When there is excessive stretching of the skin, it can result in the appearance of spots, lines, or stripes, usually pink or purple in color. These are stretch marks. When stretch marks appear for the first time, they start with a pretty intense color but fade over time. Nonetheless, the texture and characteristics of stretch marks don’t fade on their own. Stretch marks appear frequently on muscles, buttocks, arms (generally around the armpit), abdomen, and breasts. Keep in mind that stretch marks are unoffensive and don’t require medical attention. However, if you are self-conscious of your stretch marks, is there a way to remove stretch marks? Continue reading to find out.
Before trying to remove stretch marks, the first step is to determine what is causing them:
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Prolonged use of corticosteroids
- Growth spurts, especially during the teenage years
- Increase in muscular mass, especially in your arms and legs
- Genetic disorders, like the Marfan Syndrome or the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- Prolonged use of steroids
Stretch Mark Treatment
Let’s take a look at the ways in which you can treat stretch marks. Relatively new stretch marks can be treated with tretinoin cream that helps rebuild collagen and can help keep your skin healthy. But this cream can only be used in the first six weeks of when your stretch marks have developed. If you are pregnant, don’t use this option because the effects of topical tretinoin on the fetus are still unknown.
Pulse laser therapy encourages collagen and elastin growth and can help stretch marks texturize when they are still relatively new. These high intensity light pulsing treatments don’t affect the most external layers of the skins, but rather cause intentional and controlled damage to the chromophores located in the dermis.
These are the options for old stretch marks. Microdermabrasion revives the skin gently by blasting it with small crystals and makes a copy for safety. This only affects the most outer layer of the skin and promotes the growth of new skin surfaces.
Excimer lasers promote the development of melanin in stretch makes and help balance out the color. A type of therapy that works for old and new stretch marks is a chemical exfoliation with glycolic acid. First, the doctor will clean the area that will be treated and then apply a chemical solution that will intentionally damage the skin, which promotes its regeneration.
There are also various creams, like cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamin E that can be used at home to help you. The creams will keep your skin lubricated and can also accelerate color fading. Some people say that they get the best results from these, while others see little or no change. Other common topical treatments include ricinus oil, olive oil, fruit acids, seaweed wraps, and other medicinal plants.
You can reduce stretch marks with creams and with the help of other factors, you can even come very close to removing them with surgery. Unfortunately, nothing will completely remove stretch marks.