True / False: 6 misconceptions about stretch marks

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If some assume them proudly, for others these welts remain a real complex. Stretch marks are small streaks or cracks that look like scars (but aren’t). “They correspond to a tear of elastic fibers and collagen in the dermis”, says dermatologist Catherine Laverdet. When they appear, they are inflammatory and “stand out” pink or purple. After a while, they spontaneously and gradually become pearly white and shrink in length and width. “They have no impact on health but are sometimes considered unsightly”, explains Catherine Laverdet.

Stretch marks are genetic

TRUE. “Genetic factors can cause stretch marks to appear. Thick skin has fewer stretch marks than thinner, more fragile skin. However, these streaks have multiple origins.”, explains the dermatologist. These welts can be due to hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy, for example. “A change in the body, such as loss or weight gain rapid and significant may also play a role in their appearance “, adds the dermatologist. Taking or applying certain cortisone-based drugs or creams can also promote their occurrence. “In some cases, stretch marks can appear because of diseases related to the adrenal glands”.

Pregnant women are the only ones affected by stretch marks

FAUX. Stretch marks are often associated with pregnancy. However, these streaks can appear on all bodies and affect both sexes. “Stretch marks appear on the body of adolescents during puberty, pregnant women during pregnancy or after childbirth but also on that of high-level athletes or bodybuilders, who have a high cortisol levels. This hormone promotes the appearance of stretch marks “, explains Catherine Laverdet.

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Stretch marks: tanning promotes their appearance

FAUX. Tanning does not show these streaks. This does not mean that they should be allowed to bask the pill. The dermatologist advises to protect them from the sun so as not to leave pigmented spots. Exposing your welts to the sun could make them even more visible because the parts of the body marked with stretch marks do not tan due to a pigment deficit. Unlike the surrounding skin, which will take on color and highlight these streaks.

Dark or mixed skin are more exposed to the appearance of stretch marks

FAUX. Dark or mixed skin is no more “favorable” to stretch marks than white skin: “This idea is false. On the other hand, the use of bleaching products, based on cortisone, promotes the appearance of these streaks”, says the dermatologist.

Stretch marks: it is possible to make them completely disappear

FAUX. “No treatment can make stretch marks 100% disappear”, reveals Catherine Laverdet. Some simple techniques and solutions can be adopted to prevent them. If they are already apparent, it suffices to treat them from the inflammatory phase with oils, lotions, anti-stretch mark creams, which are suitable for all skin types, to reduce them and improve the condition of the skin.

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Drinking plenty of water prevents the appearance of stretch marks

TRUE. Food and a healthy lifestyle are important elements. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent stretch marks from appearing. However, it’s not enough to just hydrate. “We must also favor foods rich in vitamins E (avocado), vitamins C (citrus fruits, pulses), vitamins B5 (milk, lean meats), silicon (tomatoes, carrots), zinc and copper (dried fruits, almonds), vitamins A (orange fruits and vegetables) as well as omega 3 and 6 which promote skin elasticity “, explains Catherine Laverdet. Foods to avoid are those from fast food or quick meals. Alcohol and tobacco are also to be avoided because they cause premature aging of the skin.

Thanks to Catherine Laverdet, dermatologist.

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