What Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
We are regularly exposed to environmental hazards and injuries that can leave serious marks on our skin. Sometimes, the injuries are minor and hardly noticeable; other times, they are serious enough to leave a permanent mark. Sometimes, marks are caused by stimuli that have nothing to do with either, and they just appear due to age or deteriorating skin.
Regardless of the cause, many of the injuries and marks that manifest on the skin can be unpleasant to look at and cause us to be self-conscious about our appearance. One type of mark is infamous for causing low self-esteem because of how noticeable it can be.
Stretch marks are a common blemish that people are forced to contend with. Getting stretch marks is fairly easy, making them one of the more frustrating skin blemishes. Most of the time, stretch marks are hard to hide if you favor clothing that exposes skin or find yourself in a situation where you are wearing a swimsuit.
The problem with stretch marks is that they tend to be a lasting issue that can permanently mark your skin, depending on your situation. As a result, they have become a dreaded phenomenon that people are eager to avoid. Fortunately, it is possible to treat stretch marks so that they no longer control your appearance or harm your self-esteem.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Most people have heard of stretch marks but might only have a general idea of what they are, with little insight into what causes them. Stretch marks are streaks that appear on the skin, generally on the abdomen. Stretch marks can also appear on the breasts, hips, buttocks, and even arms and legs. The streaks associated with stretch marks are not uniform and can have multiple shapes and sizes.
Generally, the details of your stretch marks change based on how long you have had them, but a few common variations are seen across multiple body types. These variations include:
- Indented streaks or lines across the abdomen, breasts, hips, or buttocks.
- Pink, red, black, blue, or purple streaks. (Or any kind of discolored marks.)
- Bright streaks that fade or lighten over time.
- Streaks that cover large portions of the body.
Stretch marks can take on other appearances but are ultimately an inconsistent blemish that will vary from person to person. Despite this, several potential causes for stretch marks can affect the average person. Some people are genetically predisposed to stretch marks, and others suffer from a cortisol deficiency, which weakens the elastic fibers in the skin and makes distortions visible as marks.
Unfortunately, some people are more at risk than others due to immutable details associated with who they are as a person. For example, women are significantly more likely to develop stretch marks when their skin is strained. Pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks since the belly swells as the mother's body accommodates the child. Pregnancy-induced stretch marks usually only form in the last trimester but might manifest sooner depending on your body proportions. There are other causes of stretch marks, including:
- A family history of stretch marks.
- Growth spurts or rapid growth in adolescence.
- Sudden increases or drops in weight.
- Corticosteroid use.
- Breast enlargement or other cosmetic surgeries.
- Intense exercise regimens.
- Anabolic steroid use.
- Genetic disorders like Cushing or Marfan syndrome.
Nevertheless, the end goal most people have is getting rid of the marks. Fortunately, there are options that you can use to reduce stretch marks and possibly eliminate them. The trick is figuring out which techniques can effectively eliminate them and which are a waste of time.
Option #1: Natural Fading
While this might not be what you want to hear, stretch marks can fade independently. Stretch marks are technically minor injuries and can be healed through the body's natural capacity to repair itself. This option is not viable for everyone since genetics and physical characteristics can impact your ability to heal from stretch marks. For example, deeper stretch marks with darker colors are less likely to fade completely and might persist forever.
Conversely, individuals with lighter stretch marks might see them fade completely with time. Unfortunately, natural fading is rare and cannot be relied upon if you want to make the marks imperceptible. The good news is that most stretch marks at least fade and become very difficult to see in relation to the rest of your complexion.
Therefore, letting nature take its course and make your stretch marks light enough that most people will not notice them is possible. The only problem with this is that it will not work for everyone, so you might need to find an alternative method.
Option #2: Collagen Supplementation
Our skin was created by a powerful protein called collagen while we were still developing in the womb. Without collagen, we would have been born without any skin, which is a huge problem since it protects our internal anatomy. While the lion's share of our collagen is produced and used in the womb, we continue to produce a smaller amount throughout our lives. The collagen we produce over time is used to repair our skin when it gets damaged since collagen manufactures additional layers.
Collagen also protects the skin's hydration and elasticity, making it a vital resource for anyone trying to maintain a healthy complexion. Collagen has even been used to treat hyperpigmentation symptoms (skin discoloration) to restore a uniform tone. Unfortunately, our ability to produce collagen deteriorates with age, and some people are prone to deficiencies that cause premature depletion.
Considering the nature of stretch marks, it is possible for collagen to prevent stretch marks from forming. The problem is that this option is only viable before the marks appear, so you should only use collagen supplements if you are concerned you might get them. For example, you might consider taking collagen supplements if you are in the early stages of pregnancy and want to minimize or eliminate the chances of stretch marks forming.
If you use a daily collagen supplement, you should only get mild stretch marks that will fade over time. The additional collagen will fortify your body against the effects of stretching and heal scars before they form. Unfortunately, collagen is not viable for stretch marks you already have, so you might have to find another option if your scars already exist.
Option #3: Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a common tool for improving the health and quality of skin and hair because it is renowned for its moisturizing effects. Like collagen, our bodies naturally produce hyaluronic acid to maintain the health and function of different limbs and extremities. Despite the name, hyaluronic acid is not corrosive and does not damage our bodies, which can be inferred from making it ourselves.
Most people only recognize hyaluronic acid as a resource for moisturizing the skin rather than any other benefits. However, hyaluronic acid can significantly improve the appearance of our skin and counteract certain blemishes by enhancing elasticity. Hyaluronic acid has been scientifically connected to improved elasticity, making it a powerful tool for combatting blemishes caused by overstretching the skin. Stretch marks are one of the biggest examples of what happens when our skin is stretched beyond its normal limit.
Hyaluronic acid might enhance the skin's elasticity and allow it to stretch beyond its normal range. This reduces the chances of stretch marks and prevents them from manifesting in situations where they are common. Furthermore, a study from 2017 suggests that hyaluronic acid can repair existing stretch marks.
More studies are needed to confirm, but this means hyaluronic acid could be a preventative measure and a treatment option for existing stretch marks. Preliminary research suggests daily application of hyaluronic acid or products containing it to the affected area is necessary to reap the benefits.
Option #4: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is frequently used in skin care products for various reasons that improve the quality of our skin. It moisturizes our skin and prevents dryness and cracking, which are extremely common problems. Most interestingly, coconut oil appears to have a limited capacity to repair the skin after it is damaged. This has led to limited research on coconut oil to see if it can repair stretch marks.
There is not a lot of evidence supporting coconut oil's benefits, especially since other plant oils do not provide any benefit for people dealing with stretch marks. Nevertheless, the research on coconut oil has generated limited success. Specifically, a study from 2015 focused on using coconut oil to prevent stretch marks rather than heal existing ones.
The study suggested a daily massage with coconut oil can reinforce the skin and protect it from scarring. This protection extends to scarring from overstretching the skin, though there are limitations to how effective coconut oil is as a standalone product. Using coconut oil for stretch marks is not difficult since many generalized skincare products use it as a base. The biggest issue is that coconut oil appears to be a preventative tool rather than a proper treatment. Nevertheless, it might be worth investing in a coconut oil product if you plan to engage in activities that can cause stretch marks.
Option #5: Surgical Intervention
It might be worth investigating mainstream options if your stretch marks are particularly resilient or persistent. There are several surgeries and medical treatments designed to improve skin health and appearance, although some are useless. Others can be highly effective, assuming you can find a quality provider to conduct them.
One of the main options for stretch marks is laser therapy, which involves beams of light being aimed at your skin to promote collagen production and elasticity. There are multiple laser therapies that use different lasers that range from painless to mildly painful, but they can be highly effective. Insofar as stretch marks are concerned, laser therapy can promote collagen development to restore your skin's pigmentation. This forces the stretch marks to fade while the collagen reinforces the damaged skin layers.
Considering laser therapy is used to address more serious scars, its benefits for stretch marks are not overly surprising. Unfortunately, there are issues with laser therapy that make it more suitable as a last resort rather than a first choice. One of the main issues is that laser therapy is expensive, and you will need multiple sessions before you start to see results.
While the other options listed here are not one-and-done solutions, they are significantly more affordable than laser therapy sessions. Furthermore, exposure to a laser can cause side effects that induce pain or discomfort, so using laser therapy should be saved for situations where nothing else is working. The same applies to most surgical solutions, but are completely safe if performed properly.
Finding the Right Blend
Stretch marks can wreak havoc on our self-esteem, especially those caused by pregnancy when the mother's hormones run rampant. The idea that these scars could last forever can be a horrifying prospect but not necessarily a certainty. While you might not be able to remove the marks completely, you can reduce their severity and make them too difficult for the average observer to notice. The options listed in this article are among the best for reducing stretch marks and restoring your complexion. While surgery might not be ideal, you might have trouble finding the natural products we listed.
We at Teami can offer a solution if you are interested in the natural solutions we have offered. We have dedicated ourselves to providing natural solutions for health and beauty concerns and have created a large catalog of products for different issues. The pride of our collection is our selection of skincare products designed to help you protect and enhance your skin's health and appearance. We offer products that contain the products discussed in this article to help you overcome stretch marks and reclaim your confidence. We encourage you to visit our website and browse our catalog. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
Do you have any questions about stretch marks, our skincare products, or anything else we discussed in this article? If so, be sure to let us know! We'd be more than happy to help you out.
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