If you think every scar tells a story, you would certainly want to know why we get stretch marks. These unpleasant streaks usually appear on the abdomen, the armpits or the thighs and are reddish or purplish in color.
When you carefully observe the physical manifestation of these marks, you notice they are in the areas of the body that are expanding rapidly. As the dermal layer of the skin stretches out, it appears torn and cracked.
These marks can sometimes also appear as brown marks, depending on the tone of your skin. Some people also observe depressed streaks on their buttocks and waistline.
Are Stretch Marks Permanent?
Stretch marks are scars you get when your skin tears due to rapid weight gain or another issue. These marks are also hereditary which means you could blame these ugly looking streaks to your genes if nothing else. It is true that once these marks appear, they can’t simply go away. However, the good news is that you can improve the appearance of stretch marks and blend these to the surrounding skin.
There are many reasons why theses marks appear on our body. However, common causes are pregnancy, puberty or rapid weight gain. A fluctuating weight is often the most common cause of stretch marks.
When a woman is pregnant, her skin is expanding at a rapid rate, especially after the sixth or seventh month. That’s the time when most women observe visibly noticeable stretch marks. This is why many expectant moms consider reducing their food intake. However, you should not change your diet without consulting your doctor. Moreover, when there are options like retinoids that may improve the marks by building collagen to thicken the skin.
Are you looking for the best cure for treating your stretch marks? Here are five things to know about stretch marks treatments.
1. Miracle Products Don’t Promise Overnight Results
Many of today’s heavily advertised miracle creams or lotions do little to prevent or reduce stretch marks. However, it never hurts to use a high quality product that is manufactured by a trusted brand.
Creams, moisturizers and lotions that contain active ingredients such as tretinoin can help to improve the appearance of your stretch marks. This derivative of Vitamin A is often prescribed for reversing aging and treating acne.
Tretinoin boosts collagen remodeling to heal scars. Since stretch marks are nothing but a form of scars, tretinoin helps a great deal for improving the width and length of these marks.
When you looking to buy products, make sure you choose a brand that uses botanical ingredients such as onion bulb extracts. This ingredient has shows promising results and is a must-try option to treat stretch marks.
Keeping your skin hydrated is another potent way to prevent these marks. Use premium-quality moisturizers to massage your belly area, which have shea butter and cocoa butter, as major ingredients.
2. Laser Treatment
Laser treatments are the most effective treatment method to correct stretch marks. However, make sure you get the procedure done by a professional and trained doctor who uses a microfine laser for reaching deep inside into the sublayers of the skin.
The laser procedures boost your body’s natural healing process and successfully remove the damaged tissues. The body rebuilds the skin by using fresh collagen. The resulting effect is an improved skin color and texture that minimizes the visibility of stretch marks.
Fractional resurfacing lasers using microneedling are able to build collagen for enhancing the skin’s textures and make it thicker. Although, stretch marks never fade out completely, they are less visible as they begin to appear more similar to the surrounding skin.
Another effective stretch mark treatment involves injecting platelet-rich plasma into the affected area directly or to use PRP with microneedling. PRP boosts tissue repair, cell growth and collagen production and is actually a high concentration of cellular compounds from your own blood.
If you choose PRP for scar reduction, the stem cells and growth factors and function together to reinforce skin cells which are beneath the superficial layer of skin. This method targets hyperpigmentation, skin laxity and is potent way to improve the overall skin texture.
The treatment method also improves sagging and makes the skin look taut and smooth.
4. Older Stretch Marks Can Be Stubborn
Striae rubra or newly formed stretch marks appear as raised red lines. Doctors believe that it is easier to treat younger stretch marks than older lines. A surgeon, dermatologist or a vascular surgeon employ a pulsed-dye or NG-YAG laser for targeting the blood vessels. The deeper and wider stretch marks with redness and pigmentation have the best chances of improvement.
Over time, stretch marks gradually fade to white-ish and thinner lines. These are referred to as striae alba and are notoriously hard to remove. However, there are always exceptions. People who have thick stretch marks can be reduced to thin lines and a depressed stretch mark is sometimes made flat.
5. Stretch Marks Never Disappear Completely
Not to scare you away, but there is no magic cream or treatment that can make these marks disappear for good. Nevertheless, you will be surprised to see how you can improve their appearance by getting rid of the pigmentation and stimulating new collagen and elastin production.
It may take several months to treat your stretch marks, but you can expect dramatic results once you choose the best stretch mark treatment.
It is always best to prevent and manage stretch marks by minimizing your weight gain and moisturizing regularly. For treating stretch marks, there is a wide range of creams and lotions that are specifically manufactured for reducing and stretch mark visibility.
Striae may also develop owing to genetic factors. It is best to consult a professional dermatologist or surgeon who can recommend the best possible treatment to help you determine the best course of action.