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B3.Emu Oil and Stretch Marks
Last Updated: 12/20/2016

Emu Oil is receiving a lot of recognition as a preventative measure to stop stretch marks from occurring and to minimize the appearance of existing stretch marks. Stretch marks affect as many as 90% of all women (and many men), she says, and they are not easy to get rid of.

Once they have passed the initial stage, when they are red or purple, to the later stages, where they become white or silver — often with deep indentations — they are much more challenging to treat.

Many young mothers have begun applying emu oil to their skin during the first trimester. The oil has proven to thicken skin by plumping the underlying dermis and subcutaneous layers. The oil delivers bio-nutrients which assist the body in the production of collagen, elastins and new skin cells. Thicker, healthier skin is much more pliant and stretchable and will not succumb to the deep tears associated with stretch marks. Body builders and young teens can enjoy the same protection and the added benefits of reduction of pain and inflammation.

If scars are still newly formed (red and inflamed from broken blood vessels) the oil can assist by reducing inflammation and inhibit excessive build up of collagen before it occurs. If scars are older and white, due to loss of pigmentation, the oil can still reduce the appearance, but don’t expect overnight results. Just a few drops of emu oil go a long, long way and it’s best to apply small amounts frequently to nourish skin than a lot of oil at one time.

Researchers believe there are two common factors in the occurrence of stretch marks. The first – insufficient supply of elastin and collagen fibers in the skin; the second – rapid weight gain over a short period of time such as pregnancy, adolescent growth spurts and body building. The most common areas affected by stretch marks are those where skin is thinner such as the hips, breasts, buttocks, thighs and abdomen.

Stretch marks occur when thin skin is stretched to the point of breaking down, similar to elastic losing its’ elasticity. This breakdown actually occurs in the dermis (mid layer of skin) where collagen and elastin fibers allow skin to stretch and then shrink back into shape. When there are not enough fibers present the underlying layer tears; the body then responds by producing an excess of collagen to fill in the tear which results in scar tissue visible through the epidermis (top layer of skin).

Hormones and steroids can inhibit the production or cause an abnormal formation of collagen and elastin fibers. Increases in the level of these hormones occur naturally during pregnancy and adolescent growth spurts; as a result of certain illnesses like Cushings disease and through the use of hormonal or steroid based medications. There is also a genetic factor. “Basically, if your mother had them, you’re probably going to have them,” says Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Group and author of The Skin Type Solution.



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