Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis during periods of rapid growth of the body, such as during puberty or pregnancy.
Stretch marks may also be influenced by the hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, or hormone replacement therapy.
What are Stretch Marks?
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
The most common areas affected include:
Stretch marks are not physically dangerous but can cause problems with self-image and anxiety. For some people, stretch marks are a significant cosmetic concern that can affect day-to-day living.
Major Causes of Stretch Marks
Common causes of skin stretching include:
- Pregnancy: Between 50 and 90 percent of women who are pregnant experience stretchmarks during or after birth.
- Puberty: Rapid growth is typical in young people going through puberty. This can lead to stretch marks.
- Rapid weight gain: Putting on a lot of weight in a short space of time can cause stretch marks.
- Medical conditions: Certain conditions can cause stretch marks, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome. Marfan syndrome can lead to decreased elasticity in the skin tissue, and Cushing’s syndrome can lead the body to produce too much of a hormone that leads to rapid weight gain and skin fragility.
- Corticosteroid use: Prolonged use of corticosteroid creams and lotions can decrease levels of collagen in the skin. Collagen strengthens and supports the skin, and a reduced amount can increase the risk of stretch marks.
Prevention of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks cannot always be prevented. However, the following steps may help to reduce the risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid yo-yo dieting.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Consuming a suitable amount of vitamins A and C can help support the skin, as well as the minerals zinc and silicon.
- Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
Baby Oil on Stretch Marks
What Is Baby Oil?
Baby oil is nothing more than mineral oil mixed with fragrance to give the oil a fresh scent, and mineral oil is completely natural, composed of hydrocarbons found in petroleum.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, baby oil contains no toxic chemicals or pesticides. Baby oil is used to soothe, soften and moisturize cracked, dry and irritated skin
Baby oil is a safe product made with mineral oil, so it’s highly emollient and sometimes suggested as a remedy for dry skin, stretch marks and other pregnancy skin conditions.
Before you use baby oil on your body during pregnancy, ensure that it’s both safe and effective for the intended application.
A whole slew of stretch-mark prevention creams are available to pregnant women and many list mineral oil as one of their ingredients. Stretch marks are the result of skin elasticity, so while you cannot increase the natural elasticity of your skin, it stands to reason that more moisturized skin stretches more effectively.
Even still, applying baby oil on a daily basis, while safe, likely won’t prevent you from getting stretch marks in the later weeks of your pregnancy.
Your skin elasticity is genetic, so your mother’s stretch mark situation is a better indicator as to whether or not you’ll see the streaks crop up on your skin.
Other Uses of Baby Oils
Razor Bumps With Baby Oil
Baby oil can be used alone on razor bumps, or you can mix it with another product if the bumps are especially bothersome. Apply a few drops of baby oil to the affected area of the skin and rub it in well. Do this a few times each day to provide relief.
You can also mix baby oil with a few drops of rubbing alcohol and apply that to the irritated area. Baby oil works to moisturize the skin while alcohol has antiseptic properties which help treat the rash and prevent the bumps from worsening.
Baby oil is use to combat dry skin.
In infants, baby oil is use for dry patches attributed to cradle cap and eczema. Adults can utilize the moisturizing effects of baby oil for dry elbows, knees and feet. Baby oil can also help reduce cuticles.
Lastly, baby oil are also great in preventing having stretch marks. This is good news for pregnant women since even before their bellies get bigger, they can apply baby oil to prevent having stretch marks or at least lessen its appearance.
Use the baby oil every time you bathe, but try and take a hot shower daily and treat with baby oil following. Exfoliate twice a week to promote fresh skin.
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