You might have noticed different types of lines appear on your body as you age throughout the years, from fine lines to wrinkles to stretch marks. Stretch marks are the long, narrow lines that develop when your skin stretches quickly, causing the collagen and elastin support network to rupture. So once these appear, you must be worried about stretch mark removal.
Depending on your skin color, stretch marks can range from red to purple, to even dark brown. They commonly crop up on the hips, abdomen, thighs, and breasts, usually around puberty and pregnancy.
In fact, a study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology found that more than 50 percent of all pregnant women tend to develop stretch marks during pregnancy.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, millions of people develop stretch marks at some point in their lives. Many like you strive to get rid of them as quickly as they show up. If you are looking to disguise or get rid of your stretch marks, here is everything you need to know:
Stretch Mark Removal an Overview
Stretch marks are colored streaks or lines that appear on your skin if you gain a sudden weight or with sudden growth. They are essentially tears on your skin but are not an indication of a health issue.
The skin is your body’s largest organ and has the remarkable ability to expand and contract as needed. Your skin is strong and elastic, but its supporting tissues might get damaged if they stretch too quickly or too far. This rapid expansion of your skin leads to the development of stretch marks.
Stretch marks often start as red or purple and slowly fade to silver or white with time. The color difference actually distinguishes how old the marks are.
Though they might never disappear completely, consistent treatment can lighten the color of your stretch marks and shrink them. In other cases, stretch marks generally fade away on their own.
Newer, red-tinged stretch marks or striae rubra are easier to treat. When they initially appear, they are red in color because blood vessels are present under the skin. The red stretch marks are due to the presence of functioning blood vessels. Moreover, these red stretch marks are more responsive to treatment.
White stretch marks, also called striae alba, are older and more challenging to treat. With time the blood vessels in the area will slowly narrow down, making it hard to stimulate collagen production.
Your treatment results might not be as drastic compared to those of red stretch marks. But there are other options available to help them fade more naturally and at a faster pace.
Do Stretch Mark Removal Creams Work?
Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of most stretch marks fully. The reason being stretch marks are technical breaks in your skin, which is difficult to repair.
However, there are ways to soften the appearance of these stretch marks. Firstly by improving your collagen content of the skin through treatments and secondly by getting the color to fade with time.
The best way to treat stretch marks is with prevention. You need to make sure that your skin is strong and healthy. Try to keep your skin hydrated and elastic with dietary fish oil supplements.
If you take vitamin C supplements, it will ensure that you make good quality collagen naturally. Moreover, the use of moisturizers and sunscreen protects the skin from continuing damage.
The best method for at-home stretch mark treatment is to vertically massage the stretch mark and cover it with sunblock to soften and fade it.
However, if you are pregnant, you should consult your doctors for recommendations: as specific collagen- and elastin-producing ingredients might not be allowed for use during pregnancy.
Stretch Mark Removal Methods
A simple way you can treat stretch marks is through regular exfoliation. This will remove excess dead skin from your body and also new skin from your stretch marks.
Exfoliating along with other treatment methods can enhance your results. When the dead skin is removed from your stretch marks, other skin treatments penetrate more deeply and work faster.
2 Topical treatments
Topical ointments and creams are more affordable methods for reducing appearance. Some creams are easily available over-the-counter, while your doctor prescribes others.
If applied regularly, topical creams can lighten the tone of your stretch marks, but they might not completely remove the marks. Before using any topical treatment, discuss with your doctor the risks involved. It is because some creams might trigger an allergic reaction or might not be strong enough to treat your condition.
Microdermabrasion is a painless procedure which can reduce the appearance of your older stretch marks. The procedure targets the epidermis, the upper layer of skin, and works by stimulating your skin to tighten collagen and elastin fibers.
During the treatment, tiny exfoliating crystals are sprayed onto your affected area. Or your doctor might rub a special tipped wand over the area.
With the use of the wand-like device, the crystals are gently removed. These crystals take with them dead skin from the epidermis layer leaving your skin free from them. For effective results, the microdermabrasion sessions are repeated over a period of time.
After the procedure, your skin may feel dry and tight. You might also notice some redness from the exfoliation.
It typically takes a day for your skin to heal. The procedure is very effective, but it does not guarantee the full removal of stretch marks.
Microneedling targets the dermis, the middle layer of your skin, where these stretch marks form. In this procedure, your therapist will poke tiny needles into your skin to trigger collagen production in your skin. Increased collagen and elastin promote skin regeneration. In addition, it also improves your skin’s appearance and reduces stretch marks.
To effectively treat stretch marks, you might need to participate in multiple sessions over a course of months. Microneedling Dubai has proved to be an effective treatment in reducing stretch marks, specifically if you have darker skin.
5 Laser therapy
Laser therapy, as you know, is a common treatment option to remove stretch marks. In the procedure, laser rays penetrate your skin, ultimately triggering regeneration. This will stimulate the tissues around the area to heal at a faster rate.
Laser therapy will stimulate melanin production in your affected area, thus activating the pigment cells in your skin. It will cause the marks to blend in with your normal skin tone. It is an effective method, but laser therapy requires more than one session to notice results.
6 Cosmetic surgery
If other treatments are unsuccessful on your stretch marks, cosmetic surgery is a viable option. Though expensive, it is an effective option that can permanently remove white stretch marks from your body. However, you need to understand that the surgery can leave scars of its own.
An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that can remove stretch marks. The procedure is also very helpful in removing excess skin and fat from your abdomen.
This treatment gives your skin and abdomen a flatter and firmer look. However, note that a surgical procedure comes with a number of health risks. Discuss with your doctor before pursuing this treatment.
Home Remedies for Stretch Mark Removal
Getting rid of your stretch marks in a completely natural way is not likely. As they are a type of scarring that rarely fades enough to become invisible. You can try home remedies that can help minimize the appearance of these marks and fade them more quickly.
Coconut Oil: The healing property of this oil was found to heal skin wounds. Applying coconut oil to your stretch marks regularly might take away some of their red appearances. It is also a safe and fast option, provided you are not allergic to the oil.
Bitter almond oil: One study showed that if you use almond oil to massage the skin around your bellies during pregnancy, there are fewer stretch marks. This oil is extracted from a different type of almond hence the oil is highly healing in nature and absorbs fast. So you can also use it as a moisturizer and apply it to the stretch marks.
Cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, olive oil, and other moisturizers: These naturally occurring creams can nourish your skin, making your skin feel softer. They are also helpful in fading or preventing stretch marks.
If you need to apply these lotions, cream, or gel to fade your marks regularly. Take time to massage it into your skin gently for maximum benefit. The products work best on newer stretch marks.
Stretch marks are a very commonly occurring skin issue. White stretch marks are older skin scars and are more difficult to treat than newer red stretch marks.
However, there are several options available to reduce the appearance of your stretch mark scars if you so choose.
Before pursuing any treatment, you need to understand that there is a possibility that your stretch marks might not disappear completely. If you have questions or concerns about the procedure or potential side effects, schedule a visit with your dermatologist and discuss in detail.