Bio-Oil is a specialist skincare for:
- Stretch Marks
- Uneven Skin Tone
- Ageing Skin
- Dehydrated Skin
Bio-Oil is registered with NAFDAC to show that it is safe to use – NAFDAC Reg. No. is 02-6924
This month of November has been declared Bio-Oil Skin- Care Month and this week the focus is Stretch Marks.
In medical terms stretch marks (striae) are simply another form of scarring, however, most people view them differently to scars. Stretch marks are lines on the skin that develop as a result of rapid changes in weight of, for example, pregnant women, body builders, and adolescents during their growth spurt. They are caused by exactly what their name suggests – stretching.
Causes of stretch marks
The skin is naturally elastic. This elasticity is provided by the collagen and elastin in the dermis. Collagen is made up of a group of naturally occurring proteins and is a key component of the body’s connective tissue. Elastin, which is also made up of naturally occurring proteins, is also found in connective tissue and provides the elastic properties of the tissue.
This connective tissue enables the skin to adapt to continuous movement of the body by expanding and contracting, but during periods of quick weight gain or loss it may have insufficient time to adjust, causing internal tears in the skin tissue. When these tears repair themselves they form the scars that we know as stretch marks.
A useful analogy of this is that of a rubber-band being stretched. If you stretch a rubber-band within a certain range (known as its natural elastic limit) it contracts back to its original size time and again. However, if you overstretch the rubber-band beyond its natural elastic limit, it becomes permanently stretched and will not spring back to its original size.
Pregnancy stretch marks
Stretch marks can develop on the abdomen, thighs, hips, lower back, buttocks and breasts as a result of the weight gain and stretching of the skin during pregnancy.
While they can appear anywhere on the body, they are most likely to appear in places where large amounts of fat are stored.
A second factor causing pregnancy stretch marks, which is still the subject of debate, involves the priming of the skin for childbirth by increased levels of hormones. These hormones attract more water into the skin, which relaxes the bonds between collagen fibres. This makes it easier for the skin to tear when it is stretched and for stretch marks to form.
While stretch marks generally become visible during the later trimesters of pregnancy (around the sixth or seventh month) some women will start to see them forming as soon as their bellies start growing. It is estimated that 75-90% of women are prone to stretch marks. The likelihood of developing them varies according to skin type, age, heredity, diet and hydration of the skin.
Stages of stretch mark formation
Early stretch marks appear pale in colour, and may also be itchy. The skin immediately around the stretch marks may also look ‘flattened’ and ‘thin’.
Gradually the stretch marks will enlarge in length and width and become darker and more pronounced.
Once the stretch marks have matured and when the skin is no longer under tension they will start to fade and become paler. They may also appear slightly depressed and irregular in shape or length.
Treatment & Control
Bio‐Oil helps to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks, although it is more effective on newer stretch marks, older stretch marks will also show some improvement with regular use of Bio‐Oil.
While no product can guarantee preventing the formation of stretch marks, ensuring the skin maintains its maximum elasticity is the best defence. This can be achieved by keeping the skin well-hydrated and supple at all times.
Bio‐Oil’s formulation works to maximize the skin’s elasticity, thereby reducing the possibility of stretch marks forming.
Bio‐Oil has been used safely by pregnant women for over 20 years to prevent the formation of stretch marks by keeping the skin well-hydrated and supple. Bio‐Oil’s formulation works to maximize the skin’s elasticity, thereby reducing the possibility of pregnancy stretch marks forming.
Regularly applying it will provide active relief to itchy and dehydrated skin and it can also be used for uneven skin tone that results from hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy.
It is recommended that you to start using Bio‐Oil from the beginning of the second trimester because the belly will only just be starting to stretch by then, however there is no cause for concern if a consumer has been using it during the first trimester, Bio‐Oil is entirely safe for use without any restrictions (including for use by pregnant women).
Extra stretch marks advice
Diet – Collagen and elastin fibres in the skin are necessary to keep growing skin taut, and the stronger these fibres are, the less likely they are to break and leave resulting stretch marks. It makes sense, therefore, to eat foods rich in Vitamin E and C, zinc and silica, which help to form collagen. These nutrients are most commonly found in oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin C in particular is an important antioxidant that helps protect tissue from damage.
Vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin) are also said to help promote and maintain healthy skin.
In addition, drinking sufficient water (approximately two litres a day) is said to be essential in order to help strengthen and renew the skin.
Exercise can help prevent stretch marks by improving circulation, which keeps the skin elastic and more able to stretch as it grows. This improved circulation also reduces the possibility of varicose veins and swollen ankles in pregnancy.
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