The Best Treatments for Stretch Marks

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The Best Treatments for Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are a common skin defect that both men and women experience. It may be alarming initially, but it’s essential to know that the occurrence of stretch marks isn’t a sign that there’s something wrong with your health. While it’s unlikely that you will entirely rid your skin of stretch marks, there are many treatments and home remedies that can help minimize their appearance.

Causes and Symptoms

A stretch mark or striae develop when your skin changes shape rapidly by stretching or shrinking. When this sudden change occurs, the collagen and elastin that generally support your skin, rapture, resulting in a stretch mark once the skin heals. Initially appearing in red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, over time, this coloring fades and takes on a translucent, shiny presentation. Commonly, the stretch mark is raised in its initial existence, but over time it sinks beneath your skin. Not everyone develops stretch marks, but there are standard times in life where the chances of developing stretch marks are heightened.

  • Grow Spurts
  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Rapid Weight Loss or Gain
  • Intensive Weight Training

If you’re utilizing a corticosteroid on your skin due to a different medical issue for a long duration of time, there is potential that stretch marks may appear in the area it has been applied. Additionally, if you suffer from Cushing’s or Marfan syndrome, you will likely notice stretch marks as well.

Treatments

Once stretch marks appear, they usually don’t go away completely, but treatments and home remedies may make them less noticeable. Everyone’s skin is different, meaning that select methods may work better than others for you to begin noticing results. As stretch marks are not physically painful, they still can affect your confidence and self-esteem, so finding a method that works for you is ideal for your mental health.

Chemical Peel

An acidic solution is applied to the skin during a chemical peel to burn off the surface layers of the skin. While it may seem intimidating, the pain is relatively minimal but depends on the level of peel being completed. Most people experience a burning sensation that lasts 5 to 10 minutes, followed by stinging that is calmed by a cold compress.

Throughout this process, damaged and dead skin cells are removed, thus jumpstarting skin regeneration. There are three different types of chemical peels concurrent to the level of skin damage being treated, and each level affects specific layers of the skin. While chemical peels likely won’t make stretch marks disappear, their visibility will commonly be reduced.

Laser Therapy

This treatment is a non-toxic and non-invasive therapy that utilizes infrared and visible red light to repair skin cells and encourage regeneration. Laser therapy or resurfacing reduces the appearance of stretch marks by softening and flattening their appearance. Commonly, you won’t recognize significant changes immediately following treatment as the area may be red or swollen. Over time, your skin will calm, and the appearance of your stretch marks will be minimalized.

Microdermabrasion

This procedure focuses on the problem area by exfoliating, improving circulation, and kickstarting regeneration of collagen and elastin. Many are drawn to microdermabrasion as it tends to be safer than other options and is non-invasive. The duration of treatment is relatively short, and the frequency of visits depends on how severe the area is. You will notice youthful, rejuvenated skin after your procedure.

 

Home Remedies

While there aren’t any known treatments or home remedies that can rid your skin entirely of stretch marks, there are many methods and products that are known to minimize the appearance which rules out common stretch mark myths. Caring for your skin and finding products or at-home remedies that work best for you is of utmost importance, so you can be comfortable and happy with your appearance plus see potential cost savings.

Vitamin A

Retinoids help make the skin appear smoother and more youthful, and they’ve been incorporated into many over-the-counter topical cosmetic creams. Using a vitamin A serum or taking a vitamin orally will contribute to your skin’s overall health and appearance. Implementing foods rich in vitamin A into your diet, such as orange and yellow vegetables and fruits or eggs, will also help increase your vitamin A levels.

Exfoliation

While there are many different DIY recipes for at-home skin exfoliants, sugar and coffee-based scrubs are the most popular. Exfoliating the area buffs away the dry, surface layers of the skin, creating a new base for your oils and moisturizers to penetrate more effectively than before. If this process is done correctly, it can encourage collagen and elastin reproduction, creating healthier and more resilient skin. Cellular turnover is also influenced during this treatment, which results in a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Aloe Vera

Known for its ability to heal many different skin problems, it’s healing, and hydrating properties are the main reason many products and companies are advertised with it incorporated. Aloe Vera has many vital enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids that help promote faster healing and regeneration. Additionally, it also contains plant collagen, which improves the overall elasticity of the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

This substance is naturally found in your connective tissues and attempts to create a bond between collagen and elastin, which allows for skin to have healthy elasticity. If your body is lacking hyaluronic acid, your skin will become wrinkly and saggy and will be easily affected by stretch marks. You can increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body with dietary changes, dietary aids, and supplements to further promote collagen production.

Coconut Oil

If utilizing coconut oil, the overall appearance of your skin will improve, which may reduce the look of stretch marks. It also promotes healing and prevents stretch marks from occurring if used as a preventative measure. Since coconut oil contains a lot of nutrients that your skin loves or may be lacking, it’s highly beneficial to incorporate it into your skincare regimen.

Final Thoughts

Stretch marks can occur on both men and women, so remember you’re not alone. While it may startle you initially, it’s essential to be proactive and explore the various treatments and home remedies that help prolong and minimize the effects of stretch marks. Instances where your skin changes rapidly, whether it be stretching or shrinking, are the leading causes of stretch marks. Extended use of a topical corticosteroid and other medical issues can also cause them to appear. Being aware of your body, diet, and skincare regimen are the first steps to a confident, healthy you.

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