As you can tell by the title of this post, I’m tackling a subject that everyone can relate to, or almost everyone. If you can’t relate to this post, you probably know someone who can or you know someone who is struggling with stretch marks. I’m writing this post because as a teenager I struggled with this problem and if I can help one person not live the way I lived for so many years because of how embarrassed I felt then I’ll be extremely happy.
First and foremost, stretch marks ARE NOT the worst thing that could ever happen to you, they are not gross or unattractive, they are natural and normal and they show growth. I want to share a little story with you from when I was young and found my first stretch marks. When I first hit puberty I was very young, 10 to be exact. When you are 10 you have no idea what is happening to you, to your body and everything else around you. All you know is that something is changing and you can’t stop it and you don’t know how to deal with it. I’m not entirely sure how old I was when I found my first stretch mark but I couldn’t have been older than 11 or 12. When I hit puberty, I also went through a growth spurt and gained about 20 pounds. The weight is not what bothered me, honestly I didn’t feel like I was fat or needed to lose weight but I wasn’t happy with myself, I was self conscience and would cover up my body. Like every other girl out there, when my breasts started to grow, I got stretch marks on them, I wasn’t worried about these. Actually, I thought it was pretty cool that I could physically see myself turning into a ‘woman’. The stretch marks didn’t end there, like I mentioned I gained 20 pounds and my legs “exploded”, not actually but sort of, at least in my head. My inner thighs were covered by these dark red-purple stretch marks, then the back of my calfs, my hips & my butt. From the age of 12 to 21 I DID NOT WEAR SHORTS OR ANYTHING CLOTHING THAT WOULD SHOW MY LEGS. Capris were acceptable. I did not care how hot it was, I did not want anyone to see me like this. If we went swimming i’d wear shorts over my bathing suit. I was embarrassed and ashamed. My stretch marks have since faded to barely anything and I am NOT bothered by them in the slightest. They are normal, they are a part of me, a part of my story BUT THEY ARE NOT ME.
5 STRETCH MARK FACTS
1. Women aren’t the only ones affected
– Men can get stretch marks just as easily as women.
2. Some people are more susceptible to them
– Teenagers are prone to stretch marks because of all the changes in growth that they go through at once. Pregnant woman are also susceptible to stretch marks.
70% of teenage girls get stretch marks.
90% of pregnant ladies get stretch marks.
3. They are classified in two categories
– Rubra or Alba. At first, they are rubra, when they are pink, red, or purplish and inflamed. Over time, they turn silvery white, becoming alba. As you can see in the picture above, mine are now “alba” but they were “Rubra” for a long time.
4. Early Treatment
– Although you cannot completely get rid of stretch marks or prevent them from happening there are some things you can do to help reduce the appearance of new stretch marks. You can apply a Vitamin A oil or an over-the-counter cream with retinol once a day. If you cannot find a cream with retinol in it opt for a face cream as most contain retinol. There are other key ingredients that can help in reducing the redness of stretch marks such as Vitamin C and peptides which both stimulate collagen. Plus, they are safe to use during pregnancy, while retinol isn’t.
5. Both obese and thin people can get stretch marks.
– Stretch marks do not indicate good or bad health. They don’t discriminate.
In conclusion, if you have stretch marks rock them! They show your story, they don’t make you weak or ugly, they make you normal. If you don’t have stretch marks, you’re also normal. Don’t let your stretch marks stop you from doing what you want to to do or being who you want to be because they are simply a part of you, they are not you. There are some treatments that you can put yourself through that can be effective at getting rid of stretch marks but they come with a price. Chemical peels and laser therapy may cause pain and scarring and come with hefty price tags.
Lots of love,