When you take a closer look into your body, you will probably notice some fine colored lines on certain parts of your skin, which are known as stretch marks. Almost everybody has these marks at some point in their life, and they are not considered harmful to your health; many people do not like how stretch marks make their skin look and try to find ways to get rid of stretch marks.
This article will answer the questions: how do we get rid of stretch marks? And can it be removed completely?
What causes stretch marks?
By definition, stretch marks are fine lines that can appear suddenly on your skin. Stretch marks may have several colors like red, purple, brown, and white. The color of the mark is an indication of how new they are. New stretch marks tend to have a reddish appearance, and their color gradually turns white with time.
Stretch marks’ appearance on the skin can be explained by the sudden stretch and shrink of the skin. But in general, there are several common causes for stretch marks to appear, such as:
1- Weight gain: As you gain weight, your skin stretches to make place for the new fat cells. This can create some tears in the skin that usually appears when you lose weight again.
2- Pregnancy: The skin will stretch as your baby grows inside the womb during pregnancy. Due to pregnancy hormones, your skin will be more prone to stretch marks.
3- Puberty: During puberty, the body tends to grow faster, causing the skin to stretch more.
4- Breast augmentation surgery: Stretch marks can appear on the breast because of the increase in the underlying tissues due to breast augmentation surgery.
5- Steroids: Taking steroids for a long time can reduce collagen production. Therefore, the skin becomes less elastic.
6- Some illnesses and diseases: Some diseases can make the skin less elastic such as Marfan syndrome. Others like Cushing’s can cause fast growth of some tissues.
Stretch marks are more common in women than that in men. The risks of getting stretch marks can increase with several factors like family history.
Best stretch marks treatments
The treatments for getting rid of stretch marks will not remove them altogether. However, they will help you reduce the appearance of stretch marks. In general, new stretch marks respond better to the treatment, but old white ones can also be reduced.
laser therapy is a standard popular method to remove stretch marks. When laser beams are applied to the skin, they will penetrate the layers of the skin, inducing faster healing to the tissues that surround the stretch marks.
Laser therapy can also increase melanin production in the skin, thus unifying the skin tone of the stretch marks and the surrounding area. You will need several sessions to have the final results, but the results can last for a few years.
Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic surgery used to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin to help the skin regenerate and regain its elasticity. The process uses either a device with a diamond tip or a device with aluminum oxide.
Microdermabrasion only affects the top layer of the skin, but it can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by boosting collagen and elastin production in the skin; therefore, it will increase the skin’s elasticity.
Both collagen production and skin resurfacing caused by Microdermabrasion will help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. This is why this method is proven effective for all body parts.
Topical creams and ointments
Many creams and ointments can be used to get rid of stretch marks, and some of them can be bought without a prescription. Topical treatments are common since they are cheaper and easy to obtain.
Stretch marks creams are mainly used to treat new red stretch marks. However, they only reduce the appearance of the stretch marks rather than removing them completely.
Radio Frequency therapy
Radiofrequency therapy is a procedure that uses a device that sends radiofrequency waves into the skin. Unlike other treatments that can only affect the epidermis, radiofrequency waves penetrate the skin to a deeper level and increase collagen production in the skin.
Since the waves affect the dermis, which is where the stretch marks are formed, radiofrequency therapy brings good results in removing stretch marks. But even this method may not remove old stretch marks altogether.
Using surgery to get rid of stretch marks is often seen as the last resort used when other non-invasive options fail. Few surgeries can treat stretch marks such as tummy tuck, thigh lift, and arm lift.
Removing stretch marks with surgery is the most expensive option, and it delivers good results. However, you will have a scar from the surgery if you use one of these surgeries to get rid of stretch marks. Fortunately, your surgeon will try all that is possible to keep the resulting scars minimal and hidden.
How to get rid of stretch marks on the breasts?
Having stretch marks on the breasts is completely normal for women. They can appear due to puberty as they grow in size or during pregnancy. Sometimes women can have stretch marks after breast augmentation surgery.
On top of the abovementioned treatments, it is possible to get rid of stretch marks using some home treatments like:
1- Massage: When you massage the skin, the blood flow will increase, causing more collagen production in the skin. This can work better with new reddish or pinkish stretch marks.
2- Vitamin E: Applying natural products with vitamin E such as shea butter and cocoa butter can help you get rid of new stretch marks.
3- Acid peeling: Peeling the top layer of your skin with Acid peels will temporarily reduce the appearance of stretch marks. In addition, it will boost elastin and collagen production, which can help you remove them.
How to remove stretch marks after pregnancy?
Women should expect stretch marks due to pregnancy, especially on the breasts and the lower abdomen. Stretch marks become clear during the third semester of pregnancy because of the hormonal change and increased breasts and belly size.
Luckily, there are some safe ways to remove them from the skin during pregnancy like:
1- Applying olive oil on them: You can massage the targeted areas with olive oil. Olive oil can help moisturize the skin and let the body absorb necessary vitamins like E, D, and A.
2- Applying aloe vera gel: Rubbing the skin with aloe vera gel can promote skin healing and induce collagen production to help you get rid of stretch marks.
3- Sugar scrub: You can put some sugar on the skin and rub your skin to remove dead skin. You can benefit more if you add some essential oils like almond oil and Avocado oils to promote more collagen and elastin production to boost the healing of the skin.
4- Medical treatments: After pregnancy, you can use some medical treatments to remove the stretch marks that remain after the delivery. Laser therapy is usually the most common option, but it is possible to have surgery such as a tummy tuck.
Stretch marks do not cause any harm to your body, and you do not need to worry about them. A lot of women live with them and accept them. However, if you do not feel comfortable with how they make you look, you can remove them safely either by non-invasive procedures or by surgery.