Stretch marks are caused by rapid growth or weight gain and are the most common occurrences during pregnancy, because there is rapid weight gain during this time and the skin of the abdomen and breasts undergoes rapid and considerably stretching at this time.
It is estimated that 75 to 90 per cent women develop some stretch marks during pregnancy.
So can you prevent stretch marks and once having got them can you get rid of them? The answer to that is, partly or somewhat yes.
Many creams and lotions promise that application during pregnancy on the belly or affected area during pregnancy can prevent the formation of stretch marks.
One study has shown that while you cannot prevent stretch marks altogether, the use of products containing Centella asiatica (Gotu kola or Asiatic pennywort) extract, vitamin E, and collagen-elastin hydrolysates was shown to limit the appearance of stretch marks to a noticeable extent.
The fact is that stretch marks do fade and become less visible, even in some cases practically invisible with passage of time this can take months to years for them to disappear.
What is important is the nature of your stretch marks and your skin type. Also the ability your body has to heal will determine the appearance and disappearance of stretch marks.
If your body is a very efficient healer and you rarely see any scars from prior injuries or wounds; chances are your stretch marks will behave similarly. Topical creams may help speed up that process; however they cannot make the stretch marks disappear altogether.
Exfoliation can help, as can certain treatments such as skin peels or laser treatments for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. While some treatments can be expensive, some can also be painful.
Since however there is no real way to ‘repair’ damaged skin fibers, which is what stretch marks actually are, it could take cosmetic surgery to actually get rid of them.
This can actually remove the affected skin from the area and also pull the skin taut by tightening it, which can help to reduce the appearance of the stretch marks.
So whether you decide to get some treatment or not, do remember that stretch marks do fade with time and become far less obvious and visible.
Also remember that most people have them though some manage to hide them by some or other artifice. If however stretch marks are just something that you cannot seem to live with, then you can discuss your options with an expert.