What are stretch marks?
Basically, stretch marks are scars or disfiguring lesions. There are multiple names for these types of marks: striae, striae atrophicans, striae gravidarum, and striae distensae.
Although the names may sound intimidating, stretch marks are not really physically dangerous. But, developing them may negatively affect self-esteem and self-image issues. In today’s world of photoshop, these marks can become a cosmetic concern for many women.
How do stretch marks form?
Stretch marks are scar types that develop when our skin shrinks or stretches in a short span of time. The sudden change causes the underlying collagen and elastin that act as a support to our skin to rupture. These marks appear after the skin starts to heal.
The reasons which lead to stretch marks include pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, and so on. The skin cannot return back to its normal state after this period of intense growth. Even sudden growth spurts during puberty can cause stretch marks.
The most commonly affected areas are the abdomen, hips, buttocks, breasts, flanks, and thighs.
How can you get rid of stretch marks?
Before we list the different ways in which you can try to get rid of stretch marks, we like to point out that a single treatment may not work for everyone while some products may not work at all.
So, it’s mostly a trial and error game. Again, using these treatments does not guarantee 100% stretch mark removal but, you may see a reduction in the overall appearance.
Using stretch mark creams, gels, and lotions
Initially, there were concerns that using stretch mark creams and lotions were not really that helpful for stretch mark removal. Researchers then studied these topicals and concluded that applying the products diligently does have the potential to fade stretch marks.
Also, we would like to point out that stretch mark creams can be of two types: preventative and curative. These are two separate formulas that have to be used at two different times.
You should use the preventative stretch mark cream formula to prevent the appearance of stretch marks. You have to apply the cream before the stretch marks have even appeared. In the case of the curative formula, your stretch marks have already formed and you can use the cream to reduce its appearance.
Remember, these treatments take time but they most certainly do work to improve the texture of your skin.
Applying prescription medication
Research studies have proved that using prescription medication like hyaluronic acid and tretinoin can be really helpful to make the stretch marks less noticeable. These prescription medications can be brought over the counter and are very easily available in most pharmacies.
A type of retinoid, tretinoin is a prescription cream that needs to be directly massaged onto the stretch marks. You can also opt for retinol which is another type of retinoid to facilitate the fading of your stretch marks.
Using effective natural remedies
We are already aware of how helpful natural remedies can be. There are just so many home remedies that can be created using natural ingredients like coconut oil, almond oil, vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, and so on.
The idea here is to create a simple DIY that you have to make sure to follow regularly. For example, you can make a sugar and coconut oil mixture. Take one cup of sugar along with 1/4 cup of coconut oil and add a few drops of lemon juice to it. The overall consistency of this mixture has to resemble that of wet sand.
Massage this mixture on the stretch marks for about 10 to 15 minutes in a circular motion. It should be interesting to note that rubbing sugar on stretch marks is actually a common microdermabrasion method that has been used for many years.
Rubbing aloe vera gel is another home remedy that can be really effective to make your stretch marks less noticeable. Aloe vera has been used for skincare for many years now. Not only does this ingredient replenishes and nourishes the skin, but it also helps to improve the skin texture. In short, it is exactly what your skin needs in case of stretch marks.
We put personally suggest you use aloe vera gel that is 100% natural. For this purpose, you can buy an aloe vera plant and use the fresh gel every day. If you decide to go for store-bought aloe vera gel, make a careful note of the ingredients used to create it. The product should not contain any harmful chemicals that can cause allergic reactions to your skin.
Opting for procedures carried out by dermatologists
A dermatologist can perform different procedures to help reduce your stretch marks but none of them actually guarantee complete removal. These procedures include the following:
- Laser therapy
- Chemical peel
Choosing to go for laser therapy or light therapy, for example, can be one of the best ways of removing stretch marks quickly and efficiently. In fact, even the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery recognizes this method as one of the most effective ways for stretch marks removal.
Under this procedure, a dermatologist will use a beam of light to break down your stretch marks gently. As you might have realized, laser therapy is actually a non-surgical procedure. This process lasts for about 30 minutes and can tremendously help to enhance the natural texture of your skin. In addition to this, the results are almost instantaneous.
Each of these procedures has its own set of plus points. There might even be times when your dermatologist will employ the use of more than one procedure for effective results. Having said this, some of these procedures may have possible side-effects. It’ll be best that you talk to your dermatologist to select a method that would work best for you. Try to schedule an appointment with the dermatologist that is board-certified and experienced.
New Baby On The Way? Save Money on the Essentials
Now is the ideal time to get clever with your cash. How much does it cost to have a new baby? The price varies from couple to couple but every survey tells us that most of us spend more than we really need to. Of course, you want your little one to have the very best but the reality is that as long as they are warm, clean and fed babies are usually quite happy with their lot. Far too many of us spend too much money at a time when cash will be tight anyway. Some people even get into debt using expensive credit cards or personal loans to buy what they want for their new baby when most of the stuff will be outgrown in a few weeks or months. So, when it comes to the essentials there are some simple ways to save some cash. Baby clothes: Avoid over-buying When Kylie Jenner gave birth to her daughter this year, a video the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star released on YouTube revealed an entire wardrobe of baby clothes and racks of shoes already purchased before the child had even arrived in the world. If you’re looking to keep costs down for your little one then steer clear of this approach. Babies grow so quickly that cute onesies and expensive little outfits will soon be redundant. Instead, buy just the basics and sell on what you don’t need when your baby has grown out of it. If you want to get a headstart researching the right pram for you, check out the reviews featured on wifeknows.com Your clothes: Steer clear of the maternity wardrobe binge It’s very easy to spend thousands on a maternity wardrobe, as there is such a range of choice these days. However, the reality is that you’re only going to wear these clothes for a matter of months so there’s no need to go crazy. Try to wear your own clothes for as long as you can, adding layers or opting for stretchy fabrics to provide coverage. It’s also worth asking friends and relatives if they have any maternity wear they no longer need so you don’t have to spend money on new items. New Baby Kit: Buy the basics for the first few months It’s tempting to kit your home out with all the latest gadgets and tech for a new arrival. However, the reality is that all you really need is a cot and a car seat for the first few months. You may not even need to buy a pram initially. So, rather than splurging up front and realising that half of what you’ve purchased you just don’t need, hold back. That way you’ll be able to make better informed buying decisions when it comes to something like a pram and have more time to find the cheapest options. Food and supplies: Become a deals expert From discounts on baby items through to the deals available at your local supermarket, this is a great time to get interested in what’s on special. There are always discounts available for new parents, whether you’re looking for toys or clothes or diapers. Spend a little time researching where to find the lowest prices on the things that you use the most of and you’ll be able to cut the costs during those first few months, not just of your newborn but of the cost of living too.
Keeping the Family Strong Through A Divorce
The statistics are stacked against marriages as the data shows that more than forty percent of marriages end up in divorce or separation. While that is a tragic data point, we must remember that life goes on.
This is even more true for the children that are a crucial part of the family and the eventual proceedings. The point of this simple guide is to look at how to stay positive and strong through a divorce and separation and how to make sure that the family can stay strong throughout the process.
It is undoubtedly a monumental feat, but it is quite possible and very necessary as it can help to maintain peace, prosperity, and general stability over the long-term. Let’s find out more about staying healthy, positive, and keeping it together for the long haul to ensure happiness and strength for everyone involved.
Staying Positive Amid a Divorce
The first point is that you must maintain a sense of peace and calm within yourself during these stressful and usually hectic divorce and separation times. Ideally, this event is not something you have had to deal with several times in your life, and it is a singular event.
But even then, if it is a singular event, it will be all the more impactful as you do not have much experience.
It is easier to stay strong throughout a divorce or separation, but it is much more difficult to do so due to the intricacies involved in the entire process. Remember that you are conducting the divorce proceedings for a number of reasons. The main reason is usually that neither people are happy with the partnership and choose to go in a different direction.
In that event, it is necessary to ensure that you dig deep down and comprehend that it is for the best overall. It may be hard to do so at first, but it is necessary. You must accept that it happened, and only then can you move forward into the future.
It is a normal aspect of the process for you to require some time to cope and come to terms with this significant change. But remember that you must stay vital for yourself and your children.
It is not only about you and your future but your children’s as well.
The Peace of the Children
It is easy to think about yourself during a divorce and forget about the collateral damage involved in the process. By collateral damage, I mean your kids.
Your children may spend countless hours screaming and misbehaving due to the issues that this brings in their lives. It is not just your life that is going through a sense of disruption but theirs as well.
Remember to have meetings with your children and to help them cope with the process. It is easy to lash out and be hard on your precious children for no reason, fight that urge, be a better parent.
Find peace by spending more time with your children for the sake of spending time with them. You want to make sure that you are healing the hurt feelings early on so that your family stays strong even with the adjustment.
The Strength of the Family
A strong, bonded, and hopeful family unit is still possible even during and after a separation. The process is not easy and will take work but will be quite worth it in the end.
Ensure that everyone in the process feels as if there is an anchor and that everything is not being ripped away from them. Show how life will be after the event and how it is possible to navigate through the turbulent period without too much angst.
Remember that there is a life after the event and think about the long-term during and after the process.
How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes – Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen
Brittany lives with her husband and three sons in Utah. She is a playwright, composer, actress, singer, thrift shop lover, Mormon and aspiring vegan. She is the founder of the International Bloggers Association, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Cognitive Behavioral Society (’cause why not). Brittany has a B.A. in English-Writing from Denison University and has an imaginary Ph.d. in Googling stuff she wants to know. You can keep up with her at BrittanyBullen.com.