METRO PLUS

Erasing the stretch mark

STRETCH MARKS are those familiar streaks one finds frequently on the stomach, breasts, thighs and arms. "Stretch marks are a sign of your skin's inability to cope with the rapid expansion of flesh underneath," says beautician Laila Kakade.

Causes... Stretch marks appear often during puberty and pregnancy when a rapid weight gain followed by weight loss results in overstretching ofthe skin.

The elastin and collagen fibres, which give strength and elasticity to the skin, tear with the sheer strain of weight gain resulting in stretch marks.

They look red when they first appear and fade away to a silvery shade.

The genetic factor is also important--some women develop stretch marks more easily than others.

Prevention... "Keeping your skin well moisturised can help guard against them. Apply body lotion with vitamin-E oil or with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) after bath or shower, giving it plenty of time to sink in before dressing up.

Stretching of the skin can make it very dry and also cause itching in many cases.

Erasing the stretch mark

Avoid scratching on the abdomen during pregnancy, which can dry the skin further and will make the marks more defined," says Laila.

One of the home remedies followed during pregnancy is massaging the skin gently with turmeric and lemon pre-bath gel to reduce the effects of over stretching of the skin.

This also helps the stretch marks that have formed to lighten considerably, even if they do not disappear completely.

For existing stretch marks... ]

"There is nothing you can do once you have got stretch marks except wait until they start to fade away.

An application of fake tan can be a good cover-up for stretch marks that might be on view.

To camouflage existing stretch marks, apply the right shade of foundation (make sure you use water resistant foundation) and pat with compact powder.

As it is said prevention is better than cure, avoid anything that may induce rapid weight gain.

Diet control during pregnancy and early diagnosis of endocrinal diseases helps," adds Laila.

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