Stretch marks appear as linear discoloured marks on the skin, similar to scarring. Are mostly found around the hips, breasts, stomach, buttocks and thighs and are caused by the over-stretching of the skin causing the skin to tear, allowing deeper layers of skin to show through. It may slowly diminish naturally over time but will not completely be reduced without laser treatment.
They are very common with both men and women, regardless of age. Approximately 8 out of 10 pregnant women will be affected due to the skin stretched past its capability to regenerate.
When stretch marks appear, they tend to be pink, red, purple, reddish-brown, depending on your skin color. They also may feel slightly itchy at their early stages. Moisturizing the skin may help to relieve the itchiness.
There are several ways/treatments to improve the appearance of stretch marks:
- Careful weight management to avoid excess stretching and tearing of the skin
- A diet high in nutrients and adequate hydration
- Include vitamin C in your diet
- Eat foods rich in zinc