Saggy stomach skin and stretch marks are one of the drawbacks of dramatic weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy. Not everyone gets both stretch marks and a saggy stomach--some people get both, while others get neither. It depends on how your individual body responds to these physiological stressors.
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Saggy skin is readily apparent, as the skin appears to be "stretched out" and tends to hang down. Stretch marks are pinkish lines that appear where the skin of the stomach has been stretched. There may be many of them, or only a few. Old stretch marks are often silvery-white in colour.
Sagging skin on the stomach is usually caused by losing a significant amount of weight at a rapid rate. Pregnancy also can cause saggy stomach skin. Ageing causes it as well, as skin tends to lose its elasticity as we age.
Stretch marks often accompany sagging skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, causes of stretch marks are pregnancy, weight gain, steroid medications and conditions such as Cushing's syndrome and disorders of the adrenal gland.
Sagging stomach skin can be minimised by losing weight at a slow rate. It cannot be prevented altogether, although each person will have a different response to pregnancy and losing weight. Likewise, stretch marks cannot always be prevented, although preventing excessive weight gain will greatly reduce the incidence of stretch marks.
According to health and fitness expert Martica Heaner, many people decide to have saggy skin surgically removed by having a "tummy tuck." Unlike sagging skin, stretch marks often go away on their own. If not, treatments that can be tried include microdermabrasion, laser therapy and Tretinoin cream, popularly known as Retin-A.
"Even though some might consider them a flaw, I've learnt to love my stretch marks. Pregnancy was the most incredible experience I've ever had. So I'll take the stretch marks. I'll take the sagging boobs. I'll take the cellulite I can never get rid of. If you walk around with your head held high and you're happy and positive, then all that other stuff is irrelevant. Confidence is number one." -- actress Jessica Alba
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