Know About Stretch Marks and Weight Loss

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    Losing weight can increase your confidence and decrease your chances of developing diabetes, but losing additional weight also has its drawbacks, such as stretch marks.

    Stretch marks usually occur when people lose or gain weight quickly.
    Essentially a scar, marks develop when collagen and elastin are damaged, two proteins that keep skin healthy. Losing weight slowly can reduce your chances of developing stretch marks, says Dr. Nazanin Saedi, M.D., Director of the Jefferson Center for Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Surgery in Philadelphia, Penn. According to Dr. Konstantinos Spaniolas, associate director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Weight Loss at Stony Brook University, it is better not to lose more than one percent of your body weight each week. This helps you retain muscles, weight loss and, yes, reduces the chance of having stretch marks.

    Weightlifters that build muscle mass quickly also stretch marks for the same reasons.

    You will find stretch marks in many different areas, including the stomach, chest, arms, hips, and buttocks. They usually begin as pink or red, as blood flow to the area increases in response to damage, says Saedi. Over time, they will become translucent.

    Stretch marks may disappear on their own, but it is rare.
    "I see it more in women who develop red stretch marks during pregnancy," says Saedi. That said, it is possible for stretch marks to heal in anyone if they are still red. Older stretch marks that are translucent are much harder to treat, she says.

    Creams and lotions promise to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but they may not give you the results you want.
    Numerous studies have shown that over-the-counter products are generally ineffective in removing stretch marks, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. However, Dr. Stanley Kovak, MD of the Kovak Cosmetic Center explained to Women's Health that prescription retinol can help people who have red stretch marks.

    "The only type of cream that does something is Retin-A, which has been shown in studies that decreases redness and even stops or reverses part of the healing by having the collagen rebuilt," he explained.

    Laser therapy and microneedles are the most effective treatments.
    Saedi says they both work by essentially damaging the skin. "In response to that injury, the skin is increasing collagen production and normalizing damaged tissue," he tells Men's Health.

    There are two types of lasers used to treat stretch marks: ablative and non-ablative. The first removes the outer layer of the skin, while the second release heat to stimulate the production of collagen.

    Microneedling, as the name implies, involves the use of small needles to prick the skin.

    These options come with a high price. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, ablative laser treatment costs approximately $ 2,681, on average. Non-ablative laser treatments will cost you $ 1,410 each.

    In comparison, microneedles vary from $ 300 to 700 per session, Healthline reported.

    Saedi says that people with translucent stretch marks will not experience a dramatic difference.

    "The challenging part is that even with these devices and these treatments it is really difficult to obtain an improvement of more than 50 percent," she says.

    Simply put: stretch marks are extremely difficult to treat and often do not disappear completely.



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