A lot of women are under the illusion that only females get stretch marks. Yes, stretch marks usually appear during pregnancy, but it can also appear as a result of rapid weight gain or weight loss. Since both genders can lose or gain weight rapidly, stretch marks can appear on either males or females. However, because most women grow body parts during puberty, it does occur more frequently in women.
A lot of people I know have stretch marks somewhere or the other, and have spent a huge amount of time and energy trying to get rid of them. But do we understand what stretch marks are? No? Well then, I’ll tell you. Your skin is elastic. When your body goes through pregnancy, rapid weight gain or weight loss, your skin expands or contracts to fit the new you, especially in the most elastic areas. Sometimes though, the middle layer of the skin loses some of its elasticity with the rapid change, and can leave behind what we know as stretch marks. This is why it occurs in the most elastic areas, like the upper arms, stomach, butt, thighs, etc.
Because we see models on the cover of magazines all air-brushed, we tend to truly believe that most people look that way. In reality, most of those cover girls/boys have skin just like ours and deal with the same issues we do. If you believe stretch marks are a huge problem for you, deal with it, but understand that the one who has the most issues with your stretch marks is probably you. If you asked your partner the thing he/she hated the most on your body, I doubt if stretch marks would be in the top five.
But I do understand that it may make you uncomfortable and less confident in yourself. So here are a couple of ways you can reduce stretch marks:
LOTIONS: A lot of manufacturers market their lotions as the best in eliminating stretch marks. And it does work for some people. But in reality, researchers have said that lotions usually have a very minimal effect on stretch marks. In truth, these lotions work to tighten the skin, which in turn may reduce the look of stretch marks on the skin. So what am I saying here? Try it because it may work for you, but don’t be crushed if you barely notice the difference.
SURGERY: One known way to reduce stretch marks is by having laser surgery. Again, sorry to obliterate all kinds of hope here, but doctors have said that the possibility of laser surgery removing stretch marks is about 20 to 50%, and this is with multiple laser surgery visits. This is okay for people just looking to reduce some of the depth, but if you are looking to remove them altogether, this may not work. It is worth trying though since it seems to be the most effective method. But it is also the most expensive. If your stretch marks are still reddish(for the lighter skinned people), and in the early stages, this is the best time to try laser surgery because it is most effective on newer stretch marks. Other surgical methods are chemical peels and microdermabrasion. These help reduce the appearance of scars, reduce discoloration, and smooth uneven skin. Thus, they help reduce stretch marks to an extent, but not remove them entirely.
Unfortunately, none of the techniques to remove stretch marks is guaranteed and you could go through a series of trials and have very little change. And since our hormonal changes occur usually without our control (like puberty), there’s not too much we can do to prevent stretch marks. The only way we can hope to prevent stretch marks is by letting our body go through changes at a normal pace .i.e by exercising and eating right. Try to maintain your weight where you can, and if you determine that you want to gain or lose weight, try to do it slowly.
If you have any more questions about stretch marks, don’t hesitate to ask!