Most people know that stretch marks are a common cosmetic problem encountered usually by pregnant women and body builders, due to the rapid change in body shape that are associated with both these body changing situations. However, stretch marks are also something that is commonly encountered during puberty by both boys and girls, and they can cause a lot of anguish and poor body image. Due to the influx of hormones during this phase of life, and also because kids these days are growing up in a society that places a huge amount of value and worth on beauty, these nasty little marks can be a huge problem for both teenagers and their parents.
Adolescent stretch marks are caused by the rapid changes in body shape most teenagers experience during puberty. When the body grows very quickly, the compound called collagen that gives skin it’s stretchy, elastic quality, can’t quite keep up with the changes, and the areas where collagen is lacking form reddish or purple line that appear indented or texturally rough on the skin. These lines will eventually fade into silvery or white lines.
From a health perspective these lines are basically harmless, but as mentioned above, there are psychological and image factors to consider as well. If you are suffering from adolescent stretch marks, or you are the parent of a teenager dealing with this issue, here’s a couple of things you can try to prevent or reduce this cosmetic problem.
1. Vitamin E is a vital ingredient used by the body to repair the skin and aid the production of collagen to keep the skin soft and elastic. To prevent adolescent stretch marks, try to keep your diet high in vitamin E, and some foods that are very rich in this vitamin include almonds, kiwis and mangoes. You can also take vitamin E supplements, which can be bought cheaply in gelcaps. If you or your child already has scarring on the skin, try applying a vitamin E cream three times daily, or even use the same gelcaps and rub the oil directly into the marks by breaking a few open and massaging the oil directly into the skin.
2. Unfortunately due to some unscrupulous practices in the cosmetics industry, many stretch mark creams range in effectiveness from very little to none at all. However if you do your research you’ll find there are a few products on the market that actually do contain scientifically verified ingredients and should help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks (and these are not the top shelf expensive variety, thankfully. Look for products that contain vitamin E, vitamin A and DL Penthenol.
3. Stimulation of the skin has been shown to help the production of collagen, which in turn can prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks. This can be as easy as scrubbing with a loofah each day in the shower or bath, or massaging the area each day by hand or with a personal massager. This simple method is especially effective in adolescent stretch marks, as younger skin naturally responds to this method much better than that of adults.