Stretch marks or 'striae' are the given name to the discolored, scar-like markings that can happen on the skin as a result of being stretched. Stretch marks can be white or sometimes a deep glossy purple.
Stretch marks can occur anywhere on the body and are often cause for concern. Stretch marks do not pose any threat to general health, but they can result in a decline in body confidence and self-esteem, which often sees sufferers searching for ways to get stretch marks to go away after weight loss.
Why Stretch Marks Happen.
If you look down at your stomach or legs and are witnessing these annoying markings, then you might be wondering how can you get stretch marks in the first place?
Stretch marks are usually the result of a rapid increase in the size of the body. This could be from:
- Growth spurts, very common in teenage boys.
- Picking up a significant amount of weight.
- Putting on a large amount of muscle mass.
- Experiencing significant swelling or growing in one area. This can include pregnancy stretch marks and injury stretch marks.
Some medical conditions are often associated with stretch marks, including diabetes, obesity, and Cushing disease. The conditions themselves do not cause the stretching of the skin, but instead, the weight gain or body size increase that they commonly result in.
Do They Fade From Losing Weight?
Due to weight gain being one of the most common causes of stretch marks, it begs the question, does losing weight get rid of stretch marks?
Fortunately, stretch marks can reduce in severity and even disappear after losing weight and returning to a 'normal' body size, but this isn't always the case for everyone.
The health benefits of losing weight can quite literally be life-saving, but being left with the constant reminder of your past in the form of stretch marks can put a real dampening on the achievement.
Do stretch marks ever go away after weight loss, even with a little help?
If stretch marks do not go away on their own, or at least fade to the point that they are no longer noticeable, the chances are that the damage is too deep and so getting them to go away is going to be a very difficult task.
There are many products on the market that make bold claims of being able to repair or fade stretch marks, but very few, if any, are supported by any substantial evidence.
The best way to prevent stretch marks is to avoid getting them in the first place – prevention is always the best medicine!
To treat stubborn stretch marks, a dermatologist should be your first point of call. Treatments such as Chemical peels, Microdermabrasion, and lasering can all help to help the appearance of stretch marks and make them less noticeable.
Products such as 'bio-oil' and other skin hydration has also been found to help stretch marks go away after weight loss.
Why Skin Changes After Weight Loss And Gain.
When weight is gained, the body very literally increases in size, which in turn causes the skin to follow suit. The skin is very good at adapting to our body shape, but if changes happen too rapidly, the skin can micro tear and cause stretches.
When weight is subsequently lost, the skin does shink as well, but the stretch marks will remain. This is because the damage to the skin has already been done, somewhat in the same way a scar remains after a cut heals.