Whether you have recently gain or lost weight, been bulking up in the gym, or pregnant, you may be prone to stretch marks. A multimillion dollar consumer market has developed to try and get rid of these embarrassing marks. In this class I will teach you several different natural and medical methods you can use to help prevent, diminish and get rid of stretch marks.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Know in the medical field as ”striae”, stretch marks typically appear after rapid weight gain or loss. They commonly form as parallel lines on your stomach, hips, buttocks or breasts. They are most common in teen years and during pregnancy when hormone spurts cause fast changes in your body not allowing your skin’s elasticity to keep up. Studies have shown that over 90% of women will be affected by stretch marks and getting rid of them can be very difficult which is why prevention is key.
The appearance of stretch marks generally start out as a redish or brown color, depending on your skin tone, fading to a white or silverfish color over time. The earlier treatment begins on a stretch mark the better success you will have at diminishing the scar or getting rid of it. The following is an outline of products for stretch mark treatment and what they can and can not do. I’d highly suggest trying these natural treatments first before considering medical procedures.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA is one of the most popular stretch mark removal products on the market today. AHAs are found in almost every popular skin care and stretch mark products. AHAs are acids derived from dairy products or sugar which are very powerful exfoliating compounds. They will break down the proteins that hold dead skin cells or scar tissue together allowing new skin to grow in its place.
- Retinoids are another effective acid for treating stretch marks. They have been known to help regulate and accelerate skin growth. Retinoids should not be used by someone that is pregnant or nursing a child.
- Wheat Germ Oil has shown to help in early phases of stretch marks. Although there isn’t much scientific data supporting its effectiveness it’s worth trying due to it being cheap and available at your local skin care store. I’ve even seen it in high end grocery stores.
- Vitamin C may also help stretch marks by increasing collagen production which can help in early stages of stretch marks.
- Gotu kola is an herb that has been used for thousands of years in China, India and Indonesia. It has been use to heal a number of medical conditions, wounds and skin problems among them. This product has been show to promote collagen and skin growth. It can be found in a number of skin products on the market today. Sundari produces a body oil containing gotu kola that you can find online.
- Time is the healer of all things. Like any scar, stretch marks will fade away slowly over time.
- Tanning always helps diminish scars or how noticeable they are. Make sure to use proper precautions with tanning and don’t over do it.
- Increasing circulation by taking warm baths and massaging the effected areas will help.
Some people may consider more advanced medical treatments depending on the severity and how much the stretch marks bother them. I highly suggest getting several different medical opinions before trying any of the following procedures. The following is a list of medical procedures that can be performed.
- Microdermabrasion is a medical procedure usually performed in spas where the outermost layer of skin cells is removed from the epidermis. This process generates new skin growth which will help diminish scars and stretch marks. The skin is removed using a chemical or mechanical process.
- Laser treatment is quickly becoming the most popular treatment for stretch marks. Lasers help promote increased cell and collagen production helping to reduce the marks.
- Cosmetic surgery is another medical treatment routinely performed to treat stretch marks. A majority of stretch marks form below the belly button and a tummy tuck is a routine procedure which can help remove the scarred surface area. Surgery can be performed on other parts of the body but its effectiveness will be determine by the location of your scars.
Preventing Stretch Marks
Using simple prevention techniques is the best way to never have to worry about stretch marks. Stretch marks form when skin is stretched beyond it’s elasticity. Therefore, you need to control the cause of the stretching or increase your skins elasticity.
- Skin lotions and cream products can help improve your skins elasticity. Coco butter has always been one of the best products for preventing stretch marks. Keeping your skin highly moisturized especially during a pregnancy is one of the easiest ways to help eliminate stretch marks. If you are pregnant, make sure to consult your doctor on any skin care products you use.
- Vitamins A, E & C can help increase collagen production and the elasticity of your skin.
- More lotions and cream products. I stress this point again as keeping you skin well lubricated is the best way to prevent marks from ever occurring.
- For those of you who aren’t pregnant, proper weight loss/gain control is very important. Whether purposely trying to gain or lose weight or not, monitoring and controlling weight gain or loss will prevent stretch marks. You’re skin will stretch of tighten over time naturally so try to prevent any rapid changes.