Stretch marks: Why they appear and how to get rid of them 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... 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.

When stretch marks first appear, they tend to be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin color. Early stretch marks may feel slightly raised and can be itchy.

In time, the color fades and the narrow bands sink beneath your skin. If you run your finger over a mature stretch mark, you often feel a slight depression.

What can get rid of stretch marks?

Like any scar, stretch marks are permanent, but treatment may make them less noticeable. Treatment can also help alleviate the itch.

It’s important to understand that no single treatment works for everyone — and many products don’t seem to work at all. Here’s what researchers have discovered about the many treatments for stretch marks.

Stretch mark creams, lotions, and gels: Researchers have studied many of the creams, lotions, and gels sold to treat stretch marks. While no one product seems to help all of the time — and some don’t seem to help at all — researchers have discovered some helpful hacks.

If you want to try one of these creams, lotions, or gels to fade stretch marks, be sure to:

    • Use the product on early stretch marks.
      Treatment seems to have little effect on mature stretch marks.

 

    • Massage the product into your stretch marks.
      Taking time to massage the product gently into your skin may make it more effective.

 

  • Apply the product every day for weeks.
    If you see results, they take weeks to appear.

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

  • Chemical peel
  • Laser therapy
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Radiofrequency
  • Ultrasound

 

To give you the best results, your dermatologist may use more than one procedure. For example, your dermatologist 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 dermatologist, 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 dermatologist 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 dermatologist’s 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 dermatologist can be helpful.

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

Obinna Onyia

  • tamia

    2018-08-29 #1 Author

    very helpful and interesting

    Reply

  • Nia

    2018-08-29 #2 Author

    interesting . Very helpful .

    Reply

  • Nisha

    2018-08-29 #3 Author

    Interesting. It seems as if my stretch marks have gotten lighter since I delivered 9 Months ago.

    Reply

  • Nicole Wilson

    2018-08-30 #4 Author

    I’m going to have to try to find something for mines

    Reply

  • Chassidi judge

    2018-08-30 #5 Author

    I hate stretch marks

    Reply

  • Jada

    2018-08-30 #6 Author

    Extremely helpful 💪🏼 Just had my baby 2 months ago I needed this

    Reply

  • sharom

    2018-08-30 #7 Author

    wow very good information.

    Reply

  • Dayana

    2018-08-31 #8 Author

    – I needed this bad because I have stretch marks

    Reply

  • Saroyia Young

    2018-08-31 #9 Author

    I think stretch marks are beautiful ❤️

    Reply

  • Vanessa

    2018-09-01 #10 Author

    THIS IS SO GOOD

    Reply

  • Vanessa

    2018-09-01 #11 Author

    This is amazing

    Reply

  • Serenity

    2018-09-01 #12 Author

    Very interesting

    Reply

  • Nakyah

    2018-09-02 #13 Author

    This is amazing

    Reply

  • Brooke

    2018-09-03 #14 Author

    Proud of my stretch marks! It shows I brought a beautiful child into this world! Us women are magical ✨

    Reply

  • Brooklynn Bailey

    2018-09-03 #15 Author

    I love my stretch marks! Bringing my daughter into this world is the best thing that has ever happened to me and of that comes with some stretch marks then I’m totally okay with it

    Reply

  • Anniece

    2018-09-04 #16 Author

    Definitely saving

    Reply

  • Tay

    2018-09-07 #17 Author

    I love my stretch marks 🤣🤣

    Reply

  • Natalie Sharpe

    2018-09-08 #18 Author

    I Love My Stretch Marks ,Shows Me How Much I’ve Grown

    Reply

  • Elease

    2018-09-09 #19 Author

    Needed this! It’s very useful

    Reply

  • Cirada

    2018-09-10 #20 Author

    Love mine ❤️🤷🏾‍♀️

    Reply

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