How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are emotional bugs.
They affect people psychologically which makes many of us try anything possible to get rid of their stretch marks. Some succeed in removing them while others are left frustrated for months or even years after many unsuccessful attempts.
It is a fact that there are people who are successful in treating and even removing their stretch marks.
However, there are no standard ways to guarantee stretch mark removal.
Everyone is different and therefore you need to find what works best for you individually.
This article looks at the different methods and solutions which can help you treat and even get rid of your stretch marks for good.
- 1 Stretch Marks Removal: Myths and Claims
- 2 Pregnancy Stretch Marks: How To Prevent And Treat Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
- 3 Stretch Mark Removal: Creams, Lotions and Gels
- 4 Natural Remedies To Prevent And Treat Stretch Marks
- 5 Surgery For Stretch Marks Removal
- 6 Laser Stretch Mark Removal
- 7 Microdermabrasion For Stretch Marks
Stretch Marks Removal: Myths and Claims
There are lot of myths revolving around stretch mark treatment or removal.
There are claims that stretch marks are permanent, that once they appear on your body, they cannot be eliminated.
Others believe that they can be removed but the process is normally long and tiresome, not to mention the cost that will be incurred in the course of undergoing the recommended procedures.
The truth about stretch marks lies with understanding their cause as well as the factors that lead to their development.
Stretch marks have everything to do with collagen levels in the skin; any interference with the production of this hormone will automatically affect their appearance.
There are treatments that will only conceal the stretch marks while others can help you get rid of your stretch marks completely.
Some methods can be invasive, for example surgery, and should only be recommended by a licensed skin expert and practitioner.
The best treatment of stretch marks is prevention. Take precautions to ensure that stretch marks do not develop on your skin. Unfortunately this is not always possible due to natural causes such as pregnancy.
Pregnancy naturally results in weight gain which makes a woman more prone to stretch marks.
For those of you who cannot prevent the appearance of stretch marks in the first place you should not be discouraged. There are plenty of solutions available to minimise and even help you get rid of them.
However, the abundance of products and treatment options can often be the problem itself. You may end up trying as many products as possible to find that none of them work.
Getting the right information on your treatment cannot be overemphasized.
How to remove stretch marks successfully: factors your should consider
Let’s look at the factors that affect the successful removal of stretch marks.
In the book Skin And Beauty Wisdom, Gabriela Voiculescu lists some important factors which can determine how successful you may be in removing your stretch marks such as:
- Genetic makeup
- Duration since the stretch marks first appeared
- Expectations of the person looking to get rid of the stretch marks
- Skin type
- Type of products used
- Convenience factors
- Cost of treatment
WebMD also seems to agree with Gabriela Voiculescu’s suggestions and underlines that the success in getting rid of your stretch marks ultimately depends on the combination of these factors with the right treatment.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks: How To Prevent And Treat Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Research shows that as many as 90% of all pregnant women are very likely to develop stretch marks.
As James Brann MD ensures in his article Stretch Marks: Prevention and Treatment During Pregnancy, pregnancy stretch marks are often likely but also very often possible to successfully remove.
James points out that some women may not need any treatment at all especially those who are not too emotionally worried. Stretch marks normally fade away a year after delivery.
If you are not too bothered by these scars, perhaps no action is needed to treat them anyways. However, you should always keep in mind that the complete natural fading of all your stretch marks cannot be guaranteed.
You need to tame your expectations, and be realistic, despite the fact that the stretch marks appeared rapidly; their disappearance may not follow the same route.
Whatever method you decide to choose it is important to allow sufficient time as getting rid of stretch marks is time consuming.
James Brann also suggests to women who are nursing to exercise excessive care in selecting their treatment. Women who are breastfeeding need to be particularly careful with any cosmetic products they use for stretch mark removal as these products can have dangerous effects on their babies.
Be cautious how your treat your stretch marks
Any mother looking to remove her stretch marks needs to talk to her physician. Your physician will be best positioned to advise on methods and products to help you get rid of your stretch marks conveniently and in timely fashion.
Above all, you will receive essential advice on avoiding harmful products which might harm your baby.
For example, Dr James Brann, in his article, observes that some stretch mark products may affect the supply of milk.
This will surely affect the health of the baby especially if mothers are exclusively breastfeeding.
Dr Robert Fischer, a stretch mark removal expert also provides a similar argument: stretch marks will disappear but in the course of doing this, the survival and health of the child comes first.
It is essential that you seek expert opinion in the case of planning to treat your stretch marks immediately after giving birth or when breastfeeding.
Stretch Mark Removal: Creams, Lotions and Gels
You will find a number of creams, lotions and gels on the market all claiming their effectiveness in the treatment of stretch marks.
Some will talk of instant fading while others will use the ‘right’ words to convince us in their miracle features.
Understanding how to get rid of stretch marks requires good research on the treatment alternatives available.
A number of dermatologists and other medical practitioners have doubts about creams and their effect on removing stretch marks.
Bonnie Berk, in her book Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan, argues that nothing which is applied externally can eliminate stretch marks completely. Her arguments come from the fact that stretch marks are found in the inner skin and creams may not reach this skin layer.
She recommends the use of creams when stretch marks first appear. Creams and cosmetic products are likely to ease the situation as they normally improve the elasticity of the skin.
Bonnie Berk also recommends the use of creams and lotions which have coconut oil as an ingredient. However, it is important to keep in mind that you may not get the desired results immediately.
Unfortunately some people do not notice their stretch marks until they have developed fully. This stresses the need to examine your body regularly, especially when you know the risks of developing them are high. This will help you in taking the necessary measures including application of a cream in the initial stages of development as this is the period when they are known to work effectively.
Use natural products to treat your stretch marks
If you have to use a cream then go for natural products only.
The safety of these products as well as their effectiveness in any treatment makes them the preferred options.
Go for a cream which contains coconut oil. It has components which nourish the skin helping it repair itself without necessarily weakening or stretching.
Some physicians will also advise combining the treatment with products which are rich in vitamin E and minerals which boost the production of collagen and give the skin a moisturizing effect.
It is important to use products which are made of natural ingredients. This helps to avoid some complications which may arise out of using products ridden with dangerous chemicals and substances.
You are better off living with a body full of stretch marks than having damaged skin as a result of using creams which are harmful.
Although many products are readily available in drug stores and pharmacies, you are always better off researching in depth about how to get rid of stretch marks online or with the help of your physician.
You may assume that some products are not harmful, only to find that there are contraindications. You may be using some other drugs whose efficacy may be reduced by these creams and gels.
You need to be always careful with ‘miracle’ products and too-good-to-be-true promises.
Always challenge what cosmetic products ‘promise’
One thing that comes out clearly is that many cosmetic stretch mark removal products do not give an assurance. They use plenty of words such as ‘may’, ‘can’, ‘probably’ in their description, which certainly gives you no particular guarantee.
This is based on the fact that there is no concrete scientific evidence that points to the ability of the cosmetic products to totally eliminate the problem of stretch marks.
Cosmetic products are still seen as important to easing the problem and help particularly with the prevention of stretch marks.
Ud-Din, McGeorge and Bayat, in a study titled Topical Management Of Striae Distensae (stretch marks): Prevention And Therapy Of Striae Rubrae And Albae, found that there are very few studies which have been done to investigate the efficacy of most of cosmetic products which are sold in drug stores and pharmacies with an aim of treating stretch marks.
For example, when tretinoin is used as a therapeutic substance it had varying results while products such as olive oil and cocoa butter showed little or no effect.
Their study concluded that there is an overall lack of topical formulation where products could guarantee with certainty the effects that these products would have at different stages on different types of stretch marks.
Such information only points at the level of caution that we need to exercise when it comes to the use of cosmetic products in stretch mark removal.
The study appreciates that while none of the investigated cosmetic products may guarantee you a removal of your stretch marks they still show a degree of effectiveness.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the degree of effectiveness and overall ability to get rid of stretch marks depends hugely on your individual characteristics, stretch mark severity and skin type.
The majority of the cosmetic products on the market claim to help in improving stretch marks where they stimulate the production of collagen eventually increasing the elasticity of the skin.
Ud-Din, McGeorge and Bayat observe that products which contain active ingredients such as Centella Asiatica may assist in moisturising the skin but they perform poorly when it comes to treatment of the stretch marks, yet most manufacturers claim that they are very effective.
Centella Asiatica may very well be associated with the management of stretch marks but more appropriately in the phase of prevention rather than treating them to disappear.
It is also important to be noted that we should make a clear difference between the different terminology used, such as treating, avoiding, preventing, getting rid and helping your stretch marks to fade away. These are all parts of the same goal but they lead to varying results.
Another example observed in further research on the topic outlines that tretinoin may have been successful in treatment of one type of stretch marks but when administered for the treatment of a different variation, the performance was dismal.
This information is not meant to confuse people who may be interested in treating stretch marks using creams and gels. It is intended to help you realise that there is a wide range of different options and that you should never rush choosing a product before spending some good time researching it.
Information is power and can help you make decisions on how to get rid of your stretch marks which you will never regret.
It is true that some creams and gels as well as other cosmetic products work well but the fact remains that you need to find what is the best solution for your particular circumstances.
Natural Remedies To Prevent And Treat Stretch Marks
The best way to treat any condition is to do it naturally.
The safety and costs associated with the strategy make it highly recommended.
Given the nature of the stretch mark, any approach that is internal may give the desired results. Chances of being negatively affected by the ingredients that you are to use are also low with these products.
Zinc helps with tissue regeneration
Eating food which is rich in Zinc helps in getting rid of the lines that appear on the skin. The mineral helps in regeneration of new tissues leading to the disappearance of the marks.
Although the marks may not be completely eliminated they will be less visible.
This would make you comfortable when you want to expose the parts which had been affected during an outdoor activity or when you want to wear light clothes.
There are a number of foods that are rich in zinc and the beauty of this is that they are readily available.
For example, wheat and maize germ, pecan nuts, oysters, bran cereals and many other types of foods come in handy in giving the required quantities of the mineral which helps in generation of new skin tissues.
Vitamin E to nourish the skin
Foods which are rich in vitamin E contribute greatly towards removal and treatment of stretch marks.
Vitamin E is known for its nourishment role, it keeps the skin healthy, ultimately helping to conceal marks which may have been as a result of weight gain, pregnancy or rapid growth during puberty.
Consumption of peanuts, popcorn, and cotton seed oil as well as sunflower oil will go a long way in providing your body with the require quantities of Vitamin E and subsequent nourishment of the skin as well as aiding in removal of stretch marks.
Water will improve your skin condition
Water is an important component in our bodies. We are advised to drink at least two litres of water daily.
This is not just mere talk; there is a lot of credible evidence pointing to the benefits of consuming the recommended amount of water. It is not even too hard to convince us – you know that you feel much better when you are well hydrated.
Skin is one of the body organs that benefits from water consumption. The cleansing process and regeneration of the skin helps in improving its condition.
It gets moisturized and smooth naturally which helps your skin look beautiful even with stretch marks on it.
Natural oils can repair damaged skin
Apart from ingesting nutrients which will help the skin regenerate, there are also natural products which can be applied externally and contribute towards the removal of stretch marks.
Use of castor oil and Aloe Vera has been cited in some quarters as effective in repairing damaged skin. They are known to have a natural ingredient which not only prevents stretch marks but also repairs the damaged tissues and help you get rid of some types of stretch marks.
Use of these products on a regular basis has been claimed to treat stretch marks. Just like creams and gels which are applied externally, these products should be used with caution. Expectations need to be managed as they may not give the desired outcomes straight away.
It is worth noting that some natural oils and products will work better than others but none of them would help you magically get rid of your stretch marks overnight.
One thing that natural oils can certainly help with is to contribute to stretch mark prevention.
It is important to thoroughly research each of the different options and seek advice when choosing stretch mark treatment. This will help in finding a method that will work given various factors that are known to affect the success of the therapy.
Surgery For Stretch Marks Removal
Surgery is also mentioned as one of the alternatives for eliminating stretch marks. This is mostly performed as cosmetic surgery procedure which is expensive and not covered by most medical insurers.
This means that if you opt to have a surgery to remove your stretch marks you would need to pay for it by yourself.
Surgery is an invasive procedure; it involves opening up the skin and removing the unwanted section. With improved medical technology, the procedure is performed within a short time and at the recovery period is also short.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate to go through this procedure. Your physician normally assesses the prevailing health condition and either recommends or otherwise depending on the outcome of the assessment.
Abdominoplasty is the name given to the procedure where the excess skin and fats are removed in the areas where the stretch marks appear. The method is very effective in removing the marks which are found at the bottom of the belly and the abdomen.
Although this procedure succeeds in removing the marks, it adds another problem especially to people who are looking for flawless skin.
Since the procedure involves cutting through the skin a big scar will be left, something that may be as disturbing as a stretch mark. However, there are also products on the market which can help in concealing the scar.
A study carried out by Teri Benn and Carlos Spera called Abdominoplasty Combined With Caesarean Section showed that women have shown great interest in the procedure as a way of eliminating stretch marks.
The study found that a substantial number of women like to have the marks removed during the caesarean section and according to the experts, combination of the two procedures is safe.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal
There are diverse types of light and laser treatment available to remove stretch marks, each helping in stimulation of the collagen as well as in increasing the elasticity of the skin.
A doctor can recommend a pulsed dye treatment or another type depending on a number of factors. The process is non invasive and painless.
The energy which is emitted gets absorbed into the blood vessels leading to stretch marks acquiring the skin pigmentation, therefore making them less visible.
This is a good method for the treatment of the marks which would help them fade away gradually with the number of procedures you undertake.
The procedure is mainly recommended for the stretch marks which are at their early stages of development mainly when they are red or purple in colour.
Microdermabrasion For Stretch Marks
Microdermabrasion is another procedure which could help you get rid of your stretch marks. This involves using a device which is hand held to blow crystals on the skin.
The crystals remove layers of the skin giving room for the growth of new tissues.
The tissues which regenerate are more elastic; this gets rid of the damaged skin and also gives it the capacity to withstand any pressure that may result due to an increase in mass underneath the skin.