Stretch marks has long been a debatable subject. The fact that it occurs almost randomly among people from teenagers to mature adults, has raised concern to avoid its occurrence or at least, minimize its appearance. Initially, stretch marks are often unnoticed. It appears as light pinkish or purplish lines on the skin. Eventually, it turns white. Everyone might be differently susceptible to develop stretch marks, yet some inducing factors can be some signs. Once appear, stretch marks cannot easily be permanently eliminated. It is even discussed that removing stretch marks permanently is beyond possible. However, there are a lot of ways to get nicer look skin even with stretch marks. Sophisticated make ups are one of those various methods. This is the simplest treatment which changes the look of stretch marks on your skin. Yet, people are now attracted to a new discussion that tanning might help reducing the appearance of stretch marks, since your skin is getting darker. Does tanning really help with stretch marks, in the first place? And do these stretch marks really get darker when tanned?
What happens when you tan?
Sun tanning or sun bathing has been really popular in the society, although its real benefits are still disputed. This is an activity considered as a form of summer recreation for a lot of people. Therefore, a thought that this relaxing activity helps to fade stretch marks out is interesting. To see the effects on the skin, we need to understand in the first place what really happens to the skin when you sun tan.
Sun ray contains two kinds of ultraviolet rays which can reach your skin. These rays are referred as UVA and UVB. UVB commonly causes sunburn to the skin, since it penetrates the upper epidermis which gets burnt easily. Applying sunblock might help inhibiting the effect of this UVB. On the other hand, UVA penetrates the inner layer of epidermis, causing overproduction of melanin by skin melanocytes. Melanin is produced by our body as its way of preventing sunburn. These substances are what make skin tan. Lighter-skinned people usually have reddish skin after sun tanning, while darker-skinned people might end up with brownish one.
Do stretch marks get darker when you tan?
Normally, sun bathing makes the skin get darker. This is the result of melanin production during the activity. This melanin production is in fact the reaction to prevent further damage on the skin. However, stretch marks itself can hardly get darker even when tanned. Stretch marks formed in the dermis layer of the skin, where connective tissues are located. When weight gain presents, the skin layer is expanding to support the internal organs. When this weight gain occurs fast, such as in puberty or pregnancy, the connective tissues cannot constituent the expanding skin layer. As the result, these tissues tear, resulting in skin streaks which later referred as stretch marks.
The skin area beneath the stretch marks develops different skin structure with the rest of the skin which are stretch marks-free. These stretch marks free areas have an ability to respond the ultraviolet when we are tanning, because there are still passed by the blood flow, which reacts when the sun ray penetrates the skin layer. However, when stretch marks turn silvery white, the blood vessels beneath it do not continuously pass the blood through these damaged skin area. As a result, the areas with stretch marks will not react to tanning activity. Thus, even when you get darker from tanning, your stretch marks may not be affected and instead, may be more visible than before.
What should be done about these untanned stretch marks?
Todays, there are many make ups which are meant to cover stretch marks appearance. This is called self-tanning. In fact, this is a great way on handling those silvery lines. Most cosmetics with this function are waterproof with good longevity. Self-tanning is also healthier than exposing yourself into the sun ray. Covering stretch marks thoroughly is the best treatment to be done since removing it completely when it had turned silvery white is almost impossible. Getting a sun tanning even makes these lines a lot more visible, which will not be attractive to your physical appearance. Sun tanning can also lead to sunburn which is painful. Thus, sufficient sun exposure for vitamin D might be good, but excessive exposure to ultraviolet for stretch marks treatment should be reconsidered. Instead, a practical, simple covering with self-tanning might be a way out to be considered.