What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are marks, in the form of long, fine lines, that appear when the skin is stretched too much in a short time, causing the elastic fibers to break.
These situations can occur due to weight gain, pregnancy and in adolescence as they grow older.
Like wrinkles, stretch marks involve a breakdown of collagen in the dermal matrix. This happens when the tissue undergoes tissue expansion or dilation.
Stretch marks are usually reddish in color (inflammatory phase). When they look white (cicatricial phase), it means that there is no more blood supply.
Although some people think that stretch marks only affect women, the truth is that men also get them. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, although they are more common in areas where fat is usually stored, such as the chest, arms, thighs, abdomen and buttocks.
Stretch mark treatments
The truth is that there is no evidence that stretch marks can be prevented or removed with manual or cosmetic treatments. Despite the multitude of products sold for this purpose, none of them have scientific evidence.
It is not enough just to moisturize the skin, although products designed for this purpose will make it look more hydrated and therefore smoother and softer, but they do not have the ability to prevent collagen breakdown.
For this purpose, ingredients that promote the stimulation of fibroblastic activity must be used. But a study of the stria and its characteristics must be performed.
To prevent the appearance of stretch marks, emphasis should be placed on improving the skin structure, which allows the skin to withstand stretching when there is a growth in the volume of adjacent tissues.
When stretch marks are in the inflammatory phase, when they have a reddish or purple color, the indicated treatment must activate the formation of collagen and elastin, as well as activate tissue regeneration. This treatment will only have an effect if the person reaches their usual weight and volume again.
Therefore, the active principles that favor these actions are:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Placenta extracts
- Vitamins A, B, C, D and E
- Collagen and elastin hydrolyzate
- Asiaticosides. Active principle present in centella asiatica, with stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Protein and nucleic lysates
All these active ingredients should be applied by means of a soft and prolonged massage to increase circulation in the area.
In the next phase, the scar phase, which is when the stretch mark is already fully formed, it is very difficult to reconstruct the tissue with cosmetic products.
Stretch mark treatment
Therefore, the use of invasive and very expensive medical devices or treatments will be necessary.
Radiofrequency and laser treatments are usually effective. Dermabrasion and chemical peeling do not eliminate stretch marks, but improve their appearance.
Also effective against cellulite is the product 3D Sculptor for use with electroporation. It is indicated for fat reduction, tissue modeling, drainage and cellulite reduction.
Food against stretch marks
Diet does help. Vitamins A, C, D and zinc can prevent the appearance of skin tags. Vitamin A can also help prevent stretch marks from appearing, since one of its functions is to stretch the skin.
On the other hand, drinks such as alcoholic drinks, those containing caffeine, theine and soft drinks should be avoided. All of them favor the appearance of stretch marks.
Stretch marks usually fade over time and no treatment will achieve such an effect as time. It is usually a long process and sometimes they are just smoothed out.
Sport helps to increase blood circulation, which aids in prevention. Sun exposure and swimming in swimming pools should be avoided, as ultraviolet radiation and color dry the skin.