scars as part of your wonderful story.