For anyone who has dealt with stretch marks, it can be highly embarrassing and a struggle to feel self-confident. Whether it keeps you from being able to put on a bikini at the beach, you don’t like to wear your favorite clothes for fear they will show, or it puts a damper on your dating life, stretch marks can put a wrench in your self-esteem.
Before you dismay, rest assured that there are several different ways to get rid of stretch marks or to at the very least, minimize their appearance. To help you understand why stretch marks happen, how you can hide or get rid of them with home remedies, which treatments might help, and how to prevent them, we have compiled the following information for you.
Where do Stretch Marks Show Up?
Stretch marks happen for several reasons. They are a result of the skin stretching too quickly, which can happen due to rapidly losing weight or putting on extra pounds quickly, the extra weight gain in pregnancy, as well as your stomach growing rapidly during pregnancy, or it could be a genetic problem where they appear even with just slight weight gain. Young people who are in the middle of a growth spurt, may also see them develop quickly.
While the appearance of new stretch marks can at first be devastating, they aren’t as horrific as they may seem. Nearly everyone has stretch marks. Whether they appear on the shoulders, arms, breasts, stomach, thighs, legs, on the bum, stretch marks are a very common part of life. Yet, for those who have several of them or who don’t like their appearance, you may wonder if there are any remedies or treatments to get rid of them for once and for all.
Some people may wonder why they get stretch marks, even when they do all that they can to take care of their skin. They use creams, oils, treatments, eat well, lose weight slowly, or have taken great care during their pregnancy, yet they still end up with stretch marks. This can be devastating, but it is something that is due to genetics and may be unavoidable.
The good news is that there are both home remedies and medical treatments that can help people to get rid of stretch marks for good.
Home Remedies for Stretch Marks
If you are struggling with stretch marks, whether from recently having a baby or having lost weight and you want to get rid of them as soon as possible, these following home remedies can help you to get your skin looking beautiful once again:
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is well known for being great for the skin. Many people use it for sunburns, to moisturize their skin, or simply because it feels refreshing on the skin. Aloe Vera can be highly useful in minimizing scars and for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Rubbing it into your skin is the best way to apply it. Not only will it help to reduce the marks, but it will also feel great.
- Sugar: It may surprise you, but sugar is great for exfoliating and exfoliating can help to remove old skin and diminish the appearance of your stretch marks. While it won’t get rid of them completely, you will see a difference after exfoliating the area with sugar-it works even better when mixed with lemon juice.
- Castor Oil: This is one of the most used remedies for several skin problems. It helps to remove dark spots, smooth out wrinkles, and it has been known to lighten or even get rid of stretch marks, depending on the severity. Like many home remedies, it will take faithful applying and may take some time before it takes effect, but it may be the home remedy that does the rick for you.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice has an acidity that helps to reduce the appearance of acne, scars, and yes, even stretch marks. It should not be confused with lime juice as if you aren’t careful and go in the sun on your skin, you may end up with worse problems. Let the lemon juice soak on your skin for a good amount of time and apply it daily. You should see a difference in a matter of weeks.
- Egg whites: Egg whites help to lighten your skin and reduce the appearance of your stretch marks. You only need to apply it once a week and let the whipped egg-whites dry on your skin before washing it off.
- Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil helps to restore elasticity to the skin which is highly important for your skin’s recovery. It’s one of the best oils out there for the restoring of collagen and elastin, which are both important components to healthy skin.
- Store-sold products: Some beauty product brands sell creams and treatments that you can use yourself at home. These often promise quick results from within a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Of course, the secret is using them faithfully. One such example is a product that you can get with prescription, known as Tretinoin, although it is said that it only works for new stretch marks. (See 10 Best Stretch Mark Removal Creams (That Really Work))
Home remedies for your stretch marks are undoubtedly more affordable and healthier for your skin than other types of treatments, but they do take time to work. When choosing to use home remedies to get rid of stretch marks that may have happened after pregnancy or from rapid weight loss or weight gain, be patient and be prepared to be faithful with their application.
While most home remedies probably won’t completely remove them for good, they will be helpful in lightening and reducing their appearance. In the end, using any of these natural remedies will greatly benefit your skin even if your stretch marks may require further treatment or therapy.
Treatment for Stretch Marks
Non-natural treatments are typically costlier than home remedies, but many people like them as they are usually guaranteed to make a difference in the appearance of old stretch marks and new ones, as well. Following are some of the non-natural methods used to remove stretch marks, or minimize their appearance:
- Laser stretch mark removal: One reason why many people choose laser stretch mark removal is that it promises to be a fast fix for a problem that may have been plaguing them for years.
Many people prefer laser stretch mark removal above other procedures, as recovery is quick, and the laser therapy itself only takes about 30 minutes and requires very few visits. It may not get rid of the stretch marks completely, but will lighten them to the degree that they are no longer embarrassing or unsightly. It is also a relatively pain-free experience and the price is affordable.
- Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a good idea for women or men with very slight stretch marks. For people who have very dark and deep stretch marks, it may require many different sessions for them to make a difference and can be very time consuming, not to mention costly.
If you have very slight stretch marks, microdermabrasion can help to smooth out your skin to minimize their appearance by exfoliating the skin and stimulating the collagen.
- Blue light therapy: Some people with stretch marks like the idea of blue light therapy as it is claimed to be unharmful for the skin. It doesn’t actually remove your stretch marks, but does improve the pigmentation of your skin helping to reduce the appearance. It’s a good idea for anyone who is looking for a less-invasive procedure for getting rid of stretch marks.
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy: Also known as PRP, this may be a treatment which you have never heard of. A relatively new treatment for several problems, it is known to help with stretch mark problems.
PRP is used with micro needling and considered to be highly helpful in restoring the body’s collagen, which is key in restoring healthy skin and smoothing out stretch marks. It is considered to be a highly helpful treatment as it seems to target the problem from the inside out, unlike many other treatments that only provide surface therapy.
- Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery is typically used for women who have gone through pregnancy and have been left with deep scars and stretch marks and excess skin. While women or men who have not been pregnant may want to get surgery to remove their stretch marks, it isn’t recommended unless it’s a serious problem, due to the extensive recovery time.
Plastic surgery can be extremely helpful if you were pregnant with twins and your belly grew to be very large during pregnancy, causing several stretch marks and a hanging tummy. What a plastic surgeon can do to help you is provide you with a tummy tuck which will help to remove the excess skin, which will also remove a large majority of the stretch marks.
Stretch mark therapies and treatments can be successful in helping to minimize and even remove your stretch marks. In order to know which treatment is best for you, it is important to visit your doctor to determine which one provides less risks for your health and needs.
For example, if you have very slight stretch marks, it would be completely unnecessary for you to go through the expensive and painful process of surgery to remove them, when microdermabrasion may be all that you need to reduce their appearance.
On the flip side, if you have a serious problem, you may be throwing away money by getting laser therapy when what you need is a tummy tuck. Every situation and body is different and what might work for one, may not work for you. It’s important to do research on your genetics and the collagen and elastin of your skin.
If you are an adolescent who has recently gone through a growth spurt, before taking serious action to remove stretch marks, be patient. Sometimes they disappear on their own.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
If you have yet to see stretch marks appear, you may be freaking out about getting them and wonder if there is any way to prevent them from happening. Sometimes preventing stretch marks can be out of our hands. Perhaps you are pregnant and the baby is growing quickly or you are gaining weight too fast. It can be difficult to manage this, although it helps to use creams and oils while pregnant to keep your belly and body moisturized while it grows. It also helps if you try to avoid unnecessary weight gain by eating well and not going overboard with eating extra. Weight gain during pregnancy is unavoidable, but excessive weight gain doesn’t have to happen.
Other things to avoid are losing weight too quickly. Sometimes we try to lose weight quickly, whether for a wedding or special event, by not eating well and we drop pounds much too fast. Not only is this terrible for the metabolism, but it can also cause unsightly stretch marks.
Speak to your trainer at your gym about a healthy diet that you can eat and an exercise regimen that will provide you with the weight loss that you want without you losing fat too quickly. Of course, most of us when we go to the gym for weight loss, we want to see the results as soon as possible, but if you rush it, you could have a slimmer body, but several stretch marks to deal with. Take it slow, lose weight the healthy way, and you will discover that your skin will remain untouched.
On the flip side, gaining weight too quickly can also cause stretch marks, so it’s important that whatever fitness regimen or diet you are on is one that allows for healthy weight loss or weight gain. Our appearance is often dependent on what we eat, so it is key to take care of ourselves by eating healthy.
You can also prevent stretch marks by keeping your body hydrated, getting regular massages, and eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin C, E, and zinc which are all great for your skin’s overall health.
Why Are Collagen and Elastin Important for My Skin?
With all of this talk about treatment and therapies for stretch marks, you may be curious as to why collagen and elastin are important for restoring your skin to a more attractive appearance.
Stretch marks happen when your body grows too fast and your body’s collagen can’t keep up with the rapid growth. To help your skin and ensure that it has plenty of collagen, you will want to make sure to include certain things in your diet and maintain healthy habits such as:
- Eat plenty of healthy proteins, especially fish or eggs.
- Take collagen supplements.
- Drink a lot of water. Hydration is extremely important for the overall health of your skin, not just for preventing stretch marks. It is extremely important when you are pregnant to stay hydrated as this is one time when you are bound to gain weight and your body will grow faster than usual.
- Use lotions, oils, or body butters on a regular basis. If you can remember to rub them into your skin daily, it is even better, but at least a few times a week should help.
- If you are pregnant, make sure to be very faithful with taking your vitamins, including vitamin C and especially Zinc. Both of these vitamins are highly helpful in providing your body with the collagen that it needs for your skin to remain healthy.
It’s understandable that you don’t like your stretch marks or if you are pregnant, it can be scary to think that you may end up with several stretch marks at the end of your pregnancy, but before you panic, rest assured that there are ways to prevent them and if you aren’t able to prevent them, there are ways to get rid of them, or at the very least minimize their appearance.
Something else to keep in mind is that the only person that they may bother is you. Your partner may not mind them at all or if you have very slight stretch marks on your thighs, they may be nearly invisible to anyone else. Remember that we are normally more aware of our own blemishes than others are.
Following are highlights to keep in mind:
- Do your best to take care of your skin by eating healthy food that is rich in protein and oils and rub lotions and oils into your skin daily.
- Eat well and exercise wisely, considering that rapid weight loss, however nice it may be, will most likely result in stretch marks.
- Take your Vitamin E, C, and Zinc.
- Always stay hydrated and drink water as often as possible.
If you truly can’t stand the stretch marks that you already have, then take some time to talk to your doctor about which stretch mark removal option may be the best for you. You don’t have to suffer anymore.