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July 29, 2019
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Stretch Mark Myths

Stretch Mark Myths

There are a ton of misconceptions, myths, and straight-up lies about stretch marks floating around. First of all, stretch marks are natural. There’s nothing wrong with having them, and luckily the world is shifting toward the appreciation of certain naturally occurring appearances. There isn’t just one reason why we get stretch marks. In fact, there are a few contributing factors that can cause these to appear.

  • Genes
  • Hormone production (like estrogen)
  • Puberty
  • Weight gain
  • Pregnancy

OK, so they’re natural, now what? Well, there’s always a bit of back and forth about whether or not you can actually get rid of, or prevent stretch marks. The truth is that it depends. There are a bunch of variables that may impact the effectiveness of certain treatments or the possibility of never developing these marks in the first place.

Myth #1: You can completely prevent stretch marks

Here’s the truth, you can take some steps to minimize the chances of forming stretch marks, but there’s nothing you can do to completely prevent them. Sure, stretch marks may occur after rapid weight gain. Therefore, eating healthy and exercising are good ways to check this one off the list. If you would rather not have stretch marks than have a child, you can do everything possible to not get pregnant.

But, there are certain factors that are just out of your control. Puberty, your genes or family history, and even hormone production can have a huge impact on the emergence or appearance of stretch marks. That being said, a big reason why stretch marks form is physiological and has to do with skin elasticity. Like we said there are a few ways you can prepare your skin for possible stretch mark damage down the road. Here are some steps you can take to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid highly-inflammatory foods
  • Get plenty of Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Avoid sun damage
  • Avoid tanning beds

If you’re looking for foods that are good for your skin and have plenty of Vitamins A, C, and E — check out “Foods for Healthy Skin.” 

Myth #2: Topical Treatments Are All You Need

We’re not going to completely bash on topical treatments, but the truth is that these won’t typically get rid of stretch marks on their own. First things first, if you really want to get rid of stretch marks — we would recommend consulting your dermatologist for their recommended treatment option.

Retinols can help with the discoloration, but they require a bit of care and supervision so that you don’t make them worse. If you’re going to use these, it should be under the supervision of a certified dermatologist. Certain topical treatments or creams can certainly lighten the tone of stretch marks — which may work for certain skin tones. However, you’ll need to be aware of any allergens that may be present in these products as allergic reactions can occur.

Myth #3: There’s Nothing You Can Do

One of the most common myths is that there is absolutely nothing you can do about your stretch marks. If you’re really dead-set on minimizing the appearance, reducing the size, or improving on discoloration — there are certain treatment options available to you. Now, keep in mind that the severity of your stretch marks will affect how effective a treatment may be compared to another.

Microneedling

This procedure is great for improving collagen production in your skin. Stretch marks are technically “damaged” skin, making procedures that promote collagen growth a great option. How does it work? Well, tiny needs create micropuncture wounds on the top layer of your skin. This seems crazy, right? Nope. It’s perfectly healthy and actually jumpstarts the body’s healing process which in turn creates cell turnover that promotes healthy collagen growth.

Microdermabrasion 

Similarly to microneedling, microdermabrasion works on the top layer of skin. However, this treatment is less about promoting cell turnover and more about healthy exfoliation that can help with the appearance of white or lighter stretch marks. Tiny exfoliating crystals are sprayed onto the targeted area and then removed along with the dead skin, buffing and smoothing out the desired area — which in turn tightens collagen and improves elasticity.

This procedure isn’t a one-and-done treatment. It typically takes repeated appointments to get the desired effect. This procedure may not entirely remove stretch marks (especially if they are severe), but it can improve coloration.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing works to rejuvenate the skin by dissolving the molecular bonds of damaged cells. Layer by layer these cells rebuild to become smoother and far more even looking. This is a popular treatment option for those looking to get rid of stretch marks after pregnancy. This procedure also works to rid the face and body of fine lines and wrinkles, texture, and discoloration.

There You Have It

There’s nothing wrong with stretch marks. They’re natural, and truth be told most of us either have them or get them. That being said there are ways you can go about reducing the appearance or size of stretch marks if you really want to.

We mentioned a handful of treatment options, but deciding which one is right for you should be done with the help of a professional. Speak to your dermatologist or schedule a consultation with an expert so that you can determine which treatment option would work best for you.

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