Why do stretch marks occur?
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. Your skin doesn’t have the ability to deal with this kind of stretching, causing the collagen and elastin in your skin to break and leave stripes on your skin called stretch marks. Red stretch marks are fresh, while white stretch marks have been around longer.
Common causes of stretch marks on calves
- Growth Spurts. Growth spurts or weight fluctuation, usually seen in adolescents and pregnant women, are a cause of stretch marks on calves. Stretch marks that run horizontally are from to horizontal growth, usually from a height growth. Vertical stretch marks are due to vertical growth, usually due to rapid change in fat or muscle in the calves.
- Muscle Building. People who do a lot of lower-leg exercises may find stretch marks on their calves. This is caused by the skin stretching as muscles grow quickly.
- Genetics. Your skin tone, it’s elasticity and collagen makeup, and any hormonal imbalances of your skin may be genetic factors that can cause stretch marks. If there’s a family history of stretch marks, there’s a good chance you’ll be predisposed to them.
Pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy is common, but your legs aren’t used to carrying the extra weight. This can cause stretch marks on your calves to appear as your skin stretches to carry the baby weight.
Can stretch marks on calves be treated?
While there is no sure-fire cure for stretch marks, there are some treatments to help prevent and treat stretch marks on your calves.
- Microdermabrasion works by buffing the top layer of your skin. This exfoliation stimulates the growth of new, healthy cells and promotes elastin production.
- Pulsed dye laser therapy can also promote collagen and elastin production. The laser shoots short pulses of light into the skin where stretch marks form. If you use this treatment on your stretch marks while they’re still new and red, pulsed dye lasers can be very effective.
- An excimer laser is used to encourage melanin production and can help change the color and appearance of stretch marks. This treatment is extremely effective on new stretch marks since the redness goes away thanks to the production of new melanin.
Natural and home remedies
- Exercise. Exercising can help get rid of stretch marks on your calves. Muscle building will tone your skin, which can make the stretch marks less obvious. Be sure to ease up on the number of repetitions you do that could cause sudden growth in your calves, which can make stretch marks worse. Runners and other athletes are especially prone to this.
- Diet. Your diet can have an impact on the appearance of your stretch marks. Try to maintain a diet rich in essential vitamins, such as vitamins A, E, and C. Adding sufficient protein to your diet can help muscle tissue repair faster. Hydration is also important. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.
- Creams. Homemade creams made with vitamin E oil and aloe vera can prove to be helpful in treating stretch marks. Massaging the cream into your skin regularly will promote the regeneration of skin cells, encourage collagen production, and improve the skin’s overall elasticity.
- Weight Loss. If you’ve been dealing with weight changes, rapid fat growth and loss can cause stretch marks to appear. Your calves will also have to support the extra weight, which can aggravate the stretch marks and make them more difficult to treat. It’s important for you to maintain a healthy weight if you wish to treat your stretch marks effectively.
Topical creams and gels
Stretch mark creams and gels are more affordable methods for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. These creams are deeply hydrating topical products that, when applied regularly, can promote collagen and elastin production to help prevent and lessen the appearance of stretch marks. The best stretch mark creams and gels can help diminish the color of your marks and shrink them over time. Some are available over-the-counter, while others can only be obtained with a prescription.
Before using any topical treatment, discuss them with your doctor. Some creams can’t be used when pregnant or breastfeeding (such as those including tretinoin or any retinoid cream), and some may contain ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
TriLASTIN-SR Maximum Strength Stretch Mark Cream with Hydro-Thermal Accelerator
Nonsurgical skin treatment procedures for stretch marks are less extreme approaches than plastic surgery. They can effectively restore a more normal appearance to your skin, but they can’t erase your stretch marks completely.
Laser treatments consist of removing the outer layer of skin, giving it a smoother appearance. Concentrated beams of light are used to encourage new collagen growth. While it won’t get rid of stretch marks completely, laser removal may help reduce their appearance.
Microneedling works by tiny needles are poked into your skin to trigger collagen production. The needle points heal quickly, allowing new collagen and elastin to form in order to heal the area. The new collagen and elastin can improve your skin’s appearance and reduce stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion is a painless procedure that reduces the appearance of stretch marks by stimulating your skin to tighten collagen and elastin fibers. During this procedure, tiny exfoliating crystals are spread onto the affected area and the crystals are gently removed using a hand-held device, also removing dead skin. Though they can be effective, microdermabrasion isn’t guaranteed to fully remove stretch marks.
How to hide stretch marks on calves
Wear long pants
It seems simple enough, but one of the easiest ways to hide stretch marks on your calves is to wear long pants. Calf stretch marks are one of the easiest to hide since most pants are long enough to cover them.
Exfoliating with a caffeine scrub regularly can help reduce stretch marks on your calves. Caffeine scrubs can help lighten, tighten, and smoothen the skin.
Another option is using makeup that can be applied on your calves to help hide your stretch marks. Some makeup options include concealer or foundation, and tinted lotions with sunscreen.
Since stretch marks appear more easily on lighter skin, applying a base of self-tanner to lightly tint your skin can help lessen the appearance of stretch marks on your calves. You will need a lotion product (nothing out of a spray bottle) that is labeled “streak free.” If self-applied tanner isn’t your cup of tea, you could also book an airbrush tanning treatment at a salon. Be aware that traditional tanning, whether outside in the sun or in a tanning bed, isn’t effective at covering stretch marks. Traditional tanning might actually worsen them, so stick with the artificial tans.
Are stretch marks on calves normal?
Stretch marks in general are very common. Calf stretch marks are typically obtained when the skin around your calves stretches due to rapid weight gain, muscle growth, or growth spurts in teenagers.
Can you get stretch marks on calves?
Stretch marks can appear on any part of the body. They’re most commonly found on your calves, thighs, hips, abdomen, and even your underarms.
How to stop stretch marks on calves?
Stretch marks are easier to prevent than to treat after they’ve already appeared. A few ways to prevent stretch marks from forming on your calves include:
- Control your weight
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a rich diet including vitamin c, zinc, and other healthy nutrients
- Treat fresh stretch marks when they appear