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Stretch marks are a common problem for many women, whether you have recently developed them, have been a long term sufferer of them or are increasingly aware that you could develop them in the future; these marks on the skin’s surface can severely knock your confidence.

Stretch marks occur in the strong middle layer of your skin (the dermis), which supports your skin's outer surface (the epidermis). The fibres within the dermis allow the skin to gently stretch as the body naturally grows; problems occur when these fibres are stretched rapidly over a short period of time causing tiny tears – the result being the reddish marks we call stretch marks. As the blood vessels recede underneath the skin’s surface, the marks fade to a silvery grey streak.

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Pregnancy, rapid weight gain and rapid growth (more common in adolescence) are the main reasons why the skin’s fibres are put under stress but it has also been suggested that hormones play a role. Collagen is a protein found within the skin and helps to keep the skin supple and lithe, however the hormone cortisol (released when the body is stressed) has been found to decrease the amount of collagen found in the skin.

Stretch marks are not something to just live with. Avoiding rapid weight gain is obviously a good start and trying to lead a relatively stress free lifestyle will also point you in the right direction but sometimes these are not possible. A crucial step is to moisturise regularly so that the skin is kept hydrated, making it pliable and stretchy. Our Dr.Ceuticals Stretch Mark Solution cream provides high levels of Shea and Cocoa butter to deeply penetrate the skin’s layers and can help prevent stretch marks from appearing. For established marks, this cream contains Clorella Vulgaris, a green microalgae ingredient that has been proven to significantly improve the appearance of stretch marks.

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