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All About Stretch Marks!

Posted by Porcelana Staff on

Do you have stretch marks? Not to worry - most people do, although the degree and amount will vary from person to person. Even though stretch marks are very common, they’re a topic that’s not talked about very often (unless you only read beauty magazines). Let’s take a look at what they are, where they occur, and what you can do about them!

How are stretch marks caused?

Well, they’re a lot like the name suggests! Stretch marks are caused when the middle layer of skin (the dermis) is stretched beyond its normal capacity. Normally, this layer of skin is fairly elastic, which means it can stretch and retract within limits. Stretch marks occur during periods of rapid weight changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, or other weight gain. Like other types of scars, stretch marks will never completely go away, but their appearance can be minimized.

Where do stretch marks show up?stretch-marks.jpg

Everyone gains weight differently, so stretch marks can show up in all sorts of places. Very common areas are thighs, arms, breasts, butt, stomach, etc. But the location depends on where you tend to put on weight, and how quickly it happens. For instance, there are many people who gain weight in their belly and torso area (where stretch marks might show up), but their butt and thighs remain small. Others might get a thicker bottom half, and manage to keep toned abs. Even more crazy, some people have never been pregnant, but have stretch marks on their belly, while some women have multiple pregnancies with no scarring. If you slowly gain weight over a long period of time, you may not have any marks at all, but a very fast gain of ten pounds can result in stretch marks.

It’s also important to know that stretch marks can take a number of different appearances. Some are relatively small, thin, or light-colored, while others can be dark, large, and thick. You may have a combination of appearances, depending on how severely the skin was damaged.

Can I minimize the appearance of stretch marks?

Yes and no. As mentioned above, stretch marks are a type of scarring, and scars are generally permanent. So from that perspective, you’ll never get stretch marks to go away completely. It is possible, however, to minimize their appearance through a variety of treatments. These can range from the expensive (laser treatments) to options on a budget (creams that minimize the appearance of scars). Of course, your stretch marks might not bother you at all, and that’s fine too! Many women consider theirs a badge of honor from carrying a child, and stretch marks can be representative of a long struggle with body image, and finally coming to a healthy place. Regardless of which boat you fall into (wanting to get rid of them or leave them), stretch marks are a normal part of life, and Porcelana supports your preference either way!