Stretch marks are often associated with pregnancy, but they also develop among men and teenagers. They often occur whenever the body goes through rapid change. Do stretch marks go away and what can you do to remove them?
Before reaching out for the first stretch mark cream that you see, it is vital to find out all you can about it. So, today we will address the essentials about stretch marks, including the following:
- Why they happen
- Who gets them
- What to do when they happen
- How to prevent them and get rid of them
Why Do They Happen?
Also known as striae, stretch marks develop in the dermis, which is the middle layer of the skin. The dermis is composed mostly of water and connective fibers known as collagen and elastin. These connective fibers are responsible for keeping the skin supple, elastic and resilient. Unfortunately, rapid growth can stretch it over time and cause these fibers to collapse, leading to tissue inflammation and microscopic bleeding. Because of this, you will notice the formation of raised reddish and purple lines on your skin.
These marks build up on specific parts of the body, usually on the stomach, thighs, hips, butt and breasts. At first, these marks appear to be red, pink or purple raised red lines, which have a slightly different texture from the skin. They begin to fade over time, fading into a silvery white color which is a little bit lighter than most skin tones.
While they are unsightly, one of the most significant things to keep in mind is that they are not dangerous to your health. They are also not contagious, which means that you cannot get them from or give them to other people.
Who Gets Them?
You can get stretch marks due to changes in the body and other conditions. With that, some people are more prone to getting them than others, including:
- Pregnant women and those who go through rapid and extreme weight gain (as in those suffering from obesity);
- Teenagers going through puberty, because of their rapid growth spurts;
- Body-builders who rapidly build muscle;
- People who regularly use steroid-based ointments, creams and pills;
- People who suffer from hormonal disorders, causing misproduction of collagen and elastin;
- People who are genetically predisposed to them.
True enough; genetics also play a major role in stretch mark development, as you are more prone to having them if close family members also have them. Some women go through three or four pregnancies without even a mark on their bellies. Others barely make it out of puberty and already have plenty of marks along their thighs. While they are common in women, guys can have them just as well.
What To Do When They Appear?
It is bad enough that your skin is full of colorful marks, but they can also cause discomfort, especially during their onset. On top of seeing striations, you will also feel an itching and burning sensation. Stretched skin is often dry, which causes that uncomfortable sensation. You may want to scratch it, but doing so may aggravate them and cause them to worsen and appear more severe.
During this time, you should stay away from using anything with alcohol, and keep yourself away from pools or the sea. Avoid hot baths, showers and saunas, and use a moisturizing lotion to soothe your skin.
How To Prevent and Get Rd of Them?
Do stretch marks go away? This is a very common question about stretch mark removal, as many people wonder if it is possible to get rid of striae. To answer this, it is important to lay things out on the table:
You cannot completely erase the marks or eradicate them from your skin. However, you do things help them fade until they appear totally inconspicuous.
This should provide you with some consolation, especially if you are fond of wearing swimsuits or shorts.
So, first things first. Before talking about getting rid of the marks, you should first learn how to evade them from the start. The best way for you to combat this problem is to avoid rapid weight gain in the first place. Of course, you cannot help but put on weight during pregnancy, but you can keep your weight gain to the minimum to ensure that your skin does not stretch beyond its limit. You can also try to keep your skin flexible and strong with the help of toning exercises and the use of products such as a good stretch mark cream or lotion.
Now comes the most interesting part – improving the way your skin looks, and here are some methods that you can try:
Doctors recommend in-office treatments such as lasers and dermabrasion. Lasers work by heating up the skin and boosting collagen growth, causing the dilated blood vessels to shrink. Doctors claim that laser treatments can improve the marks by 30% or more, and you will need at least three to six sessions for you to see maximum results. These kinds of treatments can range from $300 to $1000 per session.
Less-invasive processes such as microdermabrasion and dermabrasion can help renew the skin, but may take time and a number of sessions before you can see their effects.
Stretch mark lotions and creams
There are many lotions, creams and oils in the market that can help fade their appearance. Your best bet would be a stretch marks cream that contains retinoids, which increase elastin and collagen production in the skin. You can also try those that contain mild peeling acids like glycolic peels or fruit peels.
As there are many products in the market, looking for the right product can be tricky. Some products do work, but there are also those that are just a entire waste of money. That said, it is essential to choose wisely by reading up on reviews, looking for background clinical studies and money-back guarantees.
You can also try to make use of natural treatments. They may help improve the appearance of your skin, but will require plenty of time and effort to do so.
- You can make use of a natural stretch marks cream that contains shea butter and cocoa butter. These ingredients are well trusted and often mentioned by many, because they have moisturizing and strengthening properties.
- Grape seed extract has been shown to prevent the development of collagen-destroying enzymes, and help vitamin C do its work.
- Aloe vera gel has a cooling effect that can reduce itching. It can also soften the skin and improve the healing process.
- Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that prevent skin damage and is great for stretch marks removal.
- Vitamin E is also a common choice as it has antioxidant properties and is a natural remedy for scarring. It can help stimulate collagen and improve your skin texture.
- Tea tree oil is a great anti-inflammatory oil, which you can use during the onset of the marks and reduce itching.
- Other healthy oils include olive, emu, Argan and rosehip which all have very powerful healing properties.
So, do stretch marks go away with all these efforts? These treatments can help improve your skin. Remember though, just like the process of improving superficial scars, stretch mark removal will take considerable time, effort and money (for some treatments) before you begin to see results. Always be consistent with your efforts, but bear in mind that you can never entirely remove them, so you should keep your expectations real and not expect them to be completely erased.
In the end, it is wise to accept that stretch marks are a natural phenomenon that majority of the population get. You are not alone, and there are millions of people all around the world with the same problem as you. So do not stress yourself out to look for the perfect product. Keep your expectations real and enjoy the whole stretch mark removal process as you continue to take care of your skin.