Stretch marks typically occur because the skin does not rebound after rapid expansion. They happen on the dermis of the skin, which is the flexible area of the skin's coating. Its shape can be preserved, except when it is stretched continuously. The dermis area then suffers a collapse that causes the stretch marks. This can be as a result of weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy. It creates the look of scarring that has a purplish or reddish hint of color to it, and later develops into the look of shiny streaks of white or silver.
Women and men are both prone to getting stretch marks, though women are more likely to get them. They can appear on the stomach, breasts, upper arms, lower back and thighs.There are several ways to help fade the scars caused by stretch marks. They can naturally fade over the course of time. Take hot baths that will enhance circulation while massaging and exfoliating the area with a loofah. Vicks VapoRub has also been useful in decreasing the prominence of old stretch marks. Or break open Vitamin E gel capsules to get to the oil and rub it over the damaged skin. There are also a wide variety of over-the-counter stretch mark lotions and creams. The most helpful ingredients are emu oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, rose hip oil, jojoba oil, vitamin A and vitamin E. Or try Retin-A, which must be prescribed by a doctor in cream form, to help to minimize the appearance of stretch marks.
There are also medical measures that can aid in stretch mark removal. Try one of several forms of laser therapy performed by a dermatologist. Microdermabrasion, which is offered in some beauty salons and spas, is a process where the outer layer of skin is eliminated chemically. Endermologie is done by a machine that massages and manipulates the skin to increase circulation. Or undergo cosmetic surgery, such as a tummy tuck, for total removal of stretch marks.