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What are the causes of stretch marks anyway?

By Diane S. (c), Spa Sentiments

Stretch Marks, an Unfortunate Fact of Life

As most women who have given birth are well aware, stretch marks are simply an unfortunate fact of life. Not all women have them, but a large percentage of them do, and men sometimes suffer from them as well. It makes sense once you realize all the various ways that stretch marks can occur.

Common Causes of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are simply marks on the skin that range from pink to red to purple and reside in the dermis layer of the skin. Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched an excessive amount and eventually tears, causing elastin and collagen fibers to break down. This tearing process results in unfortunate scarring that will, with luck, fade somewhat over the years eventually (in most cases) turning white in color. To help reduce the scarring, the right stretch mark cream can work wonders.

If tearing the skin sounds like something that only happens to extreme sports enthusiasts, think again! Any intense change in body shape, like rapid weight loss or weight gain, can stretch and tear the skin and result in stretch marks: that's why pregnancy is by far the most common culprit for causing stretch marks. If you're wondering, however, why your neighbor who has had five children doesn't suffer from stretch marks, it may have something to do with her skin type: drier skin tends to be more susceptible to stretch marks.

Stretch Mark Cream, Do They or Don't They?

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce unsightly stretch marks. Some methods are more popular than others, but few work better than a high quality stretch mark cream.

Stretch mark creams come in many different formulations. The most effective ones contain special ingredients such as elastin, collagen, emu oil and liposomes, which can help penetrate the skin's layers and work on the damaged skin. Some of these creams work on both old and new stretch marks, with results visible from a few weeks to a few months after beginning treatment. They are safer and easier to use and far less expensive than most other stretch mark treatment options. The challenge is finding the right cream!

Buying Tips:

If you're considering purchasing a cream for stretch marks, look for these features before buying:
  • Check for active ingredients like collagen, elastin, aloe vera gel, vitamin E and glycolic acid. Also, does the product contain "high" amounts of these ingredients? (some creams only have enough of an ingredient to 'legally' be able to say that their cream contains the ingredient)

  • Does the product have a good "delivery" system such as emu oil, liposomes or some other type of effective 'carrier'?

  • Rule out stretch mark creams that contain water, which dilutes the product.

  • Does the company have a professional web site with access to their contact information such as their address and phone number? (be leery of web sites that do not provide their contact information)

  • Does the company have real user testimonials about the cream?

  • Most importantly, what kind of guarantee does the company offer for the cream? (be leery of companies that offer you the "moon" - - - especially if they do not have a "strong" money back guarantee)

Diane S. is a contributing editor for Spa Sentiments, the creators of Stretch Renew™, a unique cream that helps repair stretch marks and prevent new ones from forming. Safe and fast acting, it comes with a 120-day money back guarantee. To learn more about Stretch Renew™, click here: Stretch Renew Stretch Mark Cream