Even though they’re perfectly normal and natural, no one likes or knows how to get rid of stretch mark’s. For some women, stretch marks first make an appearance during pregnancy. Others notice them during puberty. Still others might find them popping up after a period of bulking up or gaining weight.
Skin contains elastic that helps it to stretch. But gaining or losing weight in short periods of time often over-extends the skin.
This rapid stretching causes damage to the elastic tissues and collagen underneath the top layers of skin, revealing scarring. Commonly known as stretch marks, a doctor might call them striae.
Stretch marks often begin as dark pink, red, or purple-coloured streaks. Eventually, most fade to become white or translucent. These marks are typically found on places on the body where growth happens quickly—the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, upper arms, and breasts.
Because stretch marks are actually a form of scarring from the inside out, being able to get rid of stretch mark’s completely is unlikely. However, you may be able to reduce their appearance and encourage them to fade more quickly.
SHORT TERM REMEDIES
These quick-fix options won’t last much longer than 24 hours. But they’re worth a try, especially for mild stretch marks.
Sluff off the top layer of skin to help speed off dead skin cells and encourage new growth. Try a purchased skin scrub or make one at home with sugar and coconut oil.
Or use an exfoliating glove or loofah sponge in the shower. Scrub for 5-10 minutes each day and follow with moisturiser. Repeat regularly to maintain a fresh appearance.
Try topical applications that stimulate collagen production and heal skin. Products containing retinol may help with skin regeneration.
LONGER LASTING REMEDIES
Pricier but with longer-lasting effects, these interventions will require the help of a professional.
Performed by a dermatologist, this procedure has been clinically shown to reduce the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical resurfacing procedure using exfoliation to remove minimal amounts of the top layer of the skin.
For severely discoloured stretch marks, talk to a dermatologist about laser treatments. These aim to reduce discolouration as well as minimising inflammation to even the appearance of the skin’s surface.
Some lasers will actually punch tiny holes in the scarred areas, causing the skin to produce new collagen as it heals. Laser treatments can be expensive but effective, depending on your specific needs.
STRETCH MARK PREVENTION
Avoiding stretch marks in the first place is ideal.
Hydrate and Moisturize
Good hydration from the inside and the outside is always recommended to keep skin healthy. Drink plenty of water and treat your skin daily with a moisturising body lotion or oil. Coconut oil has a number of benefits to keeping the skin healthy.
Eat Healthy Foods
A diet rich in protein, zinc, Vitamins E and C can stimulate production of collagen to prevent stretch marks.
Stress can actually interfere with collagen production, so maintaining mental and emotional health may prevent stretch marks.
These tips may help you to get rid of stretch mark’s. But try not to let these scars derail your fitness efforts or your confidence. Stay focused on things you can control.