How to treat stretch marks

How to treat stretch marks

How to treat stretch marks
While there’s no quick fix to eradicate stretch marks, there are some ways to improve their appearance and make them less noticeable.
✔️ Creams and oils
Creams and oils are a more affordable method for reducing the appearance of white stretch marks, explains Jenkins. She recommends creams that contain vitamin A (Retinol), which stimulates collagen production and improves the appearance of stretch marks. However, she says it’s not recommended while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. ‘Applied regularly, topical creams can lighten the tone of stretch marks but they may not completely remove them,’ she says.
✔️ Opt for natural moisturisers

How to treat stretch marks


If you suffer from those familiar lines on your tummy, chest area or inner thighs, you’re not alone. Most of us will experience stretch marks at some point or another - with as many as 90 per cent of women developing stretch marks in their lifetime.
And, while many will embrace them, there’s no denying that some people find stretch marks distressing and they can knock your self-confidence. Here’s everything you need to know about why stretch marks appear and how to treat them:
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are lines that appear on the surface of the skin. They are essentially little scars and tears in the skin tissue, says Dr Stefanie Williams Dermatologist from the Eudelo clinic, and they’re a very stubborn condition to treat.
‘They initially look red, but later spontaneously change to flesh colour or slightly lighter,’ she says.
What causes stretch marks?
Anyone can develop stretch marks, although they tend to affect women more than men. Alice Jenkins, Dermatologist and Cosmetic Nurse at Harley Injectables says they can occur on a range of body parts, including the stomach, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, and lower back. ‘This type of scarring happens when the skin can’t resume to normal form after a period of intense growth or shrinkage.’
According to Jenkins, common causes of skin stretching include:
Pregnancy
Between 50 and 90 per cent of women who are pregnant experience stretch marks during or after birth. A study, published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, found that more than half of all pregnant women developed stretch marks on either their abdomen, hips and thighs and/or breasts.
Puberty
Rapid growth is typical in young people going through puberty. This can lead to stretch marks.
Rapid weight gain
Putting on a lot of weight in a short space of time can cause stretch marks.
Medical conditions
Certain conditions can cause stretch marks, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing's syndrome. Marfan syndrome can lead to decreased elasticity in the skin tissue, and Cushing's syndrome can lead the body to produce too much of a hormone that leads to rapid weight gain and skin fragility.
Corticosteroid use
Prolonged use of corticosteroid creams and lotions can decrease levels of collagen in the skin. Collagen strengthens and supports the skin, and a reduced amount can increase the risk of stretch marks.
Genetics
As it turns out, genetics can seriously increase your odds of getting stretch marks. A new study, by 23andMe, found that there’s definitely hereditary and genetic components that determine whether or not you’ll actually develop stretch marks.
How to treat stretch marks
Moisturising may be very beneficial for soothing new stretch marks, says Dr Daron Seukeran Dermatologist and Medical Director of Sk:n clinics, as they can in some cases be sore or itchy. He recommends using products that contain natural moisturising remedies, including cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil and aloe vera.
 prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to stretch marks. ‘It’s important to focus on prevention by trying to preserve the elastic fibers you have in your skin rather than repairing damaged ones. If you’re pregnant, you should regularly massage yourself with oil or moisturiser as it will hydrate the skin, allowing it to stretch easier as well as increase blood circulation.’
✔️ Laser treatment
Laser treatment can be effective at minimising the appearance of stretch marks, but won’t remove them completely. Jenkins says, ‘In the procedure, lasers penetrate the skin, triggering regeneration. This stimulates the tissues around your stretch marks to heal at a faster rate. Though effective, laser therapy requires more than one session to notice results.’
✔️ Microneedling
Microneedling or dermapen treatments target the dermis, the middle layer of your skin where stretch marks form. ‘Within this procedure, tiny needles are poked into your skin to trigger collagen production. Increased collagen and elastin promotes skin regeneration that can improve your skin’s appearance and reduce stretch marks. To effectively treat stretch marks, you’ll need to participate in more than one treatment over a course of months, says Jenkins.
✔️ Maintain a healthy diet
Research around stretch marks in general is very sparse, says Matt Durkin, Nutritionist and Simply Supplements expert, with most of the studies looking at topical treatments not nutritional ones. ‘That being said, there are many nutrients that support healthy skin, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, biotin and zinc. If they specifically work to reduce stretch marks is yet to be determined though.'
You can find the following vitamins in these foods:

  • Vitamin A: Provitamin A can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. Preformed vitamin A is found in eggs, dairy and liver.
  • Vitamin C: this can be found in green veg, peppers and citrus fruits.
  • Niacin: the best sources of niacin are meat and fish.
  • Biotin: this can be found in meat, fish, eggs, nuts and sweet potatoes.
  • Zinc: this is highest in seafood and meat, while nuts and legumes are also good sources.

  • ✔️ Drink plenty of water
    Make sure you also stay hydrated, as water helps to recuperate damaged skin and keeps it 

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