How to get rid of stretch marks is something I spend a lot of my time chatting with moms out there about it before, during and after pregnancy. Knowing something about it can help you understand what’s going on and how to get rid of them. You probably think you are doomed to live with them.
But don’t worry cos here are few things you need to understand about stretch marks and how you can avoid and get rid of it.
What are Stretch marks?
Stretch marks are linear marks or stripes on the skin, especially on the abdomen,breasts, thighs caused by distension of the skin from obesity or during pregnancy. They most often occur when skin stretches faster than it can grow. They can have a profound effect on man’s behavior and self confidence so it is important to explore treatment options if you feel embarrassed or worried because of these.
Couple of places that stretch marks are more likely to creep up:
- back of legs
How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Here are proven methods through which you can get rid of stretch marks:
Part 1. Verified Solution
1. Try Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E oil is one way to get rid of stretch marks. Try mixing your Vitamin E oil with a carrier lotion, such as a regular unscented moisturizer. Vitamin E oil is said to be the miracle cure for stretch marks.
Moisturizers (lotion, jelly, cream etc) keep the skin soft from getting dry. A study comparing herbal moisturizers found that people who lotioned-up daily showed significant improvement in skin appearance and elasticity. Moisturizers should be applied on to the skin and then rubbed firmly all over the skin with finger tips to ensure an even spread and absorption into the skin.
3. Massage the skin regularly
Massaging the skin regularly increases blood flow which warms the skins and increases its suppleness. This reduces dryness which might cause further breakage of the skin and increase elasticity.
4. Use Glycolic acid
Glycolic acid used on stretch marks can increase collagen production, as making your skin more elastic overall. Collagen is a protein that is responsible for binding body tissues together and increases skin elasticity and firmness. It joins the broken skin tissues together and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Take extra care to keep skin that you’re treating with glycolic acid out of the sun. Glycolic acid can be bought in over-the-counter. For a more intense treatment, you can get a stronger dose from a licensed dermatologist.
5. Use Retin-A
Retin-A is thought to boost collagen production, helping skin stretch out and avoid tears. Retin-A won’t be as effective on old stretch marks. Limit sun exposure of skin that you’re treating with Retin-A. It could be more susceptible to burning. You’ll probably need a prescription to get products such as Retin-A, Tazorac, and Differin (which all contain retinoic acid).
Note that you should not use any products containing retinoic acid if you are pregnant or nursing. It can potentially cause birth defects in humans.
6. Combine glycolic acid and Retin-A.
Combining Retin-A and glycolic acid is a good idea since both of them are effective in removing stretch marks. It is a common practice to prepare the skin with Retin-A before applying glycolic acid. However, you must note that Retin-A is not good for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you plan to use this combination, make sure that you are not breastfeeding or you do not plan to get pregnant.
Part 2. Unverified Solutions
1. Use essential oils. Here are some oils commonly promoted for stretch marks:
Though there hasn’t yet been a peer-reviewed study on how essential oils can heal stretch marks, they are currently used as a home remedy. You can apply them directly onto the skin, or use a carrier (such as coconut oil or an unscented moisturizer) to make application easier.
Part 3. Supplemental Solutions
1. Vitamin C.
One dermatologist suggests that 500 mg of Vitamin C, taken as an oral supplement, can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. For even better results, try using a topical glycolic acid along with Vitamin C.
Note: Glycolic acid should be used only after consulting with a dermatologist, especially for high doses, but vitamin C is available in fruits and can also be taken in form of oral pills. Glycolic acid and Vitamin C may be used singly or in combination.
Part 4. Laser Treatment Solutions
1. Use of fractional laser treatment for fresh stretch marks.
You can use resurfacing with a fractional laser that focuses on small areas for stretch marks that are no longer discolored but are still indented. You could need up to three fractional laser treatments. Hyper-pigmentation and scarring are potential side effects of fractional laser treatments.You can use resurfacing with a fractional laser that focuses on small areas for stretch marks that are no longer discolored but are still indented.
2. Use a pulsed dye laser for fresh stretch marks.
A pulsed dye laser set at 585-nm was shown to reduce stretch marks in post-partum Korean women. This sort of treatment can take down the initial redness, and is best used on early marks that have not yet turned silver. Vascular laser treatments won’t be effective for women with darker skin. Much like laser hair removal, the process works best when there’s a large contrast between the target (in this case, the red stretch marks) and the pigment of the skin.
Part 5. Surgical Solutions
1. Get an abdominoplasty (aka tummy tuck)
The only certain way to get rid of stretch marks is to cut them out. If you’ve tried everything else and can’t stand the tiger stripes, a tummy tuck might be the ticket.
- Be prepared for the cost. In the United States, an abdominoplasty can run between $4000 and $20,000
- Be aware of the risks. As with any major surgery, there are life-threatening complications that can arise from a tummy tuck.
- Plan on a long recovery. You can expect to take 2 to 4 weeks off work, and spend 3 to 6 months before you’re fully healed.
2. Consider a combination deal. Some postpartum women get a tummy tuck, a breast lift, and liposuction all in one procedure.