Stretch Mark Cream

Has your weight lifting left you with stretch marks on your shoulders? Have your children left you with pregnancy stretch marks as souvenirs of their temporary internal residence? Among the many available remedies for stretch marks, you won’t find anything better time tested than a solid stretch mark cream for the project of getting rid of these ugly tracks on your skin.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

At its most basic level, stretch marks could be explained as the scars from your skin tearing when some part of your body grew underneath it too quickly for the skin to keep up. Gradual body changes, such as a weight gain over time, don’t cause stretch marks because your body is given enough time to manufacture the necessary new skin cells to cover increasing area. A sudden expansion though, especially one like a growing pregnant belly, can overtax your skin’s ability to keep up. Different people might find themselves with stretch marks after a sudden weight gain or the quick gain of muscle mass associated with bodybuilding or an adolescent growth spurt.

There is likely a genetic component to your propensity to get stretch marks. After all, some women who don’t gain much weight with a pregnancy will end up with a veritable road mark of stretch marks, while other women carry twins without ever seeing a single such mark. It has been generally observed that your outcome is likely to be similar to whatever your own mother experienced, which leads many people to believe that family history plays a role. If your mother never got stretch marks when she was pregnant, you may escape them too. If she ended up criss-crossed with them, you may want to take preventive measures when your turn comes.

In addition to the genetic factor, it has been demonstrated that nutrition and skin care can measurably affect the incidence of stretch marks experienced by any individual. A diet that is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin E, for example, will give your body some of the critical building blocks for new skin cell construction (which might prevent stretch marks altogether) as well as for repair of damaged tissues. Likewise, the use of a good stretch mark cream during a high-risk time (like pregnancy or a growth spurt) can keep your skin more elastic and less likely to sustain damage.

How Does a Stretch Mark Cream Work?

Starting again at a basic level, any stretch mark cream—or for that matter, any moisturizer at all—can have the beneficial effect of keeping your skin cells hydrated and more elastic. The less brittle your skin is during a period of growth, the less likely it is to tear and leave the scars of visible stretch marks. With this in mind, a good stretch mark cream applied during a period of growth may enable you to avoid the marks altogether.

Your skin cells are designed to be filled with a good amount of water. That water enables the cell’s basic functions to go forward, and it also makes the cell resilient. Picture a dry paper towel for a moment, and imagine if you fold it in half and crease it. The crease remains visible even after you unfold the towel. A wet paper towel, on the other hand, would show no sign of being folded once you re-opened it. It isn’t a precise analogy, but it could begin to give you a picture of why your skin needs a high moisture content in order to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. Using stretch mark cream with a solid moisturizing base can help your skin stay pliable like that wet paper towel.

If your skin cells have gotten too dry, they will break rather than stretching or bending. With the breakage of many cells in the tissue, the result is the track on the skin that you know as a stretch mark. The most important element of any stretch mark cream, whether you are using it to prevent or to get rid of stretch marks, is ability to keep your skin moisturized.

What Else Can Stretch Mark Cream Do?

Generally speaking, an effective stretch mark cream doesn’t stop at moisturizing. For those creams that are formulated to help you be rid of stretch marks that have already occurred, some healing aids are in order. What you have, after all, is essentially a scarring area where your skin is still working at the business of healing. If you can deliver the necessary compounds that your skin tissue needs in order to rebuild a healthy surface, you can speed up the process and watch those stretch marks fade all the faster.

Most creams, ointments, unguents, and moisturizers designed to target stretch marks will include several additives that give your skin the needed help in healing. Natural herbal and botanical sources are the most common for ingredients of most of these skin creams. You do not need specially formulated chemicals from any scientist’s research lab; you simply need the basic nutrients and compounds that your skin can put to use in the healing process. These ingredients can include herbals like aloe vera, green tea, tea tree oil, and essential oils from lavender, marigolds, rosemary, alfalfa, and jasmine.

How to Use Stretch Mark Cream

Since moisturizing is a key to treating and preventing stretch marks, feel free to be liberal with the application of your moisturizing cream. You should especially use it after bathing or showering, to help your skin to retain the moisture to which it was just exposed.  You can even choose to apply a cream or oil to your skin after bathing, without drying yourself off first. This process seals in the water that was still on your skin, ensuring that skin cells have sufficient moisture.

Apply the stretch mark cream regularly and frequently, even several times a day, on the areas where you see stretch marks or where you fear you may get some. If you give your skin what it needs, it will fight the battle for you.