If you’ve noticed red or purple markings on your skin that look like wiggly lines or stripes, they may be stretch marks. Stretch marks typically occur as a result of the rapid stretching of the skin which causes tears in the inner layers of the skin.
You may be worried about the appearance of your stretch marks and whether they will go away even after you lose weight. Here’s everything that you need to know about stretch marks and weight loss.
Stretch marks can look like purple, blue, black, pink or red streaks on your skin. New stretch marks will look slightly raised with a red or glossy colour. Over time, they eventually fade to white and start to look slightly depressed. Older stretch marks may look like scars.
They can occur anywhere on the body where fat is stored. Most commonly, they occur on the thighs, hips, buttocks and breasts. They can also appear on your shoulders, arms, back and abdomen. You might be surprised to learn that not only women but men can also get stretch marks!
Stretch marks can occur as a result of rapid weight gain when your skin stretches, causing tears in the inner layer of the skin. However, even though you may have already had them before the weight gain, the stretch marks may actually not be visible until you lose weight.
Stretch marks are commonly known to be a typical result of pregnancy, but they can also occur as a result of rapid growth due to puberty. Fast growth in muscle size due to bodybuilding can also cause stretch marks. A family history of stretch marks, Marfan syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) and Cushing’s syndrome (as a result of excess cortisol hormone which weakens elastic fibres in the skin) can result in stretch marks for both men and women.
Stretch marks are essentially scars in the inner skin tissue which fade to white over time. However, depending on your skin colour, the stretch marks may still be visible.
Most people use treatments and creams to reduce the appearance of new stretch marks. These treatments may fade stretch marks which are typically red or purple to a lighter colour. You can also prevent stretch marks or reduce the likelihood of them forming with treatment in the early stages. Read on to learn about some simple treatment options.
A balanced diet that is rich in Vitamin C and protein can help to prevent stretch marks from weight loss. Protein can be found in seafood, nuts, legumes and lean meat, while you can get Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables. These two nutrients can also stimulate collagen production which will promote skin regeneration and skin elasticity. It will also allow healing of stretch marks and reducing the likelihood of tears forming in your skin.
A diet that is also rich in Vitamin D, Vitamin E and zinc can also promote skin health and prevent stretch marks.
Avoid sugar as much as possible. If you eat too much sugar, the extra sugar can attach to your collagen fibres and damage them, reducing your collagen levels. This in turn increases the likelihood of skin tears and stretch marks.
Dry skin is more likely to have tears in the inner layers when the skin stretches due to rapid weight gain. Stay hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of water daily to keep your skin soft and improve skin elasticity, reducing the likelihood of skin damage.
Avoid coffee or other caffeinated beverages as they typically dehydrate your skin, resulting in a higher chance of stretch marks.
There are creams and oils available that can help you reduce the appearance of your stretch marks.
Stretch mark creams typically contain lipids and peptides that stimulate the collagen and elastin in your skin to promote skin regeneration and healing. They strengthen and firm the skin while reducing the formation of new stretch marks. Creams also may contain hydrating ingredients that nourish the skin and restore skin barrier function.
Stretch mark oils usually have Vitamin E which provides omega fatty acids to increase skin elasticity. This improves the appearance of stretch marks while reducing new stretch mark formation. Vitamin E also has antioxidants to minimise skin damage caused by free radicals.
Stretch marks can become visible when you are losing weight and are quite common as the skin stretches due to weight gain or rapid growth. While they may look unattractive, fortunately, they do not indicate any serious medical problems.
There are various treatments available to prevent stretch marks and reduce the appearance of any existing stretch marks you have. A healthy diet, plenty of hydration and topical creams and oils can reduce the appearance of your stretch marks.
You can also consult your dermatologist about other recommendations to manage your stretch marks.
Established in 2011, SOG Health Pte. Ltd. (“SOG”) is a leading healthcare service provider dedicated to delivering holistic health and wellness services to the modern family.
With a long and established track record in Singapore providing Obstetrics and Gynaecology (“O&G”) services such as pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has since further expanded its spectrum of healthcare services to include Paediatrics, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Cancer-related General Surgery (Colorectal, Breast & Thyroid) and postpartum Confinement Care.
The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Paediatrics, Cancer-related and Dermatology, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access to its patients.
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