The fight against stretchmarks has heated up and there is precious little that those affected by the angry red and purple marks will not attempt in order to rid themselves of the unsightly marks or at least lessen their visibility.
While at this point in time surgical methodology is the only way to at least partially rid you of these marks, prevention is considered to be best.
Yet in those times when even prevention did not completely put a stop to the formation of stretch marks, treatment is all that is left. Much lore and folk wisdom have built up around the fight against stretch marks, and while salves, lotions, homemade creams, and commercially available treatments are part and parcel of the buzzing Internet economy, almost all healing regimens have one component in common: exfoliation.
Exfoliation is a process commonly used these days even during regular skincare and maintenance, but in some cases, too much of a good thing can backfire. In order to ensure that you understand exfoliation and stretch marks, their relationship, and the proper methodology of the former, here are some fast facts you do not want to be without.
Dead Skin Cells
In most general terms, exfoliation is little more than a way of removing dead skin cells that are still fastened to the live skin cells. Obviously, this means that only the outermost surface of the skin is affected by the exfoliation process.
The goal is to permit the live skin to be seen in its totality, and when not obscured by dead skin cells, this live skin is actually healthier looking and provides that glow so often associated with pregnant women.
Exfoliation may be accomplished with the help of a chemical agent, such as a commercially available scrub made from a wide variety of fruit enzymes mixed with citric acid and oatmeal extracts.
Exfoliation may also rely on the use of a scrubbing agent, such as a loofah, a pumice stone, or a homemade scrub made from kosher salt.
Exfoliation will provide visible lessening of skin conditions that are aggravated by dead skin cells, such as acne, blackheads, pimples, and even ingrown hairs, but it has a very limited effect on stretch marks, since they are actually at home in the dermis, the lower layer of the skin, that is not affected by the exfoliation directly.
Stretch marks are indirectly affected by proper exfoliation, however, because their visibility may be lessened when healthier-looking skin is revealed and the skin’s overall health is being actively promoted with the use of exfoliates and proper lotions and sunscreens.
As the stretch marks naturally fade, the healthy-looking skin will further diminish its appearance, thus in fact creating in some cases the illusion of stretch marks disappearing, which is not the case.
Improper exfoliation, on the other hand, will irritate the skin, thus creating a skin condition that will showcase the stretch marks more clearly.
It is vital that you read any and all instructions that come with your exfoliate of choice to ensure that you use it as often or as little as intended by the manufacturers.