Health has attained the required recognition in the busy world. A greater portion of the population manages to cut out time for the improvement of their health. While we focus mainly on calorie intake, weight management, or cholesterol control, we often forget to take care of our skin. Skin is categorized as the largest organ of the human body. Let us get an idea about the important roles aided by our skin.
Is skin essential? What role does skin play?
Skin is no less than your friend. Remember the first acne breakout in your teen years? Or the glow of your skin when you were pregnant? Skin carries the stories of our lives. Skin is mainly thought of in terms of beauty, but our skin is simply more than just about it.
Skin is known as the largest organ of the body because it contributes to about 16 percent of our total body mass. Skin can be tagged as the multitasker of our bodies. If we talk about the functions of the skin, the list surely is going to be a long one. Let us see some of the major functions of the human skin.
Functions of the skin
The main function of the skin is to furnish a barrier that protects against injuries (mechanical, physical, or thermal) and harmful substances. Along with acting as a barrier, skin can also absorb shock to some degree. The skin also helps in sustaining all the fluids of our biological system. The skin has different nerve endings that make it a sensory organ. Skin as a sensory organ aids in the detection of external stimuli like touch, pain, and temperature detection.
Skin also lessens the harm caused by harmful UV radiations of the sun. The moisture is retained by the skin which prevents dehydration. One of the very interesting functions of the skin is to provide immunity. But how can skin provide immunity? Skin acts as the interactive interface between the internal environment of the body and the external environment. Skin interacts with different entities. The skin tissue has abundant immune cells that control the invasion of microbes, especially pathogenic ones. Hence, by considering all the points, we can justify how crucial skin is to us.
What are stretch marks? What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks can be called a type of scar on the body. The cause of stretch marks is quick stretch and shrinkage of skin. The rapid and abrupt changes in skin damage collagen and elastin, both of which form an integral part of the skin. The healing of skin results in streak-like scars called stretch marks. The streaks of stretch marks are commonly found on the body regions like the abdomen, buttocks, breast, or hips.
The most dominant reason for stretch marks is the stretching of the skin. Pregnancy, weight loss, and several other factors can lead to the presence of stretch marks in your body. Stretch marks after weight loss should not always be generalized; some skin-related conditions can cause stretch marks. If you are suspicious of it, it is recommended that you visit an expert. The presence of stretch marks after weight loss causes no harm, but some people prefer to remove them. In this article, we have discussed nine best practices to avoid stretch marks after weight loss.
1. Weight management
Stretch marks after weight loss are very common. But we should note that weight loss is not the cause of stretch marks. On the contrary, excessive weight is what disrupts collagen. The skin is stretched as you gain more weight which is only noticeable after losing a few pounds. Hence, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the occurrence of stretch marks after weight loss.
2. Consumption of a nutrient-rich diet
Deficiency of nutrients in particular areas can also result in stretch marks on the body. Food that helps in achieving healthy skin can be one way to reduce stretch marks after weight loss. Unprocessed foods are recommended to be avoided to maintain the health of the skin. Recommended foods include foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin D, E, and C are extremely beneficial for the health of the skin. Protein intake also plays a crucial role.
3. Staying hydrated
Drinking water is often recommended as it has multiple benefits. Meeting the daily requirements of water keeps the skin hydrated. In addition to that, the skin becomes soft. Hydrated skin also retains its elasticity. If the skin is elastic, it acts as a preventive measure by not letting the skin stretch and become too thin. If your skin is not hydrated fully, it may become dry. Dry skin is more susceptible to developing stretch marks when compared with hydrated skin.
Exfoliation means the removal of dead skin or built-up dirt from your skin. Sugar is a readily available substance that is worth trying for your stretch marks after weight loss. Sugar has exfoliating properties, which can easily remove dead cells or dirt from your skin.
To make your homemade and natural sugar scrub, you have to add half a cup of sugar in almond oil or coconut oil (any softening agent). Once the sugar mimics the texture of wet beach sand, you can gently apply it to your skin and massage it for a few minutes. Lastly, you rinse that part of your skin using lukewarm water. You can do this 2 or 3 times a week.
5. Aloe Vera
Skin treatments have been used for a long time to cure skin-related issues. A research study published in 2018 found the effective results of aloe vera for skin issues like burns and wounds. Stretch marks, also are a result of damage to the skin. The scarring of the skin caused by stretch marks after weight loss can be improved by using aloe vera.
Aloe vera application helps the skin by repairing its properties, which eventually leads to the elimination of any form of skin damage. Aloe vera can be applied directly by extracting the gel-like substance for better results. Adding to this, you should always do a test on the skin as some people develop allergies to aloe vera. Hence, it is best to know what suits your skin and enhances your skin health.
6. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has been tagged with benefits regarding skin health. Research published in 2018 claimed the affirmative effects of using coconut oil for dry skin. It also reduces the chances of skin infections and helps in faster healing of bruises and wounds. There still is no strong evidence that proves the benefits of stretch marks after weight loss.
But, a daily gentle massage of coconut oil has shown some results in combating the troubles of stretch marks after weight loss. Other oils like cocoa oil or olive oil have shown no improvements. The reason can be conferred to massage that improves stretch marks after weight loss rather than the action of the oil. But results from research are yet to prove it.
7. Benefits of Radiofrequency therapy
As we already discussed, collagen forms an integral part of the skin and hence has control over the reduction of stretch marks after weight loss. Radiofrequency therapy technique results in stimulating the production of collagen.
This is done by sending energy waves to the skin that facilitates collagen production. The recent technologies for eliminating stretch marks after weight loss involve the use of microneedles. Using the microneedles, the energy waves are provided to the skin deeply.
8. Vitamin C-rich diet
To avoid going through the trouble of stretch marks after weight loss, intake of vitamin C is helpful. Let us understand how vitamin C can aid in the reduction of stretch marks after weight loss. Collagen is a protein that maintains the elasticity and flexibility of the skin. That is because it forms an essential part of the skin.
Collagen can help in reducing stretch marks after weight loss. Along with it, collagen is also beneficial in controlling the wrinkles on the skin. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the development and maintenance of collagen. Vitamin C, hence, can be one way to reduce stretch marks after weight loss as it maintains the collagen in the body.
9. Taking advantage of Vitamin D
Vitamin D has benefits to offer to skin health. The research found that low levels of vitamin D in serum had higher occurrences of stretch marks. Sunlight is considered to be the best source of vitamin D, but it also has ill effects because of the UV rays.
As an alternative, you can consume food that is rich in vitamin D. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin D are broccoli, eggs, cheese, and fish.
Wrapping It Up
Stretch marks are a concern, but they are harmless. The high beauty standards preach perfection, but let us tell you that stretch marks are no flaws. Removing or lessening the marks should be an individual’s choice without falling into the trap of toxic standards of beauty.
Your diet can play an important role in managing stretch marks. There are multiple treatments available for the removal of stretch marks after weight loss. Skin self-care routines, too can be effective. Skin care products that are customized for stretch marks are also an option you can try. No matter what you try to the reduction of stretch marks, you should not consider them to be an imperfection. Let us celebrate healthy skin rather than a perfect one.