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Most women get stretch marks after pregnancy, but stretch marks are neither limited to pregnancy nor women. Men can get stretch marks too and it is more common than you may think.
Common causes of stretch marks include obesity, rapid weight gain, pregnancy, and growth spurt. And while these scars are harmless and do not indicate any underlying problem, you will probably want to get rid of their unsightly appearance.
Also, stretch marks are not restricted to the belly or abdominal region and can develop on the chest or breasts, upper and lower back, upper arms, shoulders, buttocks, and hips. Extremely overweight people may even get stretch marks on their calves.
Getting Rid of Stretch Marks
There are many ways to get rid of stretch marks but the results will vary. However, if you count all possible remedies, you will have at least a dozen different solutions to try out. In this post, we are going to introduce three of the most effective ways to get rid of stretch marks.
Stretch Mark Creams
The first option is applying a stretch mark cream. This is the category of over the counter solutions. There are dozens of brands making stretch mark cream and you can pick one after checking its ingredients to avoid any allergies.
The second option is home remedies. There are quite a few of them. The requisite ingredients are relatively inexpensive and they are widely available.
The last of the three effective ways to get rid of stretch marks is surgery or other medical procedures. This is the most expensive and also the least desirable remedy of the three.
Stretch Mark Creams to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Stretch mark creams are one of the most popular methods to remove stretch marks. Hundreds of thousands of women use such creams to help get rid of stretch marks. Some are retinoid creams that contain tretinoin, and some creams contain vitamins C and E, proline and copper-peptides.
Many creams have limitations and do not work effectively for all kinds of stretch marks. You may find tretinoin to be ineffective. Some women may find creams containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acid to be ineffective. Many women use chemical peels.
You should look for a stretch mark cream that contains coconut oil, essential oils such as lavender and primrose, collagen so the skin can have its strength and elasticity enhanced, elastin so the fibers can be replenished in the skin, and aloe vera that can provide the essential nourishment to the skin, hydrate and heal it.
The same stretch mark cream will not have identical effects on everyone. You will have to try and see for yourself. You can always compare the creams and choose one that is more suited for the kind of stretch marks you have.
Read consumer reviews and assessments of skincare experts. Most importantly, if you are a pregnant mother, you should try to stay away from the products that contain retinoids. Some studies have shown that taking high doses of retinoids can cause harm to the baby.
You should consider consulting a dermatologist who can assess the quality of your skin and the exact condition of the marks to recommend the most effective stretch mark cream.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Thousands of women who have stretch marks after pregnancy use natural remedies at home.
Stretch marks appear when the expanded skin contracts post childbirth. The creases could be identical to the color of the skin or they could be reddish, pinking, brownish or paler than your normal skin tone.
There is no specific pattern of stretch marks as the natural contraction of the skin will determine the exact contours. The severity of stretch marks also vary from person to person, mostly depending on the quality and health of their skin, nutrition and bodyweight.
Not every woman gains a lot of weight during pregnancy and many are steadfast with losing the gained weight rather quickly after childbirth. Bodyweight prior to pregnancy will also play a role as an already stretched skin will be more vulnerable.
One of the first remedial steps is hydration. You must drink lots of water so you can minimize the obvious appearance of the stretch marks. Water hydrates the entire body and keeps skin supple.
Aloe vera is a widely used remedy at home. Applying aloe vera gel with a carrier oil, combining it with vitamin capsules, especially vitamins A and E, using egg whites, exfoliating the parts of the skin with sugar, rinsing the areas with cold water, coating a bit of olive oil, applying potato juice and soaking in lemon juice can reduce and may even eliminate stretch marks.
You may also use cocoa butter and other natural moisturizers. The skin needs proper nutrition, hydration and moisturizing to facilitate the healing of the marks. The skin must repair itself for the obvious marks to fade and the severity of the stretch marks will determine how quickly and effectively they will subside.
Surgical Options to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Surgical treatment is the newest and fastest way for stretch mark removal. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery recommends laser therapy as the only proven way of removing stretch marks.
Laser therapy uses a light at intense wavelengths to trigger the secretion of collagen, melanin or elastin in the skin. One advantage is that it can be used to treat any type of stretch marks. Another stunning fact is that there’s barely any downtime after the treatment.
The exact type of laser treatment will depend on your age and the exact condition of the stretch marks. The marks caused by pregnancy and obesity are not approached in the same way.
You may also consider pulsed dye laser treatments. Such a remedy leads the underlying blood vessels in the skin to collapse. Whether or not the stretch marks are active will influence the choice of such surgical options.
There is also the option of microdermabrasion, and the last option is abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck. This is cosmetic surgery and the most expensive of all these treatments.
The Bottom Line
There are many treatment options available to help you get rid of your stretch marks, including creams, surgery, and home remedies.
However, what treatment works for you, will totally depend on your unique body and case. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy for stretch marks, and there isn’t a guarantee you can entirely rid your body of them either.
That being said, give the different creams and home remedies a try, and if you don’t see results, visit a specialist. Chances are there is a solution that will work for you.