We'll be honest with you: there's nothing wrong with having stretch marks! Pregnancy, weight gain, puberty - none of that is easy, and stretch marks are proof of your struggles and battles that you should be proud of.
Even so, you may feel self-conscious about them on certain occasions and wish to get rid of them. If that's the case, then don't stress out: you can always reduce the appearance of your stretch marks, if not eliminate them.
In this post, we'll discuss all the possible ways you can reduce and get rid of stretch marks. We'll also talk about whether it's possible to prevent them from forming in the first place. Read on!
Stretch Marks - What They Look Like
Before you dive into the tediously long procedures of their removal, go ahead and examine your body for stretch marks. Are they very prominent? What color? Do you even have them?
All men and women are different, so your stretch marks might look different from those you see in pictures. Generally, though, they begin appearing as red, streaky lines and develop into purple-blue ones. You may or may not have any indentations on the skin - it varies from person to person.
After some time, the scars fade out into a white, silvery, or light brown color, depending on your skin tone.
Some people may have a lot of them, for instance, pregnant women, while others will have a few, barely noticeable streaks. Also, it's common to confuse stretch marks with cellulite, which causes lumps and dimples on the skin.
This is why it's important to examine your body for signs of stretch marks and where you'd want to target the treatment first.
Are they very prominent at one part of your body than the other? Do they look like old or young scars? Are they even noticeable enough to go for a treatment?
Your answers to those questions will determine what treatment you opt for and how much money you invest in them. Typically, it's easier to remove young scars, but some treatments will work well even on old scars. For instance, microneedling old stretch marks is effective for most people.
6 Ways to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Don't lose hope if you wish to get rid of stretch marks and improve your self-image. Here are some treatments you can opt for:
Dermarolling Stretch Marks
A lot of the treatments don't work well for old stretch marks and are only meant for newly-formed streaks. But microneedling old stretch marks is effective and one of the few treatments that target such scars.
It induces collagen production in the skin by pricking it. In effect, your skin cells start to regenerate, which reduces the colored appearance of the lines and smooths out any indentations left by the stretch marks.
Dermarolling stretch marks is the best alternative to microneedling, as it's very affordable and easily manageable at home.
The longer needles in the DermRollers range are meant for stretch marks on the hips, thighs, and tummy. Within a few months, you'll notice smoothened skin and faded scars - something that has been proven by multiple studies to be effective.
Yet another effective way of reducing stretch marks is ablative laser therapy, aka laser resurfacing. This procedure involves exposing the skin to intense laser beams, which will remove the outer layer (epidermis) of your skin.
Meanwhile, the light beams will warm up the layers under the epidermis, encouraging collagen growth. As the outer layer heals, it will have an improved texture and cover up the stretch marks much better.
This treatment is pretty expensive and has a recovery time of several weeks, where your skin will be itchy and red. But if your stretch marks are newly formed and have indentations, laser resurfacing might be a good idea.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
IPL is another form of laser resurfacing, but this one's less invasive and doesn't remove any skin layers.
Instead, it delivers different wavelengths of light deep into the skin, which triggers the skin cells to respond in the desired way. So after several sessions, you will notice reduced blemishes of all sorts, including stretch marks.
However, note that this therapy only works for colored stretch marks, especially red and pink lines. So if you've got old stretch marks that are a faded white in color, this is not for you.
Rf therapy is also foolproof, and according to a study, offers satisfactory results with stretch marks. It involves delivering radiofrequency waves into the inner layers of the skin without disrupting the epidermis.
The heat from these waves triggers a reaction in the skin, which causes collagen production. In turn, the stretch marks fade and disappear over time as new skin cells take their place.
While in-clinic sessions are pricey, there are devices that you can purchase for use at home. Either way, consult your dermatologist before starting the therapy.
Tired of trying home-made scrubs to reduce stretch marks? Don't fall for those tricks - they don't work.
Instead, you should opt for microdermabrasion. This treatment uses the same principle as your favorite scrub. It removes the skin's upper layer using tiny crystals that are sprayed from a powerful handheld device.
As a result, it stimulates an increase in collagen and makes the top layer of the skin regrow itself to cover the scars much better.
You will need more than a few sessions for this to work, and it won't get rid of the marks entirely. However, if you've got old, white-ish scars, then microdermabrasion might help in reducing them to a satisfactory extent.
This is a retinoid cream that has worked for many women who are trying to decrease early stretch marks after pregnancy. It increases collagen production in the targeted area, helping the scars blend in with your skin color.
However, it might leave your skin very irritated. More importantly, if you're pregnant or nursing, consult your doctor before applying this retinoid.
Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
For most people, stretch marks are inevitable. This is especially the case with pregnant women, as the skin stretches very quickly in the last trimester. But is there any way you can reduce their intensity?
The first thing you need to be careful about is your weight. Stretch marks appear because the skin stretches too quickly, and its tissues don't have enough elasticity yet. So if you're gaining weight, try to do it gradually, even if you're pregnant.
Also, maintain a healthy diet - vitamins, minerals, and proteins are all necessary for good skin. And don't forget to drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
Lastly, we recommend treating stretch marks as early as possible because removing old stretch marks takes longer and is much more difficult.
Your skin is beautiful the way it is, but you can always opt for treatments to further improve its appearance.
Go for dermarolling stretch marks if you're not willing to spend on clinical sessions, especially since it's easy to do at home.
However, radiofrequency and laser resurfacing have been effective for many people as well, so try them out if no other treatment works. Remember: what may have worked for others might not work for you - everyone's different!
Either way, don't forget to consult a doctor before going ahead with the treatment.