Ah, stretch marks. Those pesky thin skin lines that everyone wishes would just disappear! But what actually works? We’re breaking down the stretch mark secret.
What exactly are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are superficial scars. They form in the dermis (middle layer) of the skin when the connective tissue is stretched beyond its flexibility due to fast expansion or contraction of the skin. The more skin is stretched, the more collagen is weakened and its normal production cycle is interrupted and damaged. Eventually, this results in scarring under the top layer of the skin. At first the marks can look pink or red, but over time they turn into thin, silver lines.
How Do You Get Stretch Marks?
Studies have shown that ninety percent of pregnant women get stretch marks, which is why most treatments are targeted toward moms-to-be. But 70 percent of women who aren't pregnant and 40 percent of men also have these annoying marks on their skin. Here are a few different reasons stretch marks can develop:
- Sudden gain or loss in weight
- Rapid growth
- Heredity factors
- Changes in physical conditions
How to Treat Stretch Marks
There are a lot of products out there that say they can get rid of stretch marks, but do they actually work? While stretch mark creams and lotions won't entirely erase existing scars, they can actually deliver key ingredients that stimulate collagen synthesis and can ultimately make scarring less noticeable over time. Be sure to look for ones with vitamin C, proline, copper-peptides and ATP for the best results. There are also a lot of natural ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, such as:
- Castor Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Egg Whites
- Lemon Juice
- Potato Juice
- Cocoa Butter
- Olive Oil
These natural remedies can help stretch marks fade, but they most likely will not completely remove them.
So, What’s the Secret?
Your best bet for treating stretch marks is to catch them early, while they are still red, or active. You can then completely reverse the marks by seeing a doctor for in-office laser removal treatments. During the procedure, a beam of light removes thin layers of skin around the stretch marks. Once the removal is complete, the treated area will heal and new layers of healthy skin will form. With one to three monthly treatments on average, you can prevent scarring or permanent damage. The older the stretch marks are however, the less likely they are to be completely erased- so the moment you spot one, take action!