Stretch Marks Cream
by Max Bellamy
No clear-cut conclusions have been reached on whether creams, lotions and the other assorted potions for stretch marks really help. Some scorn them, others swear by them. It is quite possible that those who actually benefit would have eventually healed anyway. The damage that causes stretch marks happens at a level of skin that no cream or lotion can hope to penetrate to.
Without a doubt, creams that claim to entirely eliminate unsightly stretch marks should be given wide berth. The impact that such a compound would have on the medical world and the world of commercial cosmetics would be comparable with the discovery of a vaccine for AIDS. It has not happened, and there are no reasonable prospects of it EVER happening.
The minimization of stretch marks, whatever their genesis, is another matter. Almost any cream or lotion that replenishes the skin's lost natural oils will have a favorable effect on stretch marks. Compounds that contain vitamin A can also be very beneficial (popular ones are Trenitoin and Retin A, but these require a doctor's prescription and should be avoided by pregnant women).
In fact, the products that have proved most helpful in preventing and minimizing the incidence of stretch marks are those that generally add to overall skin health. Creams, lotions and oils containing vitamin E and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs or ‘fruit acids') have reportedly yielded excellent results with stretch marks in almost all skin types. This may be because they can enhance the production of collagen.
The most natural ‘cream' that has found favor with those plagued by stretch marks is cocoa butter, which can unfortunately cause unpleasant allergic reactions in certain people. A sensitivity test before its use is therefore in order.
Finally, all creams and lotions containing steroids such as hydrocortisone should be discontinued and strictly avoided.
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