Collagen is a protein that serves to support your tissues, cells, organs, and bone structure. Collagen is around 75% of healthy skin. It makes up a huge chunk of our skin that when fibers of collagen get damaged or when collagen production decreases, the overall health of our skin gets significantly affected. Examples of bad effects are fine lines, wrinkles, and premature aging of the skin. Another bad effect is the development of stretch marks.
During pregnancy, some hormones make the collagen found in the ligaments around a woman’s abdomen softer in order to prepare the body for the birthing process. Unfortunately, these hormones also affect the collagen found in the skin. Since the skin collagen becomes weaker, stretch marks form as the body grows in order to accommodate the growing baby. Thus, as much as 75 to 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks over the course of their pregnancy.
Aside from physical damage to the skin like overstretching of the skin due to extreme weight changes, other factors may bring about the breakdown of the collagen in our skin or cause its rate of production to decline. One example is sunlight exposure.
UVA and UVB, which are two forms of ultraviolet radiation, damages the collagen in healthy skin. A lot of individuals spend much time under the sun wearing little to no protection at all. As such, their skin exhibits damage in the form of premature aging compared to those people who use skin protection like sunscreen and clothing.
The Use of Collagen in Stretch Mark Prevention
In order to prevent and reduce stretch marks, you should aim to promote the production of new collagen in addition to the maintenance of the levels of healthy collagen in your skin. One way of doing this is to ensure that you are getting enough amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also a promoter of collagen synthesis. Eating right will help you get the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, but it would also help if you take health supplements.
The removal of dead skin cells can also stimulate collagen production. You may use products that exfoliate the skin in order to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You may also use stretch mark creams that encourage the production of collagen.