Stretch marks are unaesthetic skin tearings caused by sudden weight gain, pregnancy, hormonal activity, drugs and various other factors. Presently, there is no cure for stretch marks, but there are a few treatments that may reduce the visibility of stretch marks. There are a lot of things known about stretch marks, but there are also numerous myths associated with stretch marks.
Myth: Stretch Marks Are Caused Only by Skin Stretching
Fact: It is true that sudden weight gain and pregnancy cause stretch marks, as the skin stretches in a short amount of time and it is not elastic enough, so it will be torn. However, stretch marks are also caused by numerous other factors such as:
- Intensive hormonal activity
- Sudden growth
- Poor diet and lack of certain vitamins
- High intake of toxins (i.e. alcohol)
- Depression and stress
- Certain drugs such as steroids, which may affect the hormonal balance of the body
Myth: Only Women Have Stretch Marks
Fact: Even if the majority of patients that have stretch marks are women, men can be affected by this problem as well. The causes that result in stretch marks in men are similar as in women. Also, teenagers can be affected by stretch marks, which are due to a sudden growth.
Myth: Stretch Marks Cannot Be Prevented
Fact: Stretch marks can be prevented with a number of measures:
- The use of moisturizing creams during pregnancy and uncontrollable weight gain
- Having a balanced diet and exercise plan that prevents weight gain
- Increasing water intake
- Using different stretch mark preventive solutions that contain coenzyme Q10, which keep the skin elastic
Myth: Stretch Marks Can Be Treated
Fact: Up to date, there are no effective cures to eliminate stretch marks. However, there are a number of products and laser treatments that can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Chemical peels and Pulsed Light Therapy may also be effective in reducing the visibility of stretch marks.
Stretch marks can be completely removed only if the affected skin is removed (i.e. through an arm lift surgery or a thigh lift). It is best to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks in the first place.
Myth: Stretch Marks Disappear with Weight Loss
Fact: Stretch marks don’t disappear with massive weight loss, but will fade away in time. The stretch marks are initially red or pink in color and are visible. In time, the stretch marks will become less visible and turn to a lighter color.
Myth: Stretch Marks Treatments Are Covered by Insurance
Fact: Stretch marks don’t present a health risk and the treatments are elective, so they will not be covered by any insurance plans. There are numerous financing options that can cover for the more expensive stretch marks treatments. Patients may also opt for less expensive stretch marks reducing treatments such as chemical peels or skin lotions.