There was a time in my weight lifting career when I used to think that stretch marks were a badge of honour.
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I remember when I was about 18, all the big guys in the gym had those really thick stretch marks around the chest and shoulder areas and I used to think how cool they looked. To me, stretch marks signified you were there, you finally reached the stage of "hugeness".
All I wanted to do was get big and have those cool looking stretch marks around my chest and shoulder areas.
Well, after a year of heavy lifting and putting on an extra 35 pounds of lean mass, I finally got those stretch marks. I got them everywhere, on my chest and shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs and back.
However, after a couple of years or so, I noticed that my stretch marks were more of an eye sore than a badge of honour.
At that point, all I wanted to do was find out how to get rid of the stretch marks. I mean, they were bright red and really thick and they kind of looked ugly. So, I decided that I needed to get rid of the stretch marks. I did a bit of research and found out that you can't really get rid of stretch marks.
There is some conflicting evidence that suggests that you can't really get rid of stretch marks. I've come to agree because my stretch marks have been with me for years and they're still there. The only thing that has changed is they're colour. They went from bright red to a clear or white colour.
Experts say that stretch marks can affect all of us. However, many people think that the cause for stretch marks is pregnancy so only those women who are pregnant are more affected. This isn't true. Stretch marks not only affect women in pregnacny but others such as body builders and active weight trainers who want to build muscle.
People who gain a great deal of weight are also susceptible to stretch marks. Teens are often afflicted with striate during the growth spurts of puberty. In short, anytime skin is stretched quickly or dramatically, stretch marks are likely to appear.
Stretch marks can affect both men and women. You see, skin is the largest and remarkable organ in the entire body. Skin protects our internal organs and processes external elements such as sunshine. The most remarkable of its abilities is its ability to stretch.
Collagen and Elating are building blocks of the skin and both proteins are in the form of elastic fibres. Collagen is a binding agent of skin, which is a connective tissue. Elating provides skin with its flexibility.
At certain times skin is over-stressed, stretched beyond its ability to give, then skin actually tears. These little tears and tiny rips heal, resulting in scar tissue. The scar tissue that accompanies these small rips in the skin is known as stretch marks.
When you first get stretch marks, they will appear as a little bright red dot but over time they become longer and will take on a bright red appearance.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it seems you can't totally get rid of stretch marks.
Unless you get the marks removed surgically, the best thing you can do is fad the colour.
There are special ointments specifically designed to fad the colour such as cocoa butter and vitamin E. I've personally used both of these products with a bit of success.
You have to use these products consistently over a period of time to start seeing the affects. Again, they helped lighten the colour of the stretch marks and did not remove the stretch marks totally. The key is to use the creams on a consistent basis.
For the bright red stretch marks, you might want to try a product called Retina-A. This product must be prescribed by your dermatologist. This product works by reducing the redness of the stretch marks by causing blood vessels to constrict.
Once the redness fades, the red stretch marks become white stretch marks. White stretch marks are less visible to the eye and if it's any consolation, you have to be up really close to see white stretch marks which of course, really helps out when you're in a bathing suit or with no shirt on.
There are a few treatments you may want to try. There is a product called StriVectin-SD which is used for extensive stretch marks. I haven't personally used this product but I understand that it's quite good. The price tag for this treatment is about $135 USD but it may be well worth the price in order to reduce those unsightly stretch marks.
There is another treatment called Mederma that you may want to try. I've read some great reviews for this product and might help you with your stretch marks. The price tag is around $25 USD and may provide a good alternative to Stri Vectin -SD.
The bottom line is that you cannot totally get rid of stretch marks (unless you go the surgical route), but you can reduce the colour and visibility of the marks.
Good luck and all the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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