Stretch marks are streaks or lines that appear on the surface of the skin when it’s been suddenly stretched.
They most commonly appear if you’re pregnant, if you’ve had a period of weight gain or you are going through puberty.
Although they happen naturally, some people can find their stretch marks unsightly and have treatment for them. This can involve lifestyle and dietary changes to help the skin replenish.
Stretch marks signs and symptoms
Stretch marks begin as red or purple lines that are long and thin. They gradually fade to a silvery-white colour.
The stomach, buttocks, breasts and thighs are areas of the body that are most affected.
Stretch marks don’t affect everyone as it depends on the amount of collagen is in your skin. Those who have less collagen are more likely to develop deep set stretch marks.
Weight gain is one of the biggest factors that cause stretch marks to develop. Yo-yo dieting will make your weight go up and down over a short period of time, causing the top layer of your skin to expand and retract. This is how stretch marks form.
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. If you need to lose weight, you shouldn’t lose more than 1lb a week.
Looking after your skin can also help to improve it’s elasticity. Wearing sunscreen everyday and moisturising regularly can stop it from be damaged by environmental factors that break down keratin, the strongest protein in your skin that forms rigidity.
Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, can help keep your skin healthy and prevent stretch marks from forming.
Zinc is needed for your skin to produce collagen. It also helps your tissues repair themselves when the surface of the skin is damaged. Foods such as fish, brazil nuts, turkey and other white meats are rich with Zinc so should be included as a key part of your diet.
Protein is also vital for healthy skin. When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids which creates new body tissue. Eat the complete proteins such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and soy as these contain eight essential amino acids.
To help stretch marks fade, it’s recommended to use products that penetrate the three layers of your skin: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
Akoma Shea Butter is unrivalled for treating deep set skin issues like stretch marks. This is because of its high count of principal fatty acids which increases its levels of vitamin A and E.
These vitamins keep your skin protected and supple, which are two key factors that help stretch marks fade.
The high antioxidant count in shea butter also helps your skin’s natural repair systems so if new stretch marks appear, your skin will work quickly to help them fade.
We also recommend Akoma Coconut Oil as a deep moisturiser. Coconut Oil helps reduce the scarring caused by stretch marks and helps to prevent them in future. It can also be used all over the body to smooth other damaged areas of skin.