Having those not so good looking stretch marks? Wondering how to get rid of those ugly marks after exhausting all possible means of getting rid of them and preventing more? You probably think you are doomed to live with them.
Don’t worry. here are a few things you need to understand about stretch marks (striae distensae, as they are medically known) and simple methods on how to avoid and reduce these stretch marks fast, easily and naturally
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are linear spots/ marks on the skin which have different coloring from the rest of the skin. They are not, in any way, physically painful, but they give emotional and social discomfort and may even be traumatizing to those who have them.
Body Parts That Are Most Prone To Stretch Marks
- Under arms
- Back of the legs
The body parts mentioned have the highest tendency to rapidly increase (as well as decrease) in size. When this happen, it forces the skin to stretch instead of growing naturally into the increased size and that’s when you get the chance to have stretch marks.
The Unfortunate Thing about Stretch Marks
Medically speaking, stretch marks is the result of tearing of the subcutaneous layer (Dermis or middle layer of the skin)
in other words, it is caused by the scarring in the dermis and it becomes “stretch marks” as a result.
and I hate to break this down to you but…
it is virtually impossible (right now at least) to fully remove stretch marks without surgery.
the good news is, you can actually prevent & reduce the appearance of stretch marks using the best & simple methods mentioned on this guide. 😉
Main Causes of stretch marks
the first thing you want to do if you want to avoid or get rid of your stretch marks is find out what / what will cause it.
- A sudden increase in weight; causing an increase in fat layers around the body which does not give the skin ample time to grow into and accommodate the increased mass/weight
- A sudden weight loss may also be a cause for stretch marks as the loose skin, in an effort to resume its size, may not shrink systematically and some of the subcutaneous layers may break
- Inadequate water/ fluid intake by the person which reduces the suppleness and resiliency of the skin to daily activities; a rigid skin breaks easily
- Lack of nutritious meals to ensure that the skin is well nourished
- Pregnancy; most women get stretch marks during pregnancy when the tummy extends in size due to the increase in size of the unborn baby. This may happen fast causing some of the skin, especially lower abdomen, to break
- Illnesses such as Cushing syndrome
- Heredity: some people may get stretch marks because it runs through the genes in their families
How to avoid stretch marks
Where as there is nothing much that can be done to control our body mechanisms, we can influence (by a great deal) those processes hence influencing (in general) the out come of these body processes.
The following are good practices that you can do to prevent stretch marks:
- 1. Take plenty of water
- 2. Eating nutritious food to ensure the right production of body chemicals responsible for a healthy skin
- 3. Use of moisturizers regularly (especially to those with dry skin)to keep the skin moist and supple
- 4. Frequent massage of the skin to increase the elasticity and flexibility of the skin; hence avoiding easy breakage of the subcutaneous layer as the fat will be evenly distributed during the massage
- 5. My Personal experience: when I was pregnant, (Was pregnant twice) I used to massage my tummy gently before going to bed with petroleum jelly and that really helped; I got pregnant twice and no stretch marks! (will upload/ put a link a picture of my tummy here later for proof. 😉 )
How To Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Below, are proven methods that are known to remove stretch marks naturally. (or at least, reduce them)
1. Use a Derma Roller
A derma roller is a cylindrical device with a handle at one end and small pins attached round the cylindrical surface of the other end. The roller is rolled on to the stretch marked skin where the pins perforate minute holes on to the skin.
The skin repairs itself (after any damage) by generating new cells to replace the destroyed ones; in replacing the pin holes on the skin, the stretch marks are covered by the new skin.
You might be required to apply a numbing cream on the skin before rolling the device to reduce the pain of pricking.
Petroleum jelly is a good moisturizer that can be used for stretch mark treatment and prevention
Moisturizers (lotion, jelly, cream, liquid etc) keep the skin soft and from getting dry. They increase the elasticity of the skin so that it can stretch resiliently without breaking.
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.
For best results, you should use as much moisturizer as possible when going out in harsh weather such as hot sun or blizzards to insulate the skin from being dehydrated.
In normal situations, you may apply the moisturizers after every 4- 6 hours or more regularly if you have a very dry skin type.
3. Use Derma Roller Together With Other Creams
Derma rollers perforates tiny holes on to the skin. These holes serve as fast entry points of the creams used to treat stretch marks because the creams are absorbed fast into the skin.
The creams induce increased production of collagen which increases skin elasticity and mends the broken skin
4. 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
5. Glycolic acid and Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like oranges is probably the most popular food that’s known to provide Vitamin C.
Glycolic acid and Vitamin C both trigger the increased production of collagen in the body.
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.
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.
Bonus Tips And Warnings
- Always use creams/ lotions that are good for your skin to avoid abrasions on the skin and scarring; which results in reduced skin elasticity
- Take in plenty of water- approximately 8 glasses a day to maintain a healthy and supple skin
- Feed nutritiously to avoid an abrupt increase in body weight. Take only as much carbohydrates as your body need, adequate proteins and lots of vitamins
- When using a derma roller, make sure to clean it often, avoid sharing and disinfect it every time before use
- Use numbing cream with the derma roller and consult a qualified dermatologist before starting on it
- Avoid sharing your derma roller as it is easy to contract blood related illnesses such as hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS
- Consult on creams for stretch marks before using them to ensure their safety on your skin
- do good effort to maintain a young & healthy looking skin