Stretch marks don’t only happen after childbirth, they can happen to anyone due to sudden changes in body size and weight. These are like ugly brown scars usually present on the stomach, thighs and hips. Truth be told, 90% of pregnant women will get stretch marks around these parts of their bodies.
These are some very easy things one can do to get reduce the appearance of stretch marks both old and new:
Moisturizing- Lotioning –up regularly can lighten stretch marks. Moisturizing helps to hydrate skin and this makes it easier for it to stretch. Moisturizing is very effective in lightening new stretch marks and can prevent new stretch marks from forming. Older stretch marks are more difficult to get rid of, though.
Retin A- Retin-A based creams are very effective against stretch marks. Retin-A works by boosting collagen production which helps the skin to stretch out and avoid tears which cause stretch marks. Pregnant and nursing women should not use Retinoic acid containing products, however. It also doesn’t work on old stretch marks.
Glycolic Acid- This too can increase collagen production when used on skin. It is even more effective as alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) which is used in chemical skin peels. You can use glycolic acid on skin even during pregnancy. Save your skin from sunlight when using glycolic acid.
Vitamin E Oil- This is touted as the miracle cure for stretch marks and it delivers especially when used on new stretch marks. Use it with an unscented moisturiser for better coverage.
Essential Oils- These are common home remedies for tackling stretch marks. One can use them directly on skin or mix with the carrier oil before use. These are the ones to go for:
Vitamin C- You can take Vitamin C as a supplement to lighten stretch marks. You can also mix topical glycolic acid with vitamin C and apply on the skin directly.
Lasers- These are the magic wands of cosmetic surgery and rightly so. Fresh stretch marks can be tackled using a pulsed dye laser also called vascular laser. The downsides of this laser treatment are that it works on early stretch marks and not on mature ones. It is also very expensive. This laser also doesn’t work on darker skins.
Fractional Laser Treatment- These are very effective against older stretch marks. Your doctor will use this laser to resurface the older marks smoothing the surface of the skin. The treatment is very expensive and can cause hyper-pigmentation and scarring.
Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck- This is the only certain way to obliterate stretch marks. What the surgeon does is cut out swathes of skin from your abdomen with stretch marks. Downsides are that it’s a risky procedure. There could be life-threatening complications and recovery takes long, sometimes as long as 3 to 6 months. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.