How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks Fast

How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks

Have you been trying different ways to learn how to get rid of stretch marks but without any headway? Well, you’re not alone. According to an unofficial report, stretch marks is one of the most prevalent issue for people who’ve just experienced gone through a particular phase of life. Folks such as bodybuilders, people with a sudden fluctuation of weight, pregnant ladies and even adolescents during their puberty period. Most of these people have resorted to creams, lotions, rubs and even lasers to lighten or even remove them. But what exactly causes these unsightly lines and how to get rid of stretch marks effectively?

What Causes Skin Stretch Marks?

Well, there are a couple of theories. But a few things’ for sure – it can occur to both women or men, old or young and on any part of the body, even though it’s prevalently found on areas such as the tummy, buttocks, breasts, upper thighs and arms. Physical bodily changes, dietary alterations and even environmental factors have a part to play in influencing the hormones in our bodies, causing our skin to lose its elasticity and collagen. That is the primary reason why streach marks occur.

Our skin is made up of collagen (80%) and an elastin fibre network (4%). The latter acts just like a fishnet, embroiling the collagen and giving the the skin its flexibility to stretch and shrink back to its original place easily. When these fibres are damaged, the collagen that it holds are impaired at the same time. That’s why stretch marks tend to look differently from the normal skin texture. Initially, they may appear a bit reddish. But as time goes by – usually in a few months or even more – these lines gradually pass off into a lighter shade, making them slightly less visible.

How To Prevent Stretch Marks

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. There are various ways to prevent the development of stretch marks on your body. You either prevent the hormonal changes or augment the elasticity of your skin. Or both at the same time! While it’s difficult preventing the hormonal changes – especially for situations such as pregnancy – improving the elasticity of one’s skin through medical, holistic or natural products such as the ones below is a much more viable solution :

(a) A Combination Of Retinoids, Steroids or Alphas Hydroxy Acids

This is perhaps the only “medically accepted” prevention measure. Since stretch marks are in a sense skin inflammations, doctors may recommend steriod creams for treating the soreness and retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids for counteracting the side effects of the steroid creams. When applied during the stretch marks forming phase, it can be a pretty effective prevention tool. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, this may not be a suitable treatment since there’s a possibility that such ingredients will be passed on to your baby.

(b) Cocoa Butter

A popular home remedy, this active ingredient is used in many beauty products known for replenishing or hydrating dry skin. Besides claiming to reduce stretch mark lines, cocoa butter is also reported to prevent them completely. But do they actually work? Well, results seems to differ across individuals so it’s best to try it out for yourself. It’s highly recommended that you check with your doctor if you’re breast feeding or pregnant to ensure that the brand of cocoa butter doesn’t contain any other ingredients that may harm you or your baby. You should also try applying the creams first on the back of your wrist to ensure that no rashes or allergies occur for the next 48 hours before full application.

(b) Vitamin E

Vitamin E, normally found in gels or creams, hydrates the skin and improves its elasticity. You can easily get the capsules ones from health supplement stores and apply them twice daily over stretch mark prone areas such as your growing tummy (for pregnant mums).

(c) Copper

This is an lesser known ingredient that’s essential for tight, firm skin. Used in many skin care products, such products tones up the skin texture and makes it more youthful. Since well toned skin doesn’t stretch as fast, the occurrence of stretch marks is also much lesser. Apply it across stretch mark prone zones such as the tummy, arms, upper and lower thighs etc directly for the best effects.

(d) Drink More Water (or Enriched Beverages)

Drinking more water not only helps to remove the toxins in our body, it hydrates your skin and keeps its moisturized. It also maintains the firmness of our skin and helps retain its collagen presence. Since water is so readily available, taking at least 8 glasses a day is the first step you can take towards stretch marks prevention! For pregnant ladies who prefers an additional dash of nutrition, get those pre-packaged enriched beverages mix called Calc Fluor 6X. It’s an elasticity salt that contains nutrients to hydrate your body. It’s relatively safe for pregnant ladies but in case you’re worried about its effects, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to check with your doctor.

(e) Regular Exercise

We all know that healthy and toned skin is more elastic and has a greater tolerance for stretching. The question is, how do we increase this tolerance level? Exercise. Yes, regular exercise. Regular exercises keep both the muscles and skin firm and toned. It also helps retain the collagen, thereby maintaining or even improving its elasticity at the same time. Remember, healthy and firm skin stretches naturally without causing stretch marks.

Here are some of the exercises great for zooming into the stretch marks prone zones.

8 Popular Remedies For Getting Rid Of Stretch Marks

Darn, those unsightly lines are already appearing even before you’ve read the prevention tips? Well, all is not doom yet. If you’re are one of those who have been asking “How do I get rid of stretch marks?”, be aware that there are still ways for you to learn how to get rid of strech marks. From home remedies to cosmetic and surgical procedures such as lasers and microdermabrasion, you name them, they’re probably listed here. A warning though. Since some of these stretch mark treatments may be unsuitable for pregnant ladies or breastfeeding mums, it’s highly advisable to consult your doctor prior to trying them out. Oh yeah, those prevention measures mentioned above help in removing stretch marks lines too! So that’s more than 8 ways !

(a) Retin A Cream

Retin A Tretinoin is a derivative of Vitamin A which has been clinically tested to lighten stretch mark lines and . According to a clinical study, the 0.1% tretinoin cream managed to reduce 14% of the length and 8% of the width of stretch marks lines. In another separate study, the length was reduced by 20%. Such stretch mark creams can also be used for preventing stretch mark lines.

For the best effects, apply the Retin A creams on newly formed stretch marks so that it can work on the damaged elastin and collagen immediately. Do note, however that some patients may find it too drying or irritating. If you find that you’re developing some adverse reactions to it, stop immediately and get medical help. Pregnant ladies or breastfeeding mums may want to avoid this treatment.

(b) Emu Oil

More and more people are using Emu oil to fight various skin care ailments. It contains fatty acids which have been recognized to repair damaged skin such as stretch marks and several other types of skin problems. It’s natural and comes in the form of capsules pills, beverage mixes and even topical creams. Regular use or consumption of emu oil is known to maintain your skin’s overall health, catalyzing its healing process at the same time.

(c) Topical Vitamin C

Although such creams can be hand made, the popular and easier option is to get it from the beauty, health supplement stores or pharmacies. It’s usually in a oil or cream texture and can be easily absorbed into the skin for stretch marks removal.

(d) Drink Green Tea

A popular anti oxidant, green tea is known for its various health enhancing properties. Although little is known clinicially about its effects on getting rid of stretch marks, some people attest to this and recommend drinking it daily (as opposed to spreading it on your body) for better results. Since they come in either decaffinated or caffinated selections, loose or bagged packaging, you’ve a lot of options when it comes to choosing the one that’s most convenient for your hectic lifestyle.

(e) Soy Products

Soy products have always been great for women coping with menopausal issues by keeping hormone levels in check and combating certain ailments. It’s also found to be very beneficial for the skin. For starters, you can get those soy supplements and add them in your meals gradually. Once you’re more accustomed to the taste, you can then add more or cook your meals with soy products directly.

(f) Vick’s Vapor Rub

Many people have experienced success removing stretch marks by exfoliating the problematic skin daily with Vick’s Vapor Rub using a washcloth, paper towel, loofah for a few consecutive weeks. This process of rubbing increase blood circulation in the area and may therefore help in reducing the appearance of the stretch mark lines. Results may differ for different individuals though.

(g) Regular Hot Baths & Massages

Since increased blood circulation is rumoured to reduce the lines, chances are, by taking regular hot baths and massages, you’re doing just that!

(h) Sunbathing

While tanning can make the stretch mark lines fainter, it’s important to note that sun screen application is vital. Why? Because sunscreen prevents the exposure of the collagen & elastin within the deeper layers or the skin, reducing the compromising of the skin’s elasticity. Surely you wouldn’t want those stretch marks to appear again after you’ve tried hard to conceal them with your darker, well tanned skin? If you prefer not to go sun tanning and flaunt your stretch marks, try those self tanning products that allow you to achieve the same effect. These products claims to diminish the appearance of such lines.

4 Medical Procedures For Stretch Marks Removal

And if the creams and home remedies don’t help much, you still have the option of medical procedures such as

(a) Microdermabrasion

In this cosmetic procedure, a cream containing tiny crystals is gently rubbed onto the surface of the stretch marked skin. Eventually, the uppermost layer begins to flake off, revealing a newer and smoother skin. Although some doctors have questioned its effectiveness, some patients swear by it.

(b) Endermolgie

Endermologie is a newer technology that involves massaging the stretch marked skin to improve blood circulation and toxins removal.

(c) Laser Surgery

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, depending on the colour of your stretch marks, your doctor may recommend different lasers. Some reduces the dark pigmentation within darker lines while others trigger the growth of pigment making cells in lighter stretch marks. One of the latest forms of laster is also known to stimulate the skin’s collagen buildup. As the collagen composition within the skin grows, its elasticity is greatly enhanced, thereby lighting and removing the stretch marks. More often than not, multiple treatments are required, making laser one of the more expensive options.

(d) Cosmetic Surgery

If you’re planning to remove stretch marks right below the belly button, your doctor may recommend a tummy tuck. Why? Because that is currently the only option for stomach stretch marks removal available. A tummy tuck requires a small portion of the skin in the affected area to be removed. Do consult your surgeon if you’re considering this. Depending on the area where the stretch marks occur, the advice on how to get rid of stretch marks with this procedure can differ greatly.

A Guide On How To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

You’re in your first trimester and is anxious to know how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. After all, your mum and sisters are all victims of those unsightly lines and it’s inevitable you’re worried. Are your genes stacked against you? Are you doomed to live with those stretch marks while being pregnant with the little one?

Now before you start getting paranoid, here’s the reality. More than 1/2 of all pregnant mums get stretch marks during the course of their pregnancy. In fact, there are situations where up to 90% of ladies surveyed have stretch marks during their gestation period. Also known as striae gravidarum, stretch marks develop when the skin is stretched too fast to support the growing foetus. They are actually small tears in the elastin fibre network that support the skin and allow it to stretch. They may vary based on one’s skin colour and texture. Women of darker colour are likely to have lines in a lighter shade whereas lighter toned ladies’ stretch marks tend to be reddish or pinkish.

It’s common to find stretch marks appearing on body areas such as the upper thighs, breasts, buttocks or hips during the 3rd or 4th trimesters as that’s the period when the tummy starts expanding. Though they don’t cause any pain or harm and will eventually subside over time, women are conscious of them as these lines can be rather unsightly. Who wants to wear bikinis with those ugly stretch marks?

Who Gets Stretch Marks?

It has long been suspected that one’s genes’ have a part to play. The truth is, since stretch marks are caused by a lack of elasticity in one’s skin and that itself has a connection to one’s genetic makeup, you’re likely to develop severe stretch marks during your pregancy if your mother did.

Other factors have to be considered too. For example, you’re more likely to get stretch marks if you’re conceiving twins or triplets. That’s because your tummy will grow much larger than ladies with single births. The same applies if your baby is big.

The extra weight you gain during your pregnancy and the speed in which you acquire it can also increase your likelihood of getting stretch marks. Our skin is pretty elastic and can handle quite a substantial amount of stretching. But if it gets rather drastic in a very fast speed, stretch marks occurence is very likely.

Here’s a summary of other factors that you’re likely to develop stretch marks :

  • If you’re already overweight before your pregnancy or have increased quite a substantial amount of weight rapidly during the period
  • If you’ve a history of stretch marks development (such as during your puberty, or in a prior pregnancy etc)
  • If you’re not as well hydrated or nourished

Preventing Stretch Marks During Your Pregnancy

There are a wide variety of creams, oils and lotions that claims to prevent stretch marks. Some of them are discussed in our earlier article How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks. You may even have friends or fellow mums-to-be recommending a particular brand of cocoa butter, copper-related creams etc. While some women swear by them, most of these off the shelf products aren’t clinically proven. Though they seem to be a popular and easy answer to people’s query on how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

That said, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give your baby a warm and comforting massage. Besides, most of these creams have great moisturizing effect and keeps your skin supple and fresh. More importantly however, you will also feel assured knowing that you’ve done what you can to prevent stretch marks. That has a tremendous psychological effect on your general well being.

Another preventive measure is to monitor your diet and only gain the amount of weight recommended. Which averages between 24 to 35 pounds. Such recommendations are usually based on numerous considerations such as your current weight, the size of your baby, your medical history and so on. By controlling your weight gain in different phases of your pregnancy, you prepare your skin for the stretching and hence lessen the likelihood of developing stretch marks.

Besides adhering to the weight gain restrictions, another 2 ways to lessen your chances of getting stretch marks is to stay well hydrated and exercise frequently. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will not only keep your skin and body moisturized, it flushes out your bodily toxins. Which is great for your general health as well. You can also get those enriched beverages such as Calc Fluor 6X, which contains an added elasticity salt and other nutrients great for you and your baby. Regular maternity exercise also helps tone up your skin and keeps it firmer. Firmer skin is healthier, more stretchable and hence less likely to develop stretch marks.

That’s all. Hope these tips help to answer your questions on how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy!

Laser Surgery For Stretch Marks, Anyone?

Well, the term “laser surgery for stretch marks” may sound a little too severe. It’s not exactly a surgery in the traditional sense. As in you don’t literally go under the knife. Instead, a laser beam will be applied to the inflicted areas. Since stretch marks exists within the deeper layer of the dermis, lasers help to improve their appearance by changing the layers of skin higher up the source of the scarring.

Depending on the colour tone of your stretch marks, different lasers may be recommended. Some stimulate the growth of pigment making cells in lighter stretch marks while others cut down the dark pigmentation within darker lines. Broadly speaking, stretch marks that are crimson in coloration are most suited for laser therapy as it helps to subdue and improve the reddish inflammation in the stretch marks.

Some of the newer lasers also promote the growth of collagen within the skin and remodels the collagen and elastin fibre structure to enhance the stretch mark’s appearance. The latest technology however is to make vertically aligned injuries about the size of a hair shaft’s diameter on the stretch mark lines with the healthy, unprocessed skin in the middle. Once the wound is healed, a new, smoother layer of skin is revealed.

Costs

Since multiple laser treatment sessions are usually required for the best results, laser surgery for stretch marks can be expensive. A treatment can range from $400 to $1500. And if your situation requires more advanced laser treatment to improve your odds of success, you may end up paying $1500 to $5000 for each session!

Risks & Side Effects

Despite the high rates, laser surgery for stretch marks is growing in popularity. One of the main reason is that many patients have reported a 30 to 40% improvement in their condition after their treatments. Recover time is much shorter as compared to a tummy tuck. You will experience a stinging like pain with each laser shot but most patients have rated that as pretty bearable.

Be aware that such success, recovery and threshold for pain varies across individuals. Patients with fresher stretch marks will probably find it easier and need lesser treatment sessions whereas those with older scars or darker skin may take a longer time to see results. There are also severe situations where laser can only improve the scarring instead of getting rid of them.

Hence, it’s important for you to discuss with your doctor the best suited laser treatment for your condition, the kind of expectation you should have on the results and the possible side effects. Such side effects normally include burning, red and swollen skin, brown discolouration (which may even be permanent at times) or a cold sore flare up .

So, Should You Go For Lasers?

This can be a tricky question when it come to learning how to get rid of stretch marks but in our point of view, since laser treatments require an extensive financial, time and physical committment, it should perhaps be considered only after you’ve exhausted other alternatives.

For a start, be aware that most stretch marks fade with time. While waiting for time to pass, try out some of the natural home remedies suggested in our earlier article . Some women swear by their effectiveness even though doctors are pretty skeptical. Well, it certainly don’t hurt to just try since they don’t cost as much as laser treatments and most of them are made of natural ingredients.

Even if they don’t work for you, you’ll still have the option of checking with your doctor on medical lotions or creams such as Retinoal A that you can consider. Medical procedures such as cosmetic surgery or laser surgery for stretch marks should be the last resort.

An Introduction To Stretch Mark Creams Removers

Shopping for suitable stretch mark creams removers to help you get rid of those unsightly lines? The fact you’re reading this shows something. You’re a careful shopper. Not only have you taken the effort to search for stretch mark creams information, you’re actually reading them! Haha! By now, you should have come across many different stretch mark cream reviews. Which should you read first? Or rather, which one should you believe?

Don’t be mislead into believing everything that you read. Especially those reviews that promises you overnight miracles. Although stretch mark creams are effective in their own ways, all it does is to lighten or fade stretch marks lines. Some women achieves such great effect with these creams that it looks as if the stretch marks are gone at first glance. But even that takes time! You’ve gotta be hardworking and apply those creams dutifully every day! You must also be patient and don’t lose faith just because you don’t see results “immediately”.

Though it’s important to read the stretch mark cream reviews with a pinch of salt, there are some good information on how to get rid of stretch marks that you can still extract from them. For example, the list of ingredients used. Remember, a good cream reduces the inflammation caused by the stretch marks and helps enhance the elasticity of the skin by giving it sufficient hydration and nourishment.

Here are some common ingredients found in many brands of stretch mark remover creams that may improve the appearance of your stretch marks:

(1) Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs

These are actually acids extracted from sugar cane or dairy products, great for exfoliating. That’s why this ingredient is also commonly used in chemical peels as well. Stretch mark creams contain AHAs must have a concentration of less than 10% (in order for them to be sold to consumers) and when applied to the skin, helps disintegrate keratin, the proteins that binds the dead skin cells. Effectively, it rejuvenates the skin by dissolving the dead skin and allowing the new to grow.

(2) Retinoids

When properly absorbed into the skin, retinoids govern the growth of skin cells on the upper layers of the epidermis. Usage of products with retinoids can hence accelerate this growth and reduce stretch marks faster.

(3) Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps trigger the growth of collagen within the skin, thereby helping to remodel and build up the damaged collagen present in stretch marks. It enhances the skin and when used effectively helps to fade stretch marks gradually. It also breaks down the keratin in our skin’s surface area.

(4) Vitamin C

Good old Vitamin C is the basic ingredient that helps in connective tissue healing. As the skin is the biggest and flimsiest connective tissue organ of the body, it requires a great amount of Vitamin C comparatively for upkeep and repair.

(5) Vitamin E

As you may already be aware, Aitamin E is one of the best anti oxidizing agent and because of that, it has recognized to delay our cells’ aging process. It nurtures the cells and defends the skin against damage. Its great healing capabilities also makes it a great ingredient in lotions that’s mainly used for reducing stretch marks.

(6) Emu Oils

Containing fatty acids, emu oil is easily absorbed into our skin’s surface and demis layer. It increases the skin’s ability to heal and causes little or no irritation. Because of its great emulsifying properties, emu oils also acts as a great moisturizing agent.

(7) Cocoa Butter

Since cocoa butter are great for softening scars, stretch marks – which are actually tears in the elastin fibre network of our skin – also respond well to it. Although some doctors may be skeptical about the effects of cocoa butter as a stretch mark remedy, some women attest to its effectiveness. It is also noticed that cocoa butter, when combined with wheat germ oil and lanolin can also help reconstruct the affected dermis’ tissues. Hence, it’s pretty common to find cocoa butter commonly in a lot of stretch mark creams removers.

3 Ways To Hide Your Stretch Marks In 5 Minutes Or Less

What if you only wanted to know how to hide your stretch marks? While it’s great to be able to get rid of your stretch marks completely and permanently, there are some situations where all you need is a temporary fix. For example, you’re invited to a gala dinner in a month’s time and the evening gown – a gift from your husband – exposes the unsightly stretch marks on your underarms. What are you going to do? Wear another outfit and risk disappointing your hubby? Or find a way to conceal those unsightly lines in the meantime without anyone noticing them?

If the latter’s your choice, rest assured there are still various options you can consider. Sure, such methods aren’t permanent and you’ll probably need to apply them from time to time. But if you think of them as a transitional complement while you work on your long term strategy on how to get rid of stretch marks (through Retinod A creams or medical procedures like lasers or cosmetic surgery), they can be a viable consideration.

(1) Concealers

Well, if you’re in a rush, concealer’s your best bet. You can use the normal facial concealers if the area affected is small. But if it’s relatively large, consider getting those that are specifically designed to hide stretch marks. Regardless of the brand you choose, make sure it’s waterproof so that it doesn’t wear off even when you’re sweating profusely. Smear and spread the concealer gently to ensure that it’s blended well with your skin to hide the stretch marks effectively.

(2) Self Tanning Products

You know sun tanning helps cover up those unsightly lines. But if you’re too shy to go out to the beach and flaunt your stretch marks, don fret. You can still achieve the same sun tanning effect in the comfort of your home! All you need is a self tanning product and you’re good to go. Self tanning products contain active ingredients that even out your skin tone and camouflage those discoloured stretch marks simultaneously. Prior to applying the self-tanning spray or lotion, exfoliate the stretchmarked area to even out the bumps and apply a suitable moisturer. Wait for a few minutes for the moisturer to be absorbed before applying the product in layers. While doing so, make sure you spread or spray the product in circular motions and let it wind dry before employing a second layer.

(3) Clothes & Accessories

What you wear definitely minimizes the amount of concealing you need to do. In some situations, it eliminates them completely! For example, in the earlier situation mentioned, you can complement your evening gown with an elegant shawl that drapes nicely over your shoulders and/or upper arms, effectively covering or drawing people’s attention away from the stretch marks. Instead of getting stuck wearing jeans or long sleeves tops all the time – even in summer, try a capris or knee length skirt. If you’re itching to go for a swim, consider a mix and match of high neck, boy cut bottoms or simply just a one piece swim suits. Some designs are pretty elegant and fashionable. Now, who said you must wear bikinis to look good on the beach?

There you go, 3 simple and fast ways on how to hide your stretch marks!