Many people will develop stretch marks over the course of their lifetime. Women are especially prone to stretch marks as a result of pregnancy, although anyone can develop them. They commonly appear on the abdomen, breasts, lower back, thighs, buttocks and upper arms.
Stretch marks, referred to as striae by health professionals, occur when there is a rapid change in weight, usually a weight gain, such as weight gain that commonly occurs during puberty and pregnancy when the body grows rapidly and the skin becomes stretched as a result.
The skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, or outermost layer, provides protection to the organs and structures beneath it; the dermis, composed of collagen and elastic fibers, provides elasticity and strength to the skin; and the hypodermis, composed of fat, whose purpose is to anchor the skin to the underlying bones and muscles.
In order to understand how specific products are used to reduce stretch marks, it is important to understand how stretch marks form. Stretch marks are formed when there is damage to the dermis, the middle layer of skin. Damage occurs from rapid stretching, resulting in tearing of this tissue.
Hormones called glucocorticoids also play a role, affecting the epidermis by inhibiting the formation of elastin and collagen fibers. The characteristic appearance of stretch marks is due to the damage to the dermal layer of the skin, which results in tiny tears in blood vessels. Stretch marks initially appear as reddish or purplish streaks or lines which show through the epidermal layer. Over time, these lines will fade to a whitish or silvery hue.
Products formulated to improve the appearance of stretch marks generally target the formation of collagen and elastin. There are several products on the market under different names; many of these products have ingredients in common:
• Retinol- Retinol is a popular stretch mark remedy. It is a form of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin. Retinol is thought to stimulate collagen production. Retinol also contains rose hip oil, which moisturizes and hydrates the skin.
• Tretinoin- (Retinoic acid) Tretinoin, also known by the name Retin-A, is also a form of vitamin A. Formal studies have shown some success when Tretinoin is used on early stretch marks. Tretinoin should not be used during pregnancy. Those using Tretinoin should avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, as they may be more prone to sunburn.
• Trilastin- composed of elastin, collagen and soy protein, Trilastin offers a money-back guarantee and is touted to work on both new and old stretch marks.
• Glycolic acid- derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that can be obtained in an over-the-counter formulation or in higher concentrations from a dermatologist. It works by removing the outermost layer of skin, revealing new skin underneath.
• Vitamin C creams- vitamin C is thought to increase collagen production. Creams containing vitamin C should be used early in the development of stretch marks.
The above products are just a few of the numerous products available to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Although these products may improve the appearance of stretch marks, stretch marks are very difficult to remove completely. In general, products used to treat stretch marks should be used as early in the formation of stretch marks as possible in order to ensure the best outcome possible.
Out of all the stretch mark creams tested, the highest rated stretch mark creams is: Revitol.
1. Revitol Discount Revitol at www.revitol.com
2. Trilastin www.Trilastin.com