Thursday, April 29, 2010

About Stretch Marks

Stretch marks often start off as purplish or reddish in color and then become glossy skin that appears streaked in white or silver. Skin does not back to normal if it is been stretched by rapid growth due to weight gain, pregnancy, or extreme weight loss. Instead, it becomes decorated by a form of scarring called stretch marks, or striae. Stretch marks occur in the skin layer known as dermis, which is the elastic middle layer of skin that allows it to retain its shape and effect. However, due to constant skin stretched, the dermis can break down and resulting the stretch marks. Both men and women are not excluded from having stretch marks on several areas of their bodies, including the abdominal area, breasts, upper arms, thighs, lower back or hips.

What should you do about stretch marks?

There are several alternative treatment for stretch marks prevention and cure. The degree of success with any treatment will be impacted by your age, your skin tone and even your diet.

The alternative treatment include:

Stretch Marks Surgery

Dermabrasion, chemical peels, or laser surgery can be used to address ugly stretch marks.

Prevention Lotions And Creams

A lot of over-the-counter stretch mark treatments are available. However, before buying any prevention lotions or cream, ask your doctor first to recommend one. And, if you are pregnant, discuss your concern with your doctor at the beginning of your pregnancy, before stretch marks develop, so that preventive treatment can be used.

Diet And Exercise

You need to drink a lot of water. This is to ensure that there is adequate hydration to keep your skin soft and less likely to develop stretch marks. Any drinks that contain caffeine can increase your risk of stretch marks. If you are stuck on your caffeinated coffee or tea, make sure you balance the fluids. Plain water is a good one. You need to drink just as much or more water as you drink coffee, tea, or soda. Beside that, nutritional deficiency can also cause stretch marks. Therefore, be sure to consume foods that promote skin health which rich in zinc, such as nuts or fish; foods high in vitamins A and C, such as carrots and citrus fruits as well as milk; protein-rich foods, such as eggs.

It is best to be in the care of a surgeon or dermatologist. He or she can determine which treatment options is best for you.

Does insurance cover surgery to remove stretch marks?

Insurance may not cover stretch mark removal treatement or surgery because it is consider as a cosmetic procedure (even thought the stretch marks are very serious). Talk to your respective insurance provider to find out what is covered under your insurance policy.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dermatology.

Edited by Cynthia Dennison Haines, MD.