How to get rid of stretch marks quickly

How to get rid of stretch marks quickly

 

When we hear the name stretch marks everyone will remember the marks post pregnancy. But the fact remains that it is common for everyone that is both men and women. Anyone who is on their weight loss journey or weight gain also gets stretch mark. Though the marks often affect the abdomen it is also prevalent in areas like buttocks, thighs, back, breasts, axillae and groin.  So what is stretch mark?

In medical terms Stretch marks or striae is a form of dermal scarring due to stretching of the skin.

Common risk factors that lead to stretch marks are

  • After pregnancy
  • Rapid change in weight
  • Physical stretch during workout
  • Alterations in skin collagen
  • Deficiency of fibrillin in individuals with Marfan Syndrome.
  • Aging
  • Family history

The myth is that stretch mark is due to late pregnancy. The fact is that during pregnancy it is more common in younger women than in older women.

Now we know that stretch mark is not just a line or thin skin with a scar.

Based on appearance stretch marks are classified as

  • striae atrophicans (stretch mark with thin skin)
  • striae distensae (stretch mark with stretched skin)
  • striae gravidarum (marks after pregnancy)
  • striae rubrae (red coloured stretch mark)
  • striae albae (white coloured stretch mark)
  • striae nigra (black coloured stretch mark)
  • striae caerulea (dark blue coloured stretch mark)

Now it’s clear that based upon the type and severity of stretch mark the choice of recovery varies.

So to get rid of that one should be clear about the root cause. It is not easy to treat stretch marks efficiently unless and until you are in the hands of cosmetologist or cosmetic dermatologist who are experts in aesthetic treatment methods.

Treatment Options

Both home remedies and professional treatment options are available for stretch marks. Most people think applying natural oils can relieve the marks. But it can only prevent. So professionals prefer laser, mesotherapy, chemical peeling, micro needling to improvise the scars and rarely surgical methods.

Home Remedies For Stretch Marks

Topical applications

A number of topical applications are available to prevent stretch marks. Studies reveal that they are not efficient in curing stretchmarks. Using these creams, natural oils or serums can reduce the severity of the stretch marks. The ingredient must be chosen based on the appearance of the stretch mark as it varies from person to person. Let’s discuss few common ingredients suggested by experts for stretch marks.

Emollients and moisturisers

Applying emollients to early stretch marks make the marks less noticeable and safe for use during pregnancy. These are available as natural oils and commercial moisturisers.

Natural ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks include application of few common ingredients available at home.

  • Rose hip oil rich in Provitamin A fades stretch mark and also regenerates skin cells to make the skin firmer.
  • Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory property and suitable for itchy stretch marks.
  • Natural butters like shea, cocoa can reduce the redness of new stretch marks, strengthen the damaged skin, and provide added UV protection.
  • Aloe vera with its skin healing property along with moisturising factor fades stretch marks and softens the skin.
  • Almond oil is safe to use during pregnancy.  It improves the skin structure binding the collagen and elastin fibre. When used in combination with essential oils like lavender oil, olive oil it provides anti stretching property.

All these are used in controlling the appearance of stretch marks.

Products available in cosmetic market or over the counter are commonly recommended emollients as they work by increasing collagen levels and reducing the appearance of stretch marks especially striae rubrae and striae albae.

  • Hyaluronic acid is a novel ingredient used in creams, lotions and serum formulated for stretch marks. Hyaluronic acid improves skin elasticity, boosts the collagen to make the skin firmer.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant known for its anti-aging and skin regenerating benefits. Vitamin E containing creams along with body butters and essential oils may give your stretch mark treatment regimen a boost.
  • Peptides if massaged on stretch marks can build collagen or restore elasticity to skin thus reducing the appearance of stretch marks or scars.

Stretch marks cream

Stretch mark removal creams are recommended by experts based on their mechanism of action. The best stretch marks cream should have the ability to stimulate collagen production, increase elasticity, and improve cell proliferation, anti‐inflammatory properties as well as rehydration.

Tretinoin rebuilds the collagen protein thus fading the stretch marks. But it is not recommended to use during pregnancy. The disruption of elastin fiber makes the skin less firm, less elastic than normal skin. Retinoids promotes collagen and elastin.

Silicone gel

Silicone gels improves the appearance of existing stretch marks especially striae distensae which appears due to stretching of the skin. Gel sheets reduce the texture, colour and size of scar. Silicone gels increase collagen and decrease pigmentation levels and also ideal for hypertrophic scars.

Professional Treatments For Stretch Marks

Chemical peeling

Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) and Beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) are used by professionals on stretch marks that have increased depth. Peeling performed with AHA and BHA improves the appearance of stretch marks and penetrates deeper to exfoliate, regenerate and lighten the scars. Removing dead skin cells using exfoliators allows other topical creams to work efficiently in reducing stretch marks.

Microneedling

Microneedling improves early and late stretch marks. In this technique tiny needles are rolled over the skin to naturally boost the collagen production. This therapy is more efficient than microdermabrasion. Micro needling improves the collagen of the skin and can act deeper on older stretch marks especially with darker skin.

Laser therapy

Laser performed by cosmetologist stimulates melanin production, regenerates the skin in anyone with striae or white stretch marks. CO2 laser, erbium laser are commonly used to resurface the scars. They destroy the upper layer of the skin and after healing the scar becomes less prominent. Type of laser should be chosen by doctor based on the stretch mark.

 Conclusion

Stretch marks are due to disruption of the underlying collagen and elastin fibre. There are several treatment options available to fade stretch marks on shoulder, breast, buttock, hip, upper arm, thighs, and abdomen. To give the best results experts may use more than one treatment option like laser and topical applications, peeling or micro needling. A dermatologist can only tell you about the treatment suitable for you, based on your health, age, and how long you’ve had the stretch marks.


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