How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks?
Despite being common, stretch marks cause many individuals to feel stressed and unhappy about the way they look. The questions of whether it is possible and particularly how to get rid of stretch marks as soon as we get them makes many of us anxious.
This article is designed to help you understand what stretch marks are and what can cause them to appear. Once you have a better understanding about stretch marks, you can then learn how to effectively prevent future stretch marks from appearing, as well as how to effectively reduce the appearance of stretch marks that have already formed.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Most people know exactly what stretch marks look and feel like. This is because stretch marks are extremely common. In fact, they are a completely normal part of growing up.
If you see stretch marks on your body it doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong.
However, just because they are common and many people have them, does not mean they understand what they are. Therefore, this section details basic information about stretch marks.
Most Common Places For Stretch Marks
Both men and women develop stretch marks, also known as striae, and they usually first start to appear around puberty. Stretch marks most commonly appear on or around the:
- Upper arms
- Lower back
Stretch marks develop in the dermis, which is the middle layer of skin. When skin is forced to rapidly stretch it can tear underlying tissue, which results in unsightly stretch marks.
How a stretch mark looks and feels varies on how old it is. When stretch marks first from they will most likely look thin and pink. They are also flat, which is why you probably won’t notice them until they are older. However, new stretch marks can be itchy.
As time goes on, the marks will turn red or purple. This is because they are widening. Most stretch marks end up being 1 to 10 millimeters long. This is when they might start to feel bumpy and raised against the skin.
Finally, over even more time, they start to fade and look lighter again. Extremely old stretch marks will look white or silver.The overall look and feel of stretch marks will depend on how severely the skin is torn and an individual’s skin color.
7 Reasons For Your Stretch Marks?
As mentioned, stretch marks appear when the dermis tears.
Mystery solved, right? Not quite!
There are a few things that can cause skin to tear:
- Rapid weight gain
- Rapid weight loss
- Underlying health conditions
This section of the article will go into detail about the different causes of stretch marks.
Reason 1: Puberty
Puberty is one of the most traumatizing parts of being an adolescent. Painful growth spurts, raging hormones, and high school cliques are all a part of growing up. Unfortunately, so is developing stretch marks.
7 out of 10 girls and 4 out of 10 boys develop stretch marks while going through puberty. (Everson, 2017)
Unfortunately, those painful growth spurts can leave their physical mark, as well as their mental mark.
Adolescents experiencing growth spurts can grow an average of four inches during the span of just one year. Usually, growth spurts happen over the course of a couple of years, and most of the time the skin can’t grow or expand at the rate the rest of the body is.
Since the skin can’t expand at the rate that the adolescent body grows, it can cause stretch marks to appear around the breasts, hips, and belly. Fortunately, developing stretch marks due to growth spurts is natural.
While stretch marks may make teenagers feel self-conscious, they are not anything to be concerned about health wise. Even the skinniest of teenagers may develop stretch marks if they are rapidly growing taller.
Most common places where adolescent boys may develop stretch marks:
- Lower back
Teenage boys who are involved in middle school and high school sports may develop stretch marks due to an increase in activity and muscle gain.
Adolescent girls may develop stretch marks because of their periods.
Typically, teenage girls are not as physically active as boys and they crave carbohydrates before their period starts. This could cause extra weight gain, which can result in stretch marks.
Reason 2: Rapid Weight Gain
It should not come as a surprise that rapid weight gain can cause stretch marks.
There are many more important health concerns that accompany obesity than developing stretch marks. However, it does not change the fact that becoming overweight or obese can cause stretch marks to occur. Even slow weight gain can cause stretch marks if the skin can’t expand properly.
Continued weight gain can cause the blood vessels in stretch marks to thin out, which will cause them to turn a deeper purple color.
Of course, several factors can cause rapid weight gain and you should try to notice any substantial changes in your weight before it becomes a serious problem.
The most common factor is not eating a balanced diet. The metabolism slows down as individuals age, which means you need to balance your calorie intake and your exercise habits. (Crilly, 2015)
Menopause and other hormonals causes, some of which will be talked about in more detail later, can cause rapid weight gain as well.
Reason 3: Rapid Weight Loss
Yes, even rapid weight loss can cause stretch marks!
Sometimes, the stretch marks you “gain” from weight loss is not a direct result of weight loss. Instead, they are the stretch marks that developed when substantial weight gain happened that didn’t go away when the weight was lost. This is because losing weight does not make stretch marks magically disappear. (Everson, 2017)
While, some stretch marks may go away when you lose excessive weight, most of them just become lighter. So, they may look like new stretch marks, but they are really just old stretch marks appearing lighter and smaller.
However, some stretch marks really are a result of rapid weight loss. Stretch marks due to weight loss are not a result of skin tearing. Instead, they form because of elasticity problems.
When weight loss happens too quickly, the skin does not have time to tighten up and form to the body immediately.
Older individuals may have more problems with stretch marks caused by rapid weight loss than younger individuals do. This is because collagen production, which is responsible for skin elasticity, decreases as you age. Older individuals are more susceptible to stretch marks due to rapid weight loss.
Unfortunately, rapid weight loss is a double-edged sword when it comes to developing stretch marks. Rapid weight loss causes more stretch marks to appear, but the loose skin weight loss can cause previous stretch marks to look more noticeable.
Therefore, it is recommended to lose 2 pounds, or less, a week in order to avoid this problem.
Reason 4: Pregnancy
Most women expect to develop stretch marks when they are pregnant. It is estimated that 90% of women develop stretch marks during their third trimester.
However, pregnancy stretch marks are a little different than regular stretch marks.
This is not because they look for feel any different in the long run, but because there are multiple factors that go into the development of them. (Americanpregnancy.org, 2017)
Factor 1: Rapid Weight Gain
Rapid weight gain is one of the most common factors associated with pregnancy which also increases your chances of getting stretch marks.
A healthy and balanced diet is recommended during this period. You do not wish to limit your intake of important nutrition because of fears of getting stretch marks.
Factor 2: Pregnancy Hormones
The second factor, however, has to do with pregnancy hormones.
During pregnancy, the hormones absorb more water into skin. The extra water causes collagen fiber bonds to relax, which makes the skin more susceptible to tearing.
Pregnancy stretch marks typically develop around the belly. Women with light skin usually develop pink stretch marks, while women with darker skin usually develop stretch marks that look lighter than the surrounding skin. Pregnancy stretch marks develop in three stages:
- Stage 1: Pink And Itchy
As pregnancy stretch marks begin to develop they will most likely look pink, and in many cases, they could itch. These marks are usually flat and thin.
- Stage 2: Getting Bigger, Red or Purple
In later development stages, pregnancy stretch marks will become larger and turn red or purple. They may even look blue.
- Stage 3: Starting To Lighten
Eventually, the stretch marks will start to lighten. The months following childbirth will cause them to fade, making them look white or silver. It is possible that the stretch marks will have an irregular shape and length after giving birth. They may also feel bumpy or raised.
Stretch marks can also develop on a women’s breasts, thighs, hips, lower back, and buttocks during pregnancy. Basically, stretch marks can appear anywhere were fat is stored.
Unfortunately, some women are more susceptible to developing stretch marks than others. Women who are carrying bigger, or multiple, babies are more likely to develop stretch marks. Younger women, and women carrying excess fluid, are also more susceptible to stretch marks.
Reason 5: Genetics
Genetics can also play a role in an individual’s susceptibility to develop stretch marks.
Individuals who have family members that have stretch marks are more prone to developing stretch marks.
Although, this seems to apply more to women than it does to men.
A personal genetics company conducted a study on women and discovered four genes that play a role in developing stretch marks, especially during pregnancy. These four genes, known as ELN, SRPX, HMCN1, and TMEM18, can increase a women’s chances of developing stretch marks by 40%.
There is a lot more research that needs to be done on these genes, but scientists are hopeful that the discovery of these genes will help develop more effective treatments for getting rid of stretch marks.
The gene ELN, especially excites scientists as it has the strongest ties to stretch marks. Researchers are hoping that the discover of the ELN gene will help find ways to increase and heal elastic fibers, which will help improve the skin’s ability to stretch and retract.
Reason 6: Underlying Health Conditions
Certain health conditions can increase an individual’s risk of developing stretch marks. One such condition is Cushing’s Syndrome. Cushing’s Syndrome is a result of the body developing too much cortisol.
Research has suggested that cortisol may cause stretch marks. This is because too much cortisol causes catabolism, which is when tissues throughout every part of the body start to weaken. (Everson, 2017)
It can make ligaments, muscles, bones, and blood vessels weak. When bone, cartilage, and tendons start to weaken, it causes a chain reaction. When they weaken, collagen and elastic fibers also start weakening, which makes the skin susceptible to tearing.
High cortisol levels can also cause individuals to eat more, which causes rapid weight gain. Rapid weight gain and weakened collagen increase the presence of stretch marks.
A genetic disorder that negatively effects connective tissue. It also negatively effects collagen production. In fact, individuals with Marfan Syndrome do not contain collagen at all. (Everson, 2017)
Therefore, when individuals with this condition grow, their connective tissues rupture causing stretch marks. Stretch marks in these individuals often look pink, red, or purple.
They can be found around the shoulders, lower back, breasts, butt, abdomen, and thighs. Stretch marks may or may not go away in individuals with Marfan Syndrome. It is possible they will eventually fade to a silver, gray, brown, or white color.
A hypermobility syndrome that effects skin hyperlaxity and can cause easy bruising and abnormal scarring. It also causes early onset stretch marks. Like Cushing’s Syndrom and Marfan Syndrom, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome negatively effects collagen production. Collagen is not able to tighten the skin or “knit” it together properly.
Unfortunately, there are no ways to lessen the effects of this syndrome. Therefore, individuals with this syndrome will develop stretch marks and they will develop them earlier than other individuals do.
Stretch marks will appear in the typical places: butt, thighs, stomach, breasts, and lower back. However, they may also appear in atypical places, such as the elbows, chest, and under arm.
Reason 7: Medication
While it is not common, some medications can cause stretch marks to appear more easily.
Typically, corticosteroids, prescribed in cream or lotion form, can increase an individual’s chances of developing stretch marks. Corticosteriods are used to treat many different health conditions, such as asthma and arthritis. However, they can also be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as eczema. They are supposed to help relieve inflammation.
Long term use of corticosteroids can negatively affect collagen production. It can reduce collagen production and cause skin to thin. It can also decrease the skin’s ability to stretch and expand properly. Therefore, the skin becomes much more susceptible to tearing, which will increase the chances of developing stretch marks.
Stretch marks caused by corticosteroids, as well as by conditions such as Cushing’s, may appear larger and thicker than typical stretch marks.
Fortunately, reducing collagen production is a rare side effect of corticosteroid use. If you use a corticosteroid cream you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this happening. However, you can always consult with a medical profession if you have any questions or concerns about using a corticosteroid cream.
How To Prevent Stretch Marks In the First Place?
9 Things Everyone Can Do!
Considering there are many variables that can cause stretch marks to appear on various parts of the body, you may be asking yourself is it even possible to prevent stretch marks from developing?
The answer is yes and no.
It’s impossible to prevent stretch marks from appearing on your body forever.
However, there are ways to limit the development of stretch marks. Keep in mind that stretch marks caused by medical conditions and growth spurts are going to be much more difficult to prevent than stretch marks caused by factors such as rapid weight gain.
This section of the article will go into detail about some of the ways you can try to prevent, and limit, the development of stretch marks.
Preventing Pregnancy Stretch Marks: What To Do?
As mentioned earlier, how many stretch marks that develop during pregnancy are going to depend on a few things: such as, how many babies a woman is carrying and how young she is.
Unfortunately, some women are going to be more prone to developing stretch marks than others. However, there are some things you can do to safely try to prevent a large amount of stretch marks from developing during pregnancy.
- Tip 1: Eat Gelatin
Gelatin is heavily related to collagen. In fact, it is one of the proteins that is produced by collagen. Therefore, it is a key component in skin’s elasticity.
One way to incorporate gelatin into your diet is to make bone broth. Bone broth is a versatile ingredient. It can be used in gravy, casserole dishes, soups, and sauces. It can even be used to boil rice in, or you can just drink it. Furthermore, it can be used as a thickening agent in food such as jello.
- Tip 2: Drink Water
It is easier to become dehydrated during pregnancy, since a fetus basically grows in a water sack. Ok, that is a slight exaggeration, but a fetus does need a lot of a women’s water volume. This negatively effects skin elasticity, which increases the chance of developing stretch marks. Therefore, drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water can help keep the body hydrated and keep skin elasticity from suffering.
- Tip 3: Rub Oil On The Abdomen
Various types of oils can be used to moisturize and treat skin. Olive oil, vitamin E oil, castor oil, and coconut oil are used by some women to prevent stretch marks. This is because these oils are rich in antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage.
For example, vitamin E oil has been known help improve skin elasticity, decreasing the amount of stretch marks that develop during pregnancy. Coconut oil is rich in saturated fatty acids and is often used topically to prevent stretch marks.
- Tip 4: Take Vitamins And Nutrients
Specific vitamin and nutrient deficiencies have been known to increase an individual’s risk of developing stretch marks. For example, a zinc deficiency can cause stretch marks.
Zinc is one of the most abundant nutrients in the body, and a deficiency can cause some health concerns. It can also lead to a decrease in collagen production. Another important nutrient is Vitamin C. It protects the body from free radical damage.
Free radicals can destroy collagen and elastin. However, it is recommended to increase your consumption of food rich in Vitamin C instead of taking a supplement.
- Tip 5: Use Shea And Cocoa Butter
Shea and cocoa butter are emollients, which are commonly used to smooth and soften skin. They also keep skin moist and hydrated, which is important for keeping skin healthy.
Shea and cocoa butter are also rich in fatty acids. Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans and shea butter is extracted from nuts of karite trees. These fatty acids are an important part of preventing stretch marks, as they can stimulate skin, which causes the skin to renew and heal itself.
This helps prevent stretch marks, as well as reduces the appearance of already developed stretch marks.
Prevent Stretch Marks Caused By Weight Differences
As mentioned earlier, rapid weight gain and rapid weight loss can cause stretch marks. Unfortunately, preventing stretch marks due to changes in weight is going to require you to pay close attention to your body. It may feel tedious at times, but becoming aware of how your body is changing is essential to preventing stretch marks, as well as just living a healthy lifestyle.
- Tip 6: Eat A Balanced Diet
You probably already assumed that eating a balanced diet is the best way to control your weight. Eating a bunch of junk food, as well as foods high is carbs and fat, is going to cause rapid weight gain.
Make sure your diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Not only will this prevent unwanted weight gain, but it will boost collagen production and promote healthy skin. This will help prevent stretch marks from developing.
- Tip 7: Regulate Workouts
Regulating what kind of workouts you are doing will help prevent rapid weight loss. Ideally, you should not lose more than 2 pounds a weak, or you risk developing stretch marks. You also risk the possibility of making any stretch marks already on your body look worse. However, bodybuilders also need to regulate their weight lifting sessions.
While the goal of bodybuilding is to build a lot of muscle quickly, it can cause stretch marks to appear on the under arms. If you want to build muscle but avoid stretch marks, lift lighter weights. (Barron, 2015)
Using lighter weights while increasing the amount of reps you do per set will still build muscle but will prevent skin from tearing.
Preventing Stretch Marks: Other Helpful Tips
Unfortunately, there really is not much else you can do to prevent stretch marks. Rubbing oils, getting the right nutrients, and keeping an eye out for significant weight changes will be the best ways to prevent stretch marks.
However, there might be a couple of other ways to try and decrease your chances of developing stretch marks. Keep in mind there is no guarantee these other helpful tips will prevent stretch marks, but they are still worth a try.
- Tip 8: Exfoliate Skin
Exfoliating the skin is going to remove dead skin from the very top of your skin. This will allow the production of new cells, as well as increase blood circulation in the layer of skin that stretch marks form. There are a couple of ways you can exfoliate skin.
The first way is to do what is called dry brushing. To dry brush, take a dry, soft-bristled body brush and use it to brush your entire body. Concentrate on areas that are prone to developing stretch marks, such as the abdomen, thighs, and butt. It is not recommended to dry brush around the breasts.
The second way to exfoliate your skin is by using a loofah while taking a bath. Your loofah should be made of nature fibres to properly remove any dead or dry skin. Only exfoliate your skin two to three times a week. Otherwise, you will end up irritating your skin.
- Tip 9: Moisturize Skin
This article has already touched on how moisturizing the skin by using oils can help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. However, in general moisturizing your skin can help prevent stretch marks. In fatty areas, such as your thighs and abdomen, you can massage and moisturize the skin to rejuvenate it.
Try use natural oils, such as sesame oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, instead of a typical moisturizer. This is because a store-bought moisturizer might not penetrate the skin deep enough to moisturize the deeper layers of the skin.
Moisturizing the skin’s surface layer will not do much for preventing stretch marks from forming in the dermis. When massaging the oils in your skin, you do not need to use a lot of pressure. Just rub the area gently until the oil is fully soaked into your skin.
How To Treat Your Stretch Marks
17 Simple Solutions
Trying to prevent stretch marks is the best way to make sure areas susceptible to them stay healthy and clear. This is because treating stretch marks can be difficult.
While there are many different recommendations for reducing the appearing of stretch marks, stretch marks rarely disappear entirely once they have formed.
The following treatments are commonly used to try to get rid of, or at least reduce the appearance of, unwanted stretch marks.
Treating Stretch Marks With Natural Remedies
There are tons of natural remedies that are supposed to get rid of stretch marks. Some remedies are more effective than others.
Some remedies that get rid of stretch marks, are the same remedies for preventing stretch marks (Nhs.uk, 2016).
Keep in mind that many natural remedies are still being researched. Also, not everyone’s body reacts the same.
Therefore, a remedy may work for someone else but it may not work for you, and vice versa.
Here are some recommended natural stretch mark remedies.
Solution 1: Castor Oil
Castor oil is often used to get rid of evidence that an individual is aging. Many people use it to get rid of wrinkles, age spots, and moles. Another widespread use is to prevent stretch marks, as well as reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Application: When using castor oil, you do not need use a large amount. Just use enough to cover the area and let it soak into your skin. Massage the oil into your skin for about 5 to 10 minutes, in circular motions. Afterwards, you can also wrap the area with a cotton cloth and apply a heating pad for 20 minutes. It is recommended to apply castor oil one a day for a month in order to see results.
Solution 2: Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is known for its healing properties, which makes it a popular remedy for serval skin conditions, including getting rid of stretch marks.
Application: To use Aloe Vera, rub it directly onto the stretch marks, and the surrounding skin, and leave it on for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rinse it off with lukewarm water. You can also mix one-fourth cup of Aloe Vera with the oil from vitamin E and vitamin A capsules. If using this mixture, do not use more than 10 vitamin E capsules or more than 5 vitamin A capsules. Do this daily to until you see results.
Solution 3: Lemon Juice
The acid in lemon juice is a great home-remedy for lightening up stretch marks and speeding up the fading process. Lemon juice helps skin in several ways. It naturally exfoliates skin, boosts the production of collagen, and bleaches the skin.
Application: Use a cotton ball to rub fresh lemon juice, in circular motions, directly onto your stretch marks. Let the lemon juice soak into your skin for 10 minutes; although, you can also leave it on overnight. Then rinse it off with water. You can also mix lemon juice with equal amounts of cucumber juice.
Solution 4: Egg Whites
Egg whites are rich in proteins and amino acids. Both proteins and amino acids can jump start the healing process in skin. Therefore, it can help heal the dermis and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Application: Take two eggs and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Then whip the two egg whites gently with a fork, until it has a paste-like consistency. Then clean the area you want to apply the whites to with water. Once the area is clean, apply a thick layer to the affected area with a makeup brush. Let the egg whites dry completely. Afterwards, rinse the area off with cold water. You can also apply olive oil to you skin afterwards to keep the skin moisturized. Repeat this process every day for two weeks to see results.
Solution 5: Sugar
Like lemon juice, sugar is another natural exfoliator. It also moisturizes skin and increased blood circulation. Furthermore, sugar contains glycolic acid, which promotes healthy skin cell production.
Application: To use sugar to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you will want to mix it with another ingredient that promotes healthy skin growth. For example, mix raw white sugar with almond oil and lemon juice. Then apply it to your stretch marks and the surrounding skin. Rub the mixture into your skin for a few minutes. It’s recommended to do this every day for a month, right before you take a shower. After one month, your stretch marks should appear lighter.
Solution 6: Potato Juice
Putting potato juice on your skin may not sound appealing, but potato juice is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that help grow and restore skin cells.
Application: Cut a medium-sized potato into thick slices. Then take one of the slices and gently rub it onto your stretch marks for a few minutes. You want to make sure the juice covers the area, because it is the starch that will help reduce the marks. Let the juice dry and sit for a while. Then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Solution 7: Alfalfa
Alfalfa contains eight amino acids, all of which improve the skin’s overall health. It is also rich in proteins and nutrients that are essential for health skin. For example, it contains vitamins E and K, which helps collagen and elastin.
Application: To use alfalfa to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you will want to combine alfalfa powder with a few drops of chamomile oil. The goal is to form a smooth paste that you can massage into your skin. Massage the paste onto the stretch marks you are trying to get rid of 2 to 3 times a day. Do this for a few weeks and you should see an improvement in your stretch marks.
Solution 8: Cocoa Butter
As already mentioned earlier in this article, cocoa butter is a great moisturizer. It is often recommended for pregnant women to use to prevent stretch marks from forming, but it can also be used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks that have already formed. It helps nourish and heal skin.
Application: It is recommended to apply cocoa butter over your stretch marks at least two times a day for about three months. You can also mix half a cup of cocoa butter, with one tablespoon of wheat germ oil, two teaspoons of grated beeswax, and one teaspoon of apricot kernel oil, and one teaspoon of vitamin E oil. Heat the mixture. Once the beeswax melts you can store it in a container and keep it in the refrigerator. Then apply it to your stretch marks a few times a day to keep your skin even more hydrated.
Solution 9: Olive Oil
Olive oil is beneficial to the skin in many ways. It has been used for years to make skin and hair healthy. Often it is used as an anti-ager. It can reduce wrinkles and stretch marks. This is because it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamins A, D, and E, that helps rejuvenate the skin.
Application: The best way to use olive oil to reduce the appearance of stretch marks is to slightly warm extra-virgin olive oil. Then massage it into the skin to help improve blood circulation. You don’t need to use a large amount of olive oil. Just use enough oil to cover the area. Another option is to mix olive oil with vinegar and water to create a night cream. Use this homemade recipe to exfoliate and moisturize your skin throughout the night.
Laser Treatments and Microdermabrasion
Laser treatments are non-surgical and can be used to remove any type of stretch mark. However, laser treatments are going to be a lot more expensive than home remedies.
One treatment can cost $350 to $700, and you will need an average of 10 treatments. Although, most laser treatment centers will advertise that only 3 to 5 treatments are needed.
Since health insurances don’t usually consider this a necessary treatment, you will most likely being paying for the entire course of treatment.
Therefore, you should really think it through before spending $5000, or more, to remove your stretch marks.
Solution 10: Pulse Dye Laster Treatment
The first type of laser treatment is pulse dye laser treatment. This laser treatment is supposed to encourage the growth of collagen and elastin in the dermis. This will cause stretch marks to fill out.
Typically, treating newer and lighter stretch marks will have better results than treating older and darker stretch marks. Pulse dye laser treatment can cause stinging, redness, bruising, and bleeding.
These side effects are not permanent and should disappear 2 to 3 weeks after the treatment. Treatments may be spaced months apart to produce better results.
Solution 11: Exciser Laser
Exciser laser treatment doesn’t get rid of stretch marks, but instead tries to change their color. An exciser laser increases the production of melanin, which can cause stretch marks to resemble the color of surrounding skin.
Typically, this treatment takes an average of 10 treatments, that are spaced one to two weeks apart. It is possible that you will need more sessions after the initial treatments every two to three months to produce maximum results.
You might experience redness around the areas during the beginning of treatment. Keep in mind that you will still be able to feel stretch marks if you undergo exciser laser treatment.
Solution 12: Microdermabrasion
Using microdermabrasion to remove stretch marks is similar to using natural remedies. It is a non-invasive treatment and does not use any chemicals. However, unlike the natural remedies listed above, microdermabrasion uses crystals to exfoliate skin.
Basically, crystals are used to lightly “sand” the outer layers of skin. It removes dead skin, making it look younger and healthier. In addition to reducing the appearance of stretch marks, Microdermabrasion can be used to reduce the appearance of age spots, acne scars, skin discoloration, and wrinkles.
Typically, a dermatologist will perform the procedure. There are spa microdermabrasion treatments, but they may not be as effective since they are not regulated.
You can also purchase over-the-counter microdermabrasion kits. However, these kits will not be as effective as they do not exfoliate the skin as well as a dermatologist can.
Stretch Marks And Surgery
If nothing else seems to be working, you can get surgery to remove stretch marks. However, this is an extreme way to get rid of stretch marks and it has as many disadvantages as it does advantages.
Surgery is another expensive option. It can cost between $2000 to $5000, maybe more, depending on what area of the body you are having surgery on.
Furthermore, surgery is going to create scars. So, while you are getting rid of your stretch marks, you will now have to worry about trying to prevent scars from forming.
Solution 13: Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure only performed in the abdomen. During an abdominoplasty, surgeons get rid of any extra loose skin that is left over after childbirth.
This tightens the muscles underneath the skin, which results in a smoother, tighter look. Individuals who get an abdominoplasty will be unable to work for one to four weeks.
Recovering completely from an abdominoplasty can take three to six months, and during that time you may see bruising, discoloration, and scars appear. The bruising and discoloration will go away, and the scars should heal and fade to white.
Other risks associated with this procedure include: anesthesia complications that can result in nerve damage, brain damage, and in extreme cases death. Surgery can also cause blood clots, skin necrosis, infection, and fluid accumulation underneath the wound.
Solution 14: Other Surgeries
There are other surgeries that can remove stretch marks in areas of the body other than the abdomen. These surgeries are broadly called “skin surgeries,” as the exact name of the surgery depends on which area it is being performed on.
During these surgeries, surgeons cut out the stretch marks. Therefore, all damaged tissue is removed. However, it also requires cutting out the layers of skin the stretch marks formed in.
These surgeries are very invasive and have a long recovery time. There is a high chance you will develop scars, which will require you to purchase creams to heal them. This can add an extra $2000 on top of the costs you spend for the surgery itself.
Other Solutions To Get Rid Of Your Stretch Marks
If natural remedies don’t get rid of your stretch marks, and you don’t want to take extreme measures to get rid of them, covering up your stretch marks is the next best thing. There are some simple and unique ways to make your stretch marks look nonexistent.
Learning how to camouflage your stretch marks will give you the freedom to wear shorts, bikinis, and other clothing that used to make you uncomfortable. Covering up you stretch marks will give you the confidence you might not have had before. Here are some of the best ways to hide your unsightly stretch marks.
Solution 15: Make-Up
It may be a little time consuming, but using make-up is probably one of the easiest ways to hide your stretch marks. There are four steps to using make-up to successfully camouflage stretch marks.
- Step 1: Clean Your Skin
The first step is to clean the area you will be putting the make-up on. You want your skin to be clean because make-up will last longer, and be easier to apply, when it is applied to clean skin.
- Step 2: Prepare Your Mixture
The next step is to mix a moisturizing lotion, such as cocoa butter, with your bronzing powder. The goal is to create a liquid that looks golden-brown. Then use your middle and index fingers to put the mixture onto the stretch marks. Dab it lightly until the stretch marks look fainter. The third step is to apply concealer.
- Step 3: Apply Concealer
This step is only for individuals with darker stretch marks. Take a concealer that matches your skin tone and apply a light coat to your stretch marks. Dab it on; do not rub or smear it over your stretch marks.
- Step 4: Use Loose Powder
If you need to, use a concealer brush to apply it. Finally, take some loose powder and dust it over your stretch marks. This will blend the make-up and set the concealer, which will make the make-up last longer.
Just keep in mind that using make-up to cover up your stretch marks will limit the types of activities you can do. Swimming and playing sports will wash make-up off quicker. However, don’t be discouraged. Using this method can still give you the confidence you need to wear clothing that you normally wouldn’t wear due to unsightly stretch marks.
Solution 16: Self-Tanner
Using self-tanner is also a bit time consuming. However, self-tanner lasts longer than make-up and it does not have to be applied every time you want to go out. Plus, it will allow you to swim and play sports without having to worry about it washing off.
However, self-tanner might not help individuals with dark stretch marks. In fact, it could have the opposite effect and cause them to become darker and more noticeable over time.
Fortunately, individuals with lighter stretch marks should find this to be an effective method for covering up stretch marks. Make sure you stick to self-tanning products instead of going to tanning beds.
Tanning beds, or tanning naturally, will also have the opposite effect: it will cause stretch marks to darken. It may also decrease collagen production. When using self-tanner, make sure to spread it out evenly and carefully.
If you need to, ask someone to help you spread it on hard-to-reach places. This way you don’t end up with splotches or fingerprints on your skin.
Solution 17: Tattoo
One creative way to cover up your stretch marks it to get a tattoo. Getting a tattoo may seem extreme to some people, but to others it an ingenious way to turn ugly stretch marks into something meaningful and cute.
Tattoos can get expensive, depending on how elaborate you want your design to be, but unlike make-up and self-tanner it is a one-time thing. You don’t have to reapply a tattoo, and the kinds of activities you do will not be limited, since they don’t wash off or fade the way other methods do.
If you do decide to cover up your stretch marks by getting a tattoo, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. You want to design a tattoo that incorporates your stretch marks, instead of using a tattoo to directly cover your stretch marks up.
Due to the scarring that happens with stretch marks, the skin cannot hold ink the way healthy, unscarred skin can. Therefore, if you cover up stretch marks you might end up making them worse. Therefore, use stretch marks as part of your tattoo design. This way they look natural and you won’t have to ever worry about them again.
When it comes to stretch marks, the best thing you can do is be confident. Since there are several conditions and factors that can cause stretch marks, almost everyone develops them. Therefore, pretty much everyone knows what it is like to feel insecure and uncomfortable about the way they look.
So, while you worry about people starting and noticing your stretch marks, other individuals are busy worrying about the same thing. Which means they probably won’t even glance at your stretch marks.
Of course, it’s easier said than done to become confident enough to show off your stretch marks proudly. Hopefully, this guide to stretch marks has managed to ease your insecurities and worries at least a little bit.
By understanding stretch marks better, and using some of the methods listed in this article to prevent or get rid of them, you are on your way to building the confidence you need to wear what you want so that you can go everywhere and anywhere.