Stretch Marks: Why they appear and how to get

February 24, 2020

STRETCH MARKS: WHY THEY APPEAR AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM

What exactly is a stretch mark?

A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.

Not everyone develops these narrow bands on their skin. Fluctuating hormone levels seem to play a role. You may also have a higher risk if people in your family get stretch marks.

If you develop stretch marks, you’re most likely to do so during these times:

- Growth spurts that happen in puberty

- Pregnancy

- Rapid weight loss or gain

- Weight training when you have rapid muscle growth

- Applying a corticosteroid to your skin for a long time can also cause stretch marks. If you have Cushing’s disease or Marfan syndrome, you may see stretch marks.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before treating stretch marks. Some products contain ingredients, such as retinol, that can harm your baby.

Home remedies: In studies, popular home remedies have not worked. Researchers found that none of the stretch marks faded when people massaged almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, or vitamin E into their stretch marks.

Self-tanner: While tanning can make stretch marks more noticeable, a self-tanner can camouflage stretch marks — both early and mature ones. A self-tanner cannot get of rid of stretch marks.

Prescription medicine you apply to your skin: In studies, two ingredients seem to offer some relief:

- Hyaluronic acid

- Tretinoin

- In two large studies, applying hyaluronic acid to early stretch marks made the stretch marks less noticeable.

- Tretinoin is a retinoid, which may also make early stretch marks less noticeable. In one study, people who applied this prescription cream every night for 24 weeks had less noticeable stretch marks. Those who didn’t apply the cream saw their early stretch marks grow. Other studies have found similar results.

- Retinol, another type of retinoid, may also help fade early stretch marks.

Procedures that aesthetics perform use the following procedures to make stretch marks less noticeable, but none of these can get rid of stretch marks:

- Microneedles

- Chemical peel

- Microdermabrasion

- Radiofrequency

To give you the best results, your aesthetics may use more than one procedure. For example, your aesthetics may treat you with radiofrequency and a pulse dye laser.

With all procedures, side effects are possible. In the skilled hands of a board-certified aesthetics , side effects tend to be minor and temporary. It’s common to have some redness and swelling after a procedure. The redness and swelling tend to disappear in a few hours or days.

A aesthetics can tell you if any of these treatments would be suitable for you, given your health, age, and how long you’ve had the stretch marks.

Can anything prevent stretch marks?

Short answer: Maybe.

Researchers have discovered that many remedies said to prevent stretch marks don’t actually work. In studies, neither almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, nor vitamin E prevented stretch marks.

Other ingredients may work. Researchers have found that products containing centella or hyaluronic acid may help prevent stretch marks. Centella is an herb, and our skin naturally contains hyaluronic acid.

When to seek a aesthetics expertise

Stretch mark treatments that you can buy at a store or online can be expensive. If you find yourself spending a lot of time and money without getting any results, seeing a board-certified aesthetics can be helpful.

The in-office procedures have proven more effective than the creams, lotions, and gels. Aesthetics can also tell you about any new product or procedure that may help.

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