The tell-tale signs of stretch marks

Are you feeling stretched too the edge of frustration by Stretch Marks? You’re not alone. Many women and men suffer with some degree of stretch marks on their skin. Whilst many people blame them on a lack of body moisturiser, stretch marks are in fact a sign of poor skin cell integrity which yep you guessed it can be traced back to nutritional deficiencies especially low Zinc levels, Vitamin C and Essential Fatty Acids.

Stretch marks can often appear during times when nutrient intake requirements are at risk of depletion such as puberty, pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss and corticoid steroid medications. Men also suffer from stretch marks, particularly on the love handle weight gain areas or at the top of the arms due to rapid muscle gain usually from muscle building. Men also require higher zinc levels from their diet, the skin often being the first to show signs of this nutrient depletion in the form of stretch marks or acne.

Stretch marks or the medical term ‘striae’, are a form of scarring on the skin due to tearing of the lower layers of the skin, which over time may diminish, but will not disappear completely. New stretch marks look like pink or red lines in the skin which over time fade into white scars. The glucocorticoid hormones responsible for the development of stretch marks affect the connective tissue of skin preventing the fibroblasts from forming collagen and elastin fibres. These fibres are necessary to keep skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal and epidermal tearing or stretch marks as we know it. Steroid medications and certain diseases such as Cushing syndrome can therefore result in stretch marks appearing, often across the abdomen area.

Healthy connective tissue requires adequate dietary intake of essential amino acids, vitamin C, zinc and essential fats to support cell membrane integrity. A diet high in processed foods can often be deficient in these nutrients explaining one of the reasons why some people are more prone to stretch marks. Add in artificial trans fats to the mix and you end up with cells that harden, weaken and lose their flexibility which only further exasperates the problem.

Anti-Stretch Mark Foods:
  • Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel

  • Protein such as lean red meat, fish, chicken, lentils and eggs

  • Nuts, seeds, avocados, flaxseed oil

  • Berries, carrots, pumpkin, capsicum, leafy greens, citrus fruits

  • Seaweeds and sea vegetables such as spirulina, kombe, dulse, nori

So can cream remove stretch marks? Sadly for us -- there is no miracle cream to remove stretch marks however ensuring that your diet is full of skin building nutrients will certainly help to prevent further stretch marks from appearing.

Professional treatments such as dermal rolling and laser can significantly improve the appearance of stretch marks and whilst rubbing nutrient rich oils into the skin can help with skin flexibility, no cream has the magic power to banish stretch marks for good.

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