What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are common among women after pregnancy. You might have fine lines mostly in the areas prone to fat accumulation like breast, hips, arms, abdomen, tummy and thighs. They may develop due to hormonal changes or sudden fat loss in these regions.
Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. The marks often start out reddish or purple, but after pregnancy they gradually fade to white or gray. About 90% of women will get them sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
How could you reduce stretch marks complications?
If your mother had stretch marks, then you’re more likely to have them too, since genetics plays a role. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent stretch marks. There’s not a cream, lotion, or “mommy” balm that can do that — and if that’s the claim on the bottle, don’t be fooled, Lupo says.
It’s always a good idea to keep your skin hydrated with a rich lotion or cream, Lupo says, especially if it makes your skin feel better, look smoother and more toned, and helps the itchiness that can come with your growing belly.
Could you lighten stretch marks?
It is not possible to get rid of stretch marks completely as they only get lighter with time.
- Massaging the affected areas with oils make your skin smooth and help reduce the stretch marks.
- You can try doing exercises that work on the muscles of the areas with stretch marks. They tone the skin and help regenerate the tissues. It tightens the loosened skin and helps diminish the stretch marks.
- Swimming and shower have a significant effect on the skin. They improve the blood circulation in the subcutaneous tissues and enhance skin elasticity. All you need to do is alternate your shower between hot and cold water for micro-circulation.
- Chemical peels, also referred to as derma peeling or chemexfoliation, use a chemical solution on the stretch marks. The solution contains chemicals like trichloroacetic, glycolic, lactic, salicylic or carbolic acids, which when applied on the stretch marks result in blister formation. The blistered skin is later peeled off for the formation of a new skin layer. This treatment also has risks including, a color change of the skin
- Laser therapy is a common and proven treatment for stretch marks removal. It works on both older, deeper marks as well as newer marks. It involves removing, vaporizing and breaking down of affected skin tissues to enhance new cell production.
- A study shows that applying 0.1% tretinoin cream can reduce stretch marks. It is noticed that the stretch mark length is reduced by 14% and width by 8%.
- Surgery is not recommended for stretch marks removal. The surgical procedure (dermabrasion) involves removal of layers of skin, which have the stretch marks so that it regenerates. It results in incision scars that are worse than stretch marks. It also has several risks involved.
- Skin needling stimulates healthy collagen and elastin production in deeper skin layers to repair the damaged areas. The area affected by stretch marks is treated with a medical dermaroller or eDS electronic Dermastamp causing multiple, pin point “injuries” into the skin. This “wakes up” the body’s natural healing response – releases skin growth factors and stimulates skin’s fibroblast cells to:
- Produce healthy new collagen
- Improves blood supply to the area
- Skin texture is firmer
- Stretch marks are reduced in width & depth
Needling will improve the appearance of stretch marks for everyone but the overall result depends on each person, how severe the stretch marks are and also their age. Early red stretch marks are improved most, though even older established white stretch marks will show some improvement.