Stretch marks are very frustrating and can have a real impact on how you look. This in turn can impact your self esteem and leave you searching for answers. Stretch marks affect the majority of women, and increasingly more people generally as our lifestyles mean more obesity and weight issues. In children stretch marks are common due to growth spurts.
Stretch marks are caused when your skin undergoes strain. This strain is normally caused as your body grows or changes rapidly and your skin isn’t able to adapt. It stretches, damaging the proteins and blood vessels, which are then visible through the layers. The most common causes are rapid weight gain, pregnancy or growth spurts but different hormone levels can give stretch marks.
With stretch marks affecting so many people there are thousands looking for a cure, this in turn has led to a lot of “treatments” becoming available for stretch marks. We’ve identified some of the more genuine treatments available that can have a real impact.
Treatments for Stretch Marks
A lot of the mainstream treatments for stretch marks have not actually been proven, and industries have been developed around inaccurate information. Despite this there are a few stretch mark treatments that can have a big impact:
- Laser Therapy Treatment
Pulse Dye Treatment is one of the best treatments designed to help with stretch marks. Lasers target the blood vessels and help reduce them without damaging the surrounding tissue, this allows for a softening in the reddening.
The laser treatment is only really effective on the marks as they are still red, rather than older white marks. It can be expensive and takes a long time to see a real reduction. It isn’t available for everyone as it can have side effects so be sure to check with your dermatologist before treatment.
Tretinoin and Vitamin E have been shown to reduce stretch marks. Available in a range of oils and creams you can apply them directly and the skin is able to absorb the retinol, using it to repair and protect the skin. Again this will only stimulate a reduction in the stretch marks, rather than curing them completely.
- Chemical Peels
Chemical peels have been used to improve the skin quality and reduce stretch marks. They have been shown to stimulate collagen production and elastin to reduce the impact of stretch marks. You’ll need a good professional to ensure the balances of the chemicals are right, with the most effective being Trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
So can you get rid of Stretch Marks?
The truth is once you have stretch marks it’s very difficult to fully get rid of them. While new treatments are being developed every year there is currently no miracle cure that can even out your skin back to before they happened.
Realistically you need to be aware that the most you can hope for in most cases is a reduction in the stretch marks. Have a look around at the different options, but don’t get your hopes up too high.
However, the treatments available can reduce stretch marks, often dramatically, and your body will adjust as they fade. For all the most up to date and relevant information contact your skin care professional/ dermatologist as they can recommend the best treatment for you.