These are lighter lines in your skin that appear in places like your breasts, stomach, hips, butt, and thighs. They are typically long, thin rippled lines. Another, more medical, name for them is stria. Most people that have stretch marks want them to disappear. Luckily, these lines aren’t harmful to you but most of us don’t like to look at them. Beauty ‘N Fashion is going to go over what exactly these marks are and some helpful treatments you can try to get rid of these pesky beauty marks.
Just to be warned, stretch marks never really go away. The only thing they do is fade after many years, when you get certain procedures, or use certain products.
Risk Factors and Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are the result of your body growing very quickly. This can happen when kids hit a rapid growth spurt or when you put on a little weight over the holidays. What is happening is that your skin is rapidly expanding in order to compensate for the rapid growth it is experiencing. Since it is not growing at its usual slow rate, this produces little lines where it had to grow super-fast, these are the stretch marks you see.
Reasons for Stretch Marks:
-Rapid weight gain (men and women get this)
-Growth spurts in children
-Large amounts of steroids (from taking medication or Cushing’s syndrome)
-A genetic disease called Marfan syndrome
-Another genetic disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Symptoms of Stretch Marks
Sometimes when you get new stretch marks, they can feel itchy and slightly raised. They can also look rippled and can be different colours. They might start out as red or pink and fade to a purplish-blue line that is thinner than before. They can also look like scars once they fade over time. Luckily, once they fade, you don’t notice them quite as much.
Body Parts Where You Can Get Them:
This is one of the simplest diagnostics doctors can give you. All they have to do is look at the area where the marks are and know it is stretch marks. Even though stretch marks are completely safe and are no cause for worry, the doctor will probably check your medical history, if you’ve taken topical or oral steroids, and to see if you have high cortisol levels. This will check to make sure you don’t have a disease like we listed above.
Different Treatment Options
There are numerous treatments and home remedies you can use to try and treat your stretch marks. Like most things, there are some that work better than others.
If you go to a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, they will likely use a laser or other treatments that will fade the marks. These treatments will help your skin to produce more collagen.
Laser Therapy Using A Pulsed Dye
This is a completely painless laser light that can be used on red, new stretch marks. What this does is the light’s energy relaxes blood vessels that are under the skin that are causing the red marks.
Laser Therapy Using Fractional CO2
This is a newer treatment that is supposed to smooth out your old stretch marks that look like scars. There was a study done that found women’s stretch marks were fading after only 5 sessions. This was compared to people using topical treatments with glycolic acid and tretinoin.
Laser Therapy Using Excimer
This laser exposes your stretch marks to very targeted UVB light. There was a small study that showed it’s safe to use with treatments over 1-4 months and it can correct any pigment issues related to stretch marks.
This treatment uses really little crystals that rub off the very top layer of your skin. There was a new study that found this treatment helped to fade newer reddish marks when it was paired with skin peels.
Just like getting a tummy tuck, surgeons will remove a section of skin that has stretch marks. A downside to this procedure is that it will leave you with scars. Additionally, these surgeries are often painful and can cost a lot of money.
Acid Solutions and Chemical Peels
These are topical treatments that burn off the top layer of skin. Doing so removes damaged and dead skin cells. This will boost the collagen in your skin, which promotes new skin growth. This can improve stretch marks a little, unfortunately, it won’t get rid of them completely.
This treatment used radio waves that generate heat and trigger collagen production in your body. There was a small study done that found this to be safe and will improve the look of stretch marks but there needs to be more research done.
This is very similar to radiofrequency treatments. There are sound waves that penetrate deep in the skin that heat, tighten, and activate collagen production.
There are a large assortment of oils, creams, salves, and other ointments that all claim to treat or prevent stretch marks. However, there is very little proof that these products actually work. Most home remedies will fade or hide stretch marks.
Self-Tanner or Makeup
These are topical products that will cover up your stretch marks, hiding them from view. They don’t actually get rid of the marks at all. Tanning actually accentuates the stretch marks, making it easier to see them.
There are certain creams that will have this as an ingredient. This is also called Retin-A, containing retinoid. This is a compound that is related to Vitamin A. These increase collagen production in your skin. The most common use for these is to treat wrinkles. If you use this, it could help fade new stretch marks but there is a possibility that it will make your skin red, scaly, and irritated.
Lupin seeds and StriVectin-SD extracts are said to increase collagen production in your skin but this has not actually been proven if it fades or prevents stretch marks.
This is a herbal oil that is said to boost cells that will make collagen. It also helps to build up skin tissues. Certain people use this to help heal cuts and wounds. You can find this in numerous over-the-counter skin creams that claim to help stretch marks. However, there isn’t much proof that it helps fade the marks.
There was a study that showed women who rubbed bitter almond oil into their skin during pregnancy had fewer stretch marks.
Moisturizers Containing: Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Vitamin E
All of these are natural creams and they can make your skin feel soft. However, it is not actually clear if they prevent or help stretch marks.
Now that you know some different treatments you can do at home, make sure that if you use a lotion, cream, or gel for your stretch marks, use it for several weeks every day. Make sure to take the time and massage it into your skin. Most of these products only work on newer stretch marks.
Some good news is that it is actually possible to prevent stretch marks. Although, there is no actual guarantee. One of the best ways to decrease your chances of getting them is to maintain a healthy weight throughout your whole life, this includes during pregnancy. You can consult your doctor about healthy eating habits and an exercise plan to keep you on track. If you use any products, look for the ones containing the ingredients centella and hyaluronic acid, these might work to prevent stretch marks.
How We Can Help
We know it takes a lot of time and effort to look after your skin. With so many remedies claiming to help with so many different things it can be hard to figure out what ones actually work. That is why Beauty ‘N Fashion wants to help you navigate the tricky world of skincare by coming out with these blogs. If you want to read more Beauty tips, Fashion tips, or Lifestyle tips, check out our website!
* Disclaimer: Beauty 'N Fashion provides general information only. Our aim is to provide the most accurate information possible, but we do not take responsibility for any errors or results.