If a person notices parallel lines on the stomach, it means he/she definitely got some stretch marks. These marks are never a life-threatening condition and surely cannot lead to a physical discomfort, yet they are never pleasant or appealing. Stretch marks on stomach are normally differently colored (from pink and to light grey or deep purple) and may have different textures. In rare cases they feel sore and itchy. And though you may have such lines practically anywhere, they are mostly common to your stomach than any other areas.
Who Is Always at Risk of Gaining Stretch Marks on Stomach?
Today doctors define nine types of people susceptible to having these lines more than others. So, the following can put anyone at greater risk:
- Being pregnant;
- Being a female;
- Having a family history of the condition;
- Being overweight;
- Having a pale skin type;
- Delivering twins;
- Delivering large babies;
- Taking corticosteroid drugs;
- Having the history of a great weight gain or loss.
In case you are at a risk group, you need to take care of your body more than usually and more than others do.
Common & Rare Causes of Stretch Marks on Stomach
When you see grey or red stretch marks on stomach, they may have appeared due to the following five reasons:
- Lifting Weights
Males and females, who begin to gain the muscle mass at a really fast rate, often get many different signs on the body (athletes are in the list). It means that being in a nice physical shape doesn’t mean your body is free from stretch marks. It doesn’t matter what you have heard, these marks are no longer the signs of weight problems and obesity, because they often appear even in males and females in a great physical shape.
When you lift weights, muscles under the skin keep growing at a really fast rate, so it’s hard for the upper skin layers to deal with the growth. If it’s the case with you, check areas around arms as well as shoulders.
- Fatness and Fast Weight Gain
It is regarded as just one of the reasons, yet people blame it very often. When the body stores much fat in the stomach area, this area is most likely to be covered with multiple stretch marks. The number as well as the size of stretch marks on stomach greatly depends on the extent of one’s weight gain. The more kilograms are added within a short period of time, the severer the marks occur.
When it comes to females, pregnancy is the main trigger of having pink as well as red lines on stomach. Why so? While the baby grows, the woman’s stomach keeps stretching at a very rapid pace. It is a common case when the marks appear all over the belly during this period. In case of multiple pregnancies, new stretch marks appear after every pregnancy.
- Fast Growing
Not only adults, but also teenagers often find stretch marks around their stomach. The cases are frequent in those, who suffer from being overweight. Perhaps, the commonest explanation why such lines appear in teens is the fast growth of spurts during the puberty period. In case of weight gain as well as obesity, the child’s body expands much faster than usually, so that the skin layers can hardly deal with the process without having any signs left on.
The fifth common cause mentioned is the hormonal imbalance. It may affect during different life stages and periods:
- Weight gain as well as weight loss;
- Weight lifting, etc.
Preventing the occurrence of marks is possible, yet it’s too hard, so most people fail. The hormonal problem that takes place during the periods mentioned above can cause the tearing of elastin and collagen fibers over the skin, which is stretched. So, these are the reasons why such marks or lines appear.
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks on Stomach?
There is more than just one way to go in order to eliminate or annihilate stretch marks on stomach. We’ve chosen the most effective ways of elimination that you may use.
- Natural Ways of Removal
There exist many different options that are unbelievably effective in removing the stretch lines. A popular list includes lotions as well as creams, exercising or regular healthy diets. But, unfortunately, most of them fail, when it comes to producing fast and pleasing results for sufferers with well-developed scars and/or old stretches. Generally, such products prove their efficacy only when tried on relatively fresh or very small stretch marks. But still, instead of removing the marks for good, they only make them fade.
However, this option has its own benefits: lotions and/or creams are less costly than popular cosmetic or dermatology procedures. Such products can be bought from retailers or over the Internet. They can be used without professional prescriptions as they never pose any dangers to the skin and its health.
- Laser Marks Removal
How is the treatment of removing performed? A small beam of light helps in removing thin skin layers that are around the stretch marks on stomach. The choice of excimer laser is now regarded as the most beneficial for scars and stretches elimination. It doesn’t burn or cut the marked skin areas as it happens in case with other laser types. It operates high-energy UV laser light instead. This light works tearing the molecular bonds of patient’s skin tissue. It makes the tissue split in ablation.
After the treatment is complete, the stretches vanish for good and the damaged areas heal easily and pretty quickly. Then fresh skin layers start forming.
The treated area will look tender. Sometimes it is red after the procedure. Some people report other signs of treatment that include blistering, too. However, such signs and symptoms remain for several days only. The healing process that lasts for weeks hasn’t been reported yet.
This way of stretch marks on stomach cure works for all conditions. While with other curing techniques the effects hinge on the age of lines and their length, laser treats even the most severe cases. On average a person requires around 8-10 treatments or a full removal. Each case is unique.
- Surgical Removal
In the most severe cases, when even 10 laser treatment procedures appeared ineffective for cases of full elimination, surgical treatment is turned to. Other methods only help in fading the lines, while surgeries eliminate them for good.
The process doesn’t pose any risks or dangers. During it a surgeon removes the upper layers of marked skin allowing the new as well as marks-free one to grow.
- Chemical Removing Peels
Though cosmetic peels are regarded as effective for treating wrinkles and age spots, they all can be successfully chosen for the elimination of stretch marks on stomach as well. How is the treatment performed? A dermatologist chooses a special chemical solution. It is applied to the skin either with a cotton pad or a swab, a sponge or a brush. There are various kinds of the chemical solutions as well as their strengths. The ones chosen for your stretches depend on personal needs. The solution succeeds in peeling off the marked skin layers along with dead skin. It activates the production of fresh skin cells.
Usually a patient experiences burning and maybe stinging sensations during the curing process. As to the recovery term, it normally hinges on the strength or type of the solution used. The skin type of a patient is taken into account, too. Multiple treatments are rare. This way is used for achieving the most optimal results.
Will this procedure remove the marks completely? Hardly! But still, the skin will become healthier, smoother and younger.
- Blue Light Treatment
This method is known for acne treatment. Can it be beneficial in cases of stretch marks on stomach? Yes, it can. In fact, it is frequently turned to, when it’s needed to improve the appearance of fresh and small lines. The treatment procedure includes the applications of a special photosensitive gel to one’s skin. Then the area is exposed to the bursts of light energy. Removing the marks for good is next to impossible, if the blue light treatment is used, but all sufferers notice great improvements.
Along with popular chemical peels, this choice of cure is effective in improving the look of stretch lines. Microdermabrasion procedure implies the use of a special crystal spray. The spray blasts the outer layers of the damaged skin. During the treatment course the dead cells of the patient’s skin are removed. Healthy new ones take their place. Such cells can produce more elastin as well as collagen.
The course is never painful and is taken not more than an hour. The recovery time is very short. Around 5-12 repeated procedures are required to achieve maximum benefits. You will notice the improvement of scars and marks’ appearance, though they won’t vanish for good.
How to Prevent the Occurrence of Stretch Marks on Stomach?
It is very hard! No matter how active you are, pregnancy or even a mild weight gain can cause stretches on your belly. But, as long as the greater part of curing options is costly and takes much time, it’s better to consider some preventive measures to be taken.
So, this is what can be done:
- Keep the body hydrated: drink much water to ensure the inner moisture and well-hydrated body skin;
- Apply vitamin E-rich topical ointments on stomach as well as any other areas, where stretches are expected the most;
- Eat more vegetables, pick fruits rich in various vitamins as they will keep the skin not only healthy, yet also strong;
- Refuse from drinking too many strong drinks or caffeine: they are diuretics, which take the moisture from the layers of skin;
- Make your skin feel and look more elastic with various moisturizers;
- Ingest more zinc to ensure skin’s elasticity.
Stretch marks on stomach can hardly affect your health, yet they do affect the way you look. Eliminating them is a must, so make sure you apply all efforts to succeed.