While stretch marks are completely harmless as far as your health is concerned, it’s still devastating to some people when they notice them appearing on their skin, especially if you have been working hard to lose some pounds.
Stretch marks occur when the skin stretches faster than the available levels of collagen and elastin can handle. These are proteins in the skin that are responsible for the skin's elasticity and the ability to handle changes. When there are not enough of these proteins, the skin tears at pressure points to accommodate the changes.
Now that we know that stretch marks appear as a result of overstretched skin, you might be wondering why they appear when one loses weight when the skin is supposed to be shrinking. Let’s look at the causes of stretch marks when one loses weight.
Causes of stretch marks during weight loss
Stretch marks appear during weight loss for the following reasons.
Drastic weight loss
Losing a lot of weight drastically can cause stretch marks to appear on your skin. This is because your skin is not equipped to handle such drastic changes.
Losing a lot of weight drastically does not allow your skin and muscles to tone and firm up which leaves you with loose skin and this may cause stretch marks to appear. When you lose weight, stretch marks that developed during your weight gain but were not visible may become more visible.
Exercising builds up your muscles, and as much you may lose some weight in fat, gaining some muscle weight can overstretch the skin to accommodate the developing muscles.
Losing weight by dieting without exercising
When you lose weight by extreme dieting without exercising, you are bound to develop stretch marks. This is because you are lacking physical activity that increases blood flow to your skin. This is necessary for elastin and collagen production.
How can you reduce or prevent stretch marks during your weight gain journey?
When you plan to start losing weight, you need to prepare for the eventuality of getting stretch marks. So, how can you prevent or reduce their appearance? This is how.
Lose weight gradually
Controlled weight allows your skin time to adjust to the changes. This prevents stretch marks from forming. Gradual weight loss also allows you to tone and firm up the skin and muscles as you go.
So, how gradual is good for your skin? Health professionals advise that you lose at most 1% of your entire body mass in one week. Any more than that does not allow your body to properly adjust to the changes.
Keep your body hydrated
Drinking a lot of water is very healthy for your skin. When your skin is dry, it gets brittle and vulnerable to stretch marks. When you are exercising, you lose a lot of water through sweating. This leaves your skin dehydrated and dry.
Eat a healthy diet
Skin health largely depends on your diet. Eating lots of fruit and vegetable helps provide your skin with the necessary vitamins and nutrients to keep it healthy.
Do light exercises when you are dieting
Stretching and doing light exercises increases blood flow to the skin, which in turn boosts collagen and elastin production in your skin. This helps prevent or treat stretch marks.
The role of stretch mark oil in preventing stretch marks during weight loss
Now that we have established the why stretch marks appear when you’re losing weight, let’s look at whether stretch mark oil plays any role in preventing or treating stretch marks.
You can use stretch mark oil to help prevent stretch marks when you start losing weight. This is how stretch mark oil does it.
Moisturizing your skin
I have already highlighted the importance of staying hydrated when you are exercising. While taking a lot of water takes care of your skin from the inside, moisturizing takes care of your skin from the outside.
Stretch mark oil helps keep your skin hydrated and also helps to prevent the skin from losing moisture between applications.
Providing your skin with necessary vitamins
Products like the stretch mark coconut oil contains vitamins that are required by the skin to prevent stretch marks. Using stretch mark oils during your weight loss journey nourishes your skin and keeps stretch marks at bay.
Increasing the levels of elastin and collagen in your skin
Massaging stretchmark oil into the skin in the vulnerable areas help boost levels of collagen and elastin production, which is much needed when your skin is going through the changes that come with weight loss.
Losing weight is a good thing and stretch marks should not take away the joy that comes with losing a few pounds from you. That’s why you need to be proactive and act before they start appearing. You have a higher chance of successfully preventing stretch marks than treating them.