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Wave goodbye to stretch marks

stretch marks_10_04_12If your spare time is spent on a treadmill, when the time comes to show off your hard-earned bikini body, you certainly don’t want ugly stretch marks to let you down.

Stretch marks, also known as stria or striae, are those angry red lines you might have noticed from time to time, usually on your thighs, stomach or bum. They are caused by tears in the deeper layers of the skin, known as the dermis, which can occur as a result of hormone fluctuations, puberty and weight gain. According to research by the NHS, about nine out of 10 women become victims of stretch marks during pregnancy.

If you have been affected, don’t despair. Over time, the redness disappears and the marks become grey or white, making them less noticeable. However, this can take longer than you would like so to make sure your stretch marks fade as quickly as possible, it will help to keep them covered in a high spectrum SPF (even if they are hidden under clothes).

Although there is no specific medical treatment for stretch marks, gentle exfoliation and a topical cream like Bio Oil or aloe vera (both good for treating scars) rubbed into stretch marks in their early stages can. Massaging your skin every day with moisturiser or a massage glove can help improve your circulation and encourage new tissue growth, too.

If your marks are significant or really bothering you, speak to your GP about possible laser treatment. While this is not offered on the NHS, your doctor will be able to discuss the risks and manage your expectations before you invest in an expensive treatment.

There are several different types of laser therapy used to treat stretch marks, such as pulsed dye laser treatment. This type of laser therapy works on early stretch marks (that are still red) by sealing the blood vessels within your skin and speeding up the fading process.

And, as they say, prevention is better than cure, so to keep these pesky lines to a minimum, try to maintain a stable weight as rapid weight gain, or loss, will cause your skin to stretch.

It is also important to eat a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins C and E and the minerals zinc and silicon. These vitamins and minerals will help keep your skin healthy, and the improved diet will have your body beach perfect in no time…


Picture credit: Shutterstock

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