Now, you have lost weight, and you can’t wait to try all those new outfits and show off your tailored body, but there’s still one thing holding you back; STRETCH MARKS.
Before we go into talking about getting rid of these stretch marks, there’s been one question on my mind.
WHAT ARE STRETCH MARKS?
Stretch marks are long/short streaks on the skin which first appear red, but as time progresses, these lines become white or brown based on the affected person’s color.
WHY DO YOU GET STRETCH MARKS?
- Adolescents: Teenage boys and girls get stretch marks because of the rapid growth of their tissues and skin.
- Pregnant women: Blow air into a balloon, release the air, and observe the streaks formed on the balloon. This is the same mechanism that occurs when a pregnant woman’s belly, hips, and legs are expanding.
- Bodybuilders: They too get stretch marks because of the rapid increase in the size of their muscles.
HOW ARE STRETCH MARKS FORMED?
The epidermis (outer layer of the skin) which doesn’t stretch is supported by the dermis (inner layer of the skin) which stretches.
During rapid weight changes such as pregnancy, weight gain, etc, the dermis stretches to accommodate additional levels of fat stored under the skin.
However, when the dermis stretches faster than the skin can heal, the dermis tears and forms scars (stretch marks) which is seen on the surface of the skin.
These stretch marks could be red or purple when they are just formed and become white when they are old.
Generally, the color of the stretch marks will depend on the type of skin.
WHAT CAUSES STRETCH MARKS?
- Weight Gain.
So, the skin is forced to expand, and this stretched skin presents itself as streaks.
Excessive pressure on the muscles caused by continuous lifting results in expansion and tears on the skin we call stretch marks.
Expansion of skin at a fast rate leads to rips and tears, especially during the 3rd trimester. These marks will be most noticeable when the child is born and the tummy starts receding to its normal position.
2. Muscle Gain.
These marks appear most especially around the arms.
3.Lack of elastin and collagen.
Collagen is a protein in the body responsible for keeping the skin together. As we age, the collagen and elasticity of the skin reduce. Expanding skin with lack of enough collagen and elasticity to keep the skin together results in the skin tearing causing stretch marks.
It has been proven that inherited genes from parents can cause stretch marks.
Adolescents are more predisposed to having stretch marks if their parents had stretch marks.
Vitamins A, C, and E help to heal damaged skin and maintain its natural glow. Rapid weight changes (increase or decrease ) tears the skin and with the lack of these vitamins in the body to help heal the damaged skin leads to stretch marks. That is one of the reasons why it is advice able to consume fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
HOW TO GET RID OF STRETCH MARKS
1. Laser treatment:
But how does it work? Heat is generated by the laser and this heat gently breaks down damaged skin and the body heals itself, producing healthy and smoother skin.
PS: It is a quite painful procedure and if you don’t have a high pain tolerance, then DO NOT GO FOR IT.
Besides, it is quite expensive and requires many sessions. If you are looking to save more, THIS IS NOT THE BEST OPTION.
However, some people use different natural methods such as apple cider vinegar, Aloe Vera gel, Vaporub, Vaseline, and even weird ones like Colgate toothpaste.
I can’t say for sure if all of them are effective, but some people swear by them. But I have tried cocoa butter and unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.
Then I used the Strialite device (a painless method to remove stretch marks) and it rapidly reduced the appearance of my stretch marks in as little as 4-5 weeks.
I have written a review on this device in another post. If you are interested in reading more about the strialite device,
It is a method of skin rejuvenation where tiny needles are pierced into the skin to stimulate the skin to produce collagen and repair itself.
I have also used micro needling; although it has been successful with a lot of people that didn’t include me.
It is quite discomforting when those needles are being introduced into the skin. However, micro needling increases the chances of oils and other skin treatments to penetrate the skin.
Several types of micro-needling devices on the market today are Dr. pen, EndyMed, dermarollers, dermapen, PRP, and much more.
4. Chemical Peel:
It is also discomforting as you may have tingling sensations, but not quite painful.
PS: This also pretty expensive and not suitable for people who are trying to save.
The TCA peel will make your complexion on the affected area lighter than the rest of the body, so when the treatment is finished, it is advice able to go for a tan.
It is also advice able to moisturize frequently as the chemicals strip your skin from its natural oils, making it feel dry.
So, moisturizing with baby oil, cocoa butter or any other lotion will greatly help.
5. Surgery – Tummy Tucks:
Of course, just like any other surgeries, it has complications such as infection and scars.
Apart from those complications, it is an awesome way to “shoot two birds with one stone” (get rid of excess skin and stretch marks).
PS: It is also very expensive and cannot be performed on other parts of the body such as the legs, back, and other areas which have stretch marks, but no excess skin.
This tool gets rid of the upper layer of dead skin cells helping to reveal the skin’s natural glow.
Dermabrasion also increases the absorption of oils and other skin treatments for stretch marks.
Some famous microdermabrasion devices on the market are PMD, Riiviva Microderm, body magic wand, etc
PS: Not suitable for sensitive skin as it could cause inflammations, pain, and redness.
7. Creams and Oils:
Some of these creams contain vitamin C, topical retinoids, and glycolic acids which are very beneficial for stretch mark removal.
Some examples of oils and creams are Olive oil, Bio Oil, Palmer’s cocoa butter formula, Cerave special use intensive, mama belly butter, and mommy knows best vanishing cream.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.
Several ways to get rid of stretch marks are:
It is very important to drink water frequently as it helps eliminate waste, toxins and keeps your skin looking supple and healthy.
A rule of thumb for me is to start and end my day with a bottle of water. Anything else like juice and smoothies can be drunk within the day.
In another post, I explained that I EXFOLIATE EVERY SINGLE DAY using the Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off Exfoliator.
- Keep your weight on a healthy scale:
Like I explained above, one of the causes of stretch marks is weight gain. Extreme weight loss too causes stretch marks.
Maintaining your weight on a healthy level will prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
In order to maintain my weight at the same level, I eat only when hungry and I have a special bowl where I eat all my meals from. SEE THE BOWL TO THE LEFT.
- Eat healthily and exercise more:
Your diet plays a vital role in acquiring stretch marks.
Your meals should include fruits and vegetables at all times and it is important to exercise frequently.
You must not go to a gym to exercise, you can do it right from your living rooms as I do.
I perform stretches and my cardio exercises using a jump rope… funny right? but very effective especially for people like me working from home.
In conclusion, stretch marks can be very embarrassing (although it shouldn’t) and should be removed by any means possible.
However, if you are interested in getting rid of stretch marks in the most effective, natural, and painless method,
It has worked for me and can work for you too.
What do you think about these methods to get rid of stretch marks? Have I left anything out? Are there some more methods that we don’t know about?
Please share and let us know in the comments below.