Older Sister Advice: Stretch Marks
By: Anika Int' Hout
When most people think of puberty, they think of things like getting their first period and developing boobs. Another normal and natural part of puberty though is getting stretch marks. Not sure what we’re talking about? No worries, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we will walk you through what stretch marks are, why you get them, where you get them, and how to deal with them.
What are stretch marks and why do I get them?
Stretch marks are a type of scar that shows up when your skin quickly shrinks or stretches. While your skin is usually pretty stretchy, when it goes through a quick change like this, the protein in your skin (aka collagen) breaks down. When the skin starts to heal, sometimes you get stretch marks.
When you go through puberty, your body goes through all kinds of changes including growing spurts and gaining or losing weight. So when your height and weight change, your skin shrinks and stretches, often leaving you with stretch marks. You can also get stretch marks after puberty if you’re pregnant, practicing bodybuilding, or experiencing fast weight loss or weight gain.
Where will I get stretch marks?
While everyone’s body is different, if you get stretch marks, they will only be on your breasts, butt, hips and/or thighs.
What do stretch marks look like?
Stretch marks look like little lines or bands on your skin. When you first get stretch marks, depending on your skin colour, they are usually red, pink, purple or brown. They might even feel itchy or like they are poking out of your skin. Over time though, the colour will go away and they will dig deeper into your skin until you can hardly feel them.
Can I get rid of stretch marks?
Well, most of the time, no. A lot of people say that things like tanning or home remedies like aloe and coconut oil can get rid of stretch marks. Sorry to break it to you, but these treatments usually don’t work. Some stretch mark creams and gels claim to do the trick, but most of the time, they don’t work at all or if they do, they are expensive and only help a little bit. Unless you get plastic surgery or dermatologist treatments, options that are pretty expensive and not worth looking into yet as your body is still developing, those stretch marks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So, how do I deal with them then?
Just because you can’t get rid of them doesn’t mean you can’t deal with them. The first thing is just to wait. Eventually, the colour in your stretch marks will fade and they will become less visible all on their own. If you don’t want to wait, you can also use makeup that matches your skin tone to cover up your stretch marks. Also, if you don’t want to try makeup but still want to cover up, some clothes can help you with that. Like if you’re going swimming but feel self-conscious about your stretch marks, you can get a swimsuit or swim shorts that hide your stretch marks.
Finally, instead of trying a bunch of creams or covering up your stretch marks with makeup, you can just try to love and embrace your stretch marks for what they are. Stretch marks not only affect everybody, but they are beautiful, natural, unique, and are a great reminder of the journey your body has been on so far. Even though social media and magazines usually tell us that you need to have a perfect and flawless body to be beautiful, this just isn’t true. Your body is amazing and beautiful, scars and all.
About the Author
Meet Anika, our content creator and copywriter! In her final year at Western, she’s studying media and creative writing. Even though it’s been a while since she had to deal with the awkwardness of buying her first bra, she is excited to join the Apricotton team and make bra shopping a little bit easier for tween and teen girls. You can connect with her here.