Everything You Need to Know About Stretch Marks
File stretch marks under one of the absolute worst parts about growing up.
It doesn't matter your size or shape, stretch marks affect almost everyone (some people are just lucky enough to get them in lesser visible spots). Females, especially, tend to be victims of this unfortunate result of body growth. We get them in our chest area as our busts grow, or in our buttox, hips—and, for many, stomachs, if we get pregnant down the line, gain a bit of weight or simply just lengthen.
Stretch marks are straight-up unfair, and can have a huge effect on our self-esteem. But there's a tiny bit of reassurance in knowing that no one is alone with this.
To get the lowdown on these unfortunate marks you may start seeing appear on your body, we reached out to Dr. Audrey Kunin, founder of popular DERMAdoctor products. Keep reading for everything you need to know about stretch marks:
Sweety High: What is the definition of a "stretch mark"?
Dr. Audrey Kunin: A stretch mark is a tear in the dermis.
SH: How do you know if you have one?
DAK: You can see it on the surface of the skin. It can be flat or slightly raised, hypopigmented, darker than your skin tone or a pinkish color.
SH: What causes some people to get stretch marks all over, but others to get hardly any?
DAK: Typically genetics, hormones and weight fluctuations or rapid growth spurts are to blame.
SH: Can you prevent stretch marks? How?
DAK: Ingredients which help support dermal integrity of collagen such as Vitamin C serums or peptide creams can be applied at times of skin stress, such as pregnancy [or growth spurts], to help reduce the visibility of stretch mark formation.
SH: Can you get rid of stretch marks? How?
DAK: The same ingredients one can use preventatively can help improve the appearance of stretch marks which have formed. Topical vitamin A creams such as those containing retinol can also be useful. It is important to note not to use topical vitamin A products when pregnant or nursing.
SH: Any advice for people who feel insecure about their stretch marks?
DAK: They're a natural part of our skin lifecycle and most people develop them at some point during their lives. Even without treatment, often times they can fade away over time.
SH: What's the difference between a stretch mark and a scar?
DAK: While a stretch mark forms as the result of tearing of the dermal collagen fibers, scars develop as normal tissue is replaced by fibrous bands following an injury.
SH: Are there any brands or products you recommend to treat them?
DAK: DERMAdoctor Kakadu C 20% Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E or Strivectin SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks.
If you're feeling a bit insecure about your stretch marks, click HERE to read how one of our writers learned to be okay with hers.