Stretchmarks: They are the lines that give us great unpleasantness at the beach

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First, let's review what are stretch marks. The most basic explanation is they are scars that occur on the "inside" of the skin. A bit more scientific explanation is that the skin has different layers to it. The first layer is the epidermis followed by the dermis layer followed by subcutaneous tissues. Structural components of this middle dermis layer are collagen, elastic fibers, and extrafibrillar matrix. When the dermis undergoes rapid stretching, it tears. This tear results in an off-color hue that is seen from outside the skin. What is the biggest culprit in causing the formation of these tears is weight gain. One of the many unwanted symptoms of letting ourselves go weight wise is the pulling force on the skin that overcomes the dermis's elasticity to produce these tears. Additional factors that can cause these tears are pregnancy, puberty, and weight training. We all know the common areas where they appear. The upper arms, the inner thighs (making beach going a lot less fun), and buttocks.

So the information is plain as to what they are and where they come from. Now how to get rid of them. Thankfully there are various treatment methods at your disposal ranging from incisive surgery to natural skin care products.

For those with stria on their stomach, there is the popularly known "tummy tuck" that is the stretch marks treatment through cosmetic surgery. This involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle of the abdominal wall. This is an effective option for those coming out of pregnancy or with sagging after major weight loss. The skin is greatly tightened resulting in the loss of appearance in both the color and depth of the striae. The negatives of this option are easy to see however. Recovery time is at minimum three months and can last up to a year. One has to avoid blood clots after the surgery by moving around as soon as possible (within a few days) after the surgery. If any complications arise (such as infection) they will usually delay the healing process which in turn delays the loss of stretch marks. Then there is the hefty price tag of the average tally being between USD $4,000 to $20,000.

Thankfully for those who are not looking to take a huge bite out of their bank account there are natural skin products on the market to remove striae.

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