When skin lacks elastin and collagen it causes stretch marks. Stretch marks are also known as striae.
Our skin can be divided into three parts: elastin, collagen and Glycosaminoglycans. Our skin is also made up of three layers, the epidermis (top layer), the dermis (second layer), and the hypodermis (third layer). The dermis is the layer where stretch marks occur since this is the layer which contains elastin and collagen.
Elastin helps our skin to ‘stretch and recoil’ back but when it gets damaged by over stretching the elastin fibers break and the skin loses its elasticity resulting in stretch marks.
Collagen is made of protein and is essential for providing support for the cells, tissues, organs including the bone structure. The skin is said to be made up of 70 to 80 percent of collagen. When the collagen fibers get damaged it can cause wrinkles or stretch marks.
Elastin and collagen gets damaged due to hormonal changes that take place in the skin during aging, during pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, during puberty or as the skin gets exposed to the sun.
So how are hormones responsible for causing stretch marks during pregnancy? Certain hormones produced by the body during pregnancy weaken the elastin and collagen in the skin of the abdomen causing stretch marks to appear.
Toning the body through exercise helps to minimize stretch marks since it helps to both firm the skin and body. Strength training and aerobics are two commonly used exercises for toning the body.
Olive oil or Vitamin E oil
Moisturize the skin by massaging olive oil or vitamin E oil for 3-5 minutes 3 times a week to the areas which have stretch marks.
Creams rich in Vitamin C
After you shower apply a cream enriched with Vitamin C to the stretch marks. Do this on a daily basis.
Cocoa butter can also be applied instead of a cream rich in Vitamin C after a shower.
Exfoliate the skin twice a week with a scrub made from coffee or
St. Ives Apricot scrub. Use a loofah
when applying the scrub to the skin.Rinse off with warm water.
© 2012 Suranee Perera