Before anything else, you need to know that stretch marks are normal and harmless. Stretch marks are literally scars that develop in the middle layer of the skin, the dermis, when the skin is stretched rapidly. This can happen for multiple reasons including. but not limited to, pregnancy, weight gain or loss, and just general puberty. But, for some reason, these natural marks on the human body are considered “ugly” and something to hide or heal. They are not either of these things.
Here are five things you need to know about stretch marks so that you don’t let the world and the beauty industry’s skewed sense of “health” bring you down.
1. They can happen to any body type
Whether you’re big or small, healthy or not, stretch marks can show up on any body type. If you’re on a weight loss effort, you will probably get stretch marks. If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll probably get stretch marks. These marks, or tiger stripes, are just indicators of normal changes in your body that happen with time. Wear them with pride. Also, if you think that losing weight will get rid of these marks, that’s not happening.
2. Boys get them too
Getting stretch marks is not a sign of a femininity. So please relax, boys. These scars can also happen because of good old puberty. If you get a growth streak, your skin may not have enough time to adjust to your new size. Hence, colourful stripes show up on some part of your body. In fact, even heavy weightlifting can cause this stretching of the skin and cause scarring in the dermis.
3. Stretch marks look different for everyone
Depending on your skin tone and body type, stretch marks look different for everyone. Sometimes, they are red and purple in colour. This could mean that they’re just forming and are in the initial stages of the scarring. When the marks turn whitish or silver, they are in the mature stage and are harder to heal, if that’s what you really want to do.
4. All those creams and lotions don’t work
Cosmetic creams and lotions to get rid of stretch marks don’t work. Most of the time, these creams will just moisturise your skin enough to stop any itching or discomfort. They may also help to change the skin tone to reduce the appearance of these marks. But cosmetic applications can’t make them go away. If you’re pregnant and worried about stretch marks, please don’t be. You have plenty of other things to think about, like your and the baby’s health and happiness. And a word of caution. Pregnant women should check with their doctors before using any creams for stretch marks. Some of them have ingredients that can harm the baby, like retinol. You can always use harmless oils and moisturising products to massage the area to help alleviate any discomfort you might feel.
Instead of trying to get rid of them, you can actually make your stretch marks a canvas for some amazing, distinctive art. Like this.
5. Your genetics could have a role to play
Some people just have tiger stripes passed down to them as a legacy. They can’t do anything about them or prevent them from happening. If that’s the case, stand tall and proud that you carry your family’s great genes. It’s something to bond over with the rest of your family.
Worrying about stretch marks is a thing of the past. The latest trend is to embrace everything about them – from the reason you got them to what they look like today. After all, it’s your body’s way of showing the incredible journey it’s been on.
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