A lot of people do not know that stretch marks are one of the most universally common things that can be found on the human body of any race or color. They aren’t only reserved for people who are pregnant or bigger in size. In fact, stretch marks are nothing but scars that appear on the skin from uneven tearing in the dermis layer of the skin. They are usually pale or white in color, and most usually occur when the skin stretches itself. These thin white lines appear on the skin when there has been a change in the body size and shape of a person resulting in the stretching of the skin.
Most people only notice that they have developed stretch marks after they have given birth or when they either gain or lose weight. The stretch marks usually show up on the buttocks, breasts, stomach, arms, and thighs. Apart from pregnancy, there are other things that can cause a tear to the dermis layer of a person’s skin causing them to have stretch marks, and they include weight gain or loss, changes in the hormones, and bodybuilding. Stretch marks start off as purple or reddish in color on those parts of the skin that have been unevenly stretched. According to statistics, about 90% of women who are currently pregnant or have had a baby have stretch marks. 70% of young females and 40% of young males also have stretch marks.
Stretch marks come in two colors. The reddish purple-hued stretch marks and the white silvery colored ones. But other than the color of these two stretch marks, is there any other difference between them? There is. Read on below to find out for yourself.
The Difference Between Red Stretch Marks And White Stretch Marks
Red stretch marks:
Like I earlier mentioned, the red stretch marks signify the beginnings of a blown out stretch mark. The red stretch mark is the first stage of having stretch marks. This stretch mark gets its color from the blood vessels that get exposed as the skin begins to stretch and tear. The red stretch marks are easy to remove or clear because they are still in the emergency stage. They can be cleared through the use of topical creams that would help to raise the collagen levels in the skin. Other methods for removing these reddish stretch marks are laser treatments. These laser treatments aid in rejuvenating the skin cells and reducing the stretch marks. Treatments like the Pulsed dye laser treatment are very effective for this type of stretch mark.
Other treatments for reducing the red stretch marks include a type of laser treatment, the light based laser treatment such as the Intense Pulsed Light. This particular type of laser treatment can be used to lighten the redness of the stretch marks. Other options for the light-based laser treatment include the Pulsed Dye Laser and the fractional resurfacing. However, you should know that medically, the stretch marks cannot be entirely removed by these laser treatments. Their redness can only be reduced drastically to make them almost impossible to notice.
White stretch marks:
The white stretch marks are caused by long-term stretching of a part of the skin. They look white or silver in color and have stayed on the body for a long time. These long-term stretch marks cannot be healed or permanently removed by any cream or treatment. Their appearance can only be improved to give the skin a better look through Microdermabrasion treatments. Unlike in the case of the red stretch marks, this treatment would not regenerate the collagen in the skin. Another treatment choice for the white stretch marks includes the excimer laser treatment. This treatment aids in making the stretch marks seem less outstanding on the skin. It is important to note that the results of the excimer treatment would differ from person to person.
Is there any possibility of stretch marks being totally removed?
Stretch marks are general to every race and ethnic group. They aren’t partial to any ethnic group, race or skin color. They also aren’t like the flu which comes and goes. Stretch marks stay forever, but because it is so widespread, there is a large market for products that could heal them. Is there any one product that can treat them and make them disappear completely? Doubtful, as stretch marks can never be completely removed. Nevertheless, there are products that can marginally improve their appearance and hopefully make them fade away with time.
Some of these products include Vitamin A, Aloe Vera, sugar, coconut oil, Microdermabrasion, pulsed dye laser treatment and others.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A has been said to be very good at helping stretch marks to fade because of its retinoid content. Vitamin A also sometimes called retinoid had been said to be a good treatment for stretch marks. The retinoid content in the vitamin A plays a vital role in the smoothing of skin as well as the retaining of a fresh and youthful look. The Vitamin A is a major ingredient of many topical creams that don’t need a doctor’s prescription to acquire. Using a topical skin cream that contains Vitamin A extracts or even taking Vitamin A can go a long way into treating your skin and changing up your appearance.
A particular study done on the Vitamin A showed that the retinoid content of the Vitamin A specifically had an impact on stretch marks. Changing up your diet to include foods that are rich in Vitamin A such as carrots and sweet potatoes would also go a long way to improving the looks of your stretch marks as a result of an increase in Vitamin A.
If there is one thing every DIY beauty hacker knows, it is the exfoliating properties of sugar. Combined with honey and lemon, sugar has the ability to remove dead skin and freshen up the lips. When it comes to stretch marks, sugar has an exfoliating role to play. It removes the dead skin cells that normally build up on the stretch marks. A lot of people have given testimonies of sugar being a good homeopathic microdermabrasion method. The microdermabrasion is a method used by dermatologists that effectively fade the stretch marks after a period. Using sugar as a form of DIY treatment is certainly worthy of a try. Use a sugar scrub on the skin to remove the dead skin cells. Use the following steps to make a sugar scrub.
Mix one cup of sugar with a one-quarter cup of a softening agent which could either be coconut oil or almond oil. Then mix them until you get a mixture with the consistency of wet beach sand. Add a little bit of lemon juice to the mixture. Use the mixture as a scrub on the part of your body where you have the stretch marks. Do this regularly and consistently several times a week before your shower making sure that you scrub the mixture on your body for 8-10 minutes.
3. Aloe vera
Aloe Vera is another home remedy beauty product that is used for the skin. Aloe Vera has certain properties that can help stretch marks to fade. Aloe Vera is the better choice when it comes to stretch mark treatment, and this is because it contains certain properties that increase the skins elasticity as well as its moisture.
Aloe Vera contains about 200 active enzymes, 75 nutrients, 18 amino acids, 20 minerals and 12 vitamins. Constant and regular usage of the Aloe Vera would go a long way to heal the destroyed collagen fibers in the dermis and by doing that, it drastically changes the visibility of the stretch marks. To use, squeeze off a leaf of the Aloe Vera and remove its gel. Use the gel on the stretch marks directly and massage so that it would be well absorbed. Leave it to stay on your skin for a few hours and even throughout the night before washing it with water. Use the Aloe Vera leaf consistently for about 2-3 times every day until the stretch marks fade.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of those products that are a part of practically every health and beauty hack. From hair to skin to health, coconut oil has many uses. From the milk to the oil, it’s usefulness cannot be overemphasized. When it comes to its healing properties on the skin, the coconut oil is a force to be reckoned with. It isn’t only highly effective; it’s natural and healthy. The coconut oil can be absorbed very easily into the skin and can do a lot to improve the appearance of the stretch marks. Coconut oil has been studied extensively for its many properties one of which is its healing property. Applying coconut oil to skin wounds reduces it’s healing time. The coconut oil is very easily absorbed into the skin, and it contains lots of antioxidants that work on damaged skin. The coconut oil can be used for stretch mark treatment both by applying it on the affected area and ingesting it. One of the things that makes the coconut oil a good product for stretch mark treatment is that it has no negative side effect. While pregnant, you can use the coconut oil to prevent having stretch marks by rubbing it on the abdomen two or three times in a day. The coconut oil is okay for both the expectant mother and her child. The coconut oil would increase the smoothness and suppleness of the skin while also keeping it moisturized. After the expectant mother has given birth, there would be little to no stretch marks to be seen.
5. Pulsed-dye laser
The pulsed dye laser treatment is perhaps the most effective treatment of stretch marks after the Microdermabrasion method because it gives the most improved outcome. The pulsed dye laser therapy does a much better job with newly formed or red colored stretch marks, and this is because it’s main duty is not to cure but to correct. What it does is enhance the blood vessels that are responsible for carrying blood to the torn skin. This is better used on stretch marks that are just forming as it would prove to be more effective. The improvement of the blood circulation and oxygen content, the healing of the torn dermal tissues is facilitated. This healing enhances the collagen synthesis, and that would help in a better elastic skin. Its only side effect lies in darker skin toned people. This treatment could leave them with skin discoloration.
Microdermabrasion is a treatment that is basically made up of using tiny crystals to scrub the skin in order to expose the new skin that lies underneath the elastic stretch marks. It is a method that has been proven clinically to have positive results, and it is done by dermatologists. It does not completely erase the stretch marks though; it only improves the way it looks.
7. Massage therapy
A lot has been said about massage therapy being beneficial to improving the appearance of stretch marks. However, there is no medical proof or backing that massage has any positive impact on stretch marks. Added to the fact that its praises are being sung by the massage therapists themselves, the elasticity of the human skin does not respond that way. No type or amount of massage would positively change the appearance of a stretched skin with little to no elasticity. The advice to massage the stomach while pregnant to reduce the risks of stretch marks comes with its own set of risks. It is not advisable to apply such pressure on the stomach while pregnant. You are better advised to ask your doctor what would work for you.
8. Hyaluronic acid
This particular treatment works on the synthesis of collagen in the body. Collagen is a protein contained in the skin that is responsible for its shape and healthy look. The quantity of collagen in the face and other parts of the body reduces as we get older. However, the production of collagen can be jump-started by hyaluronic acid. The hyaluronic acid is an extract found in health food stores. This extract comes in the form of a capsule and is available commercially on online stores. Medically, it has been proven that the hyaluronic acid has a major role to play in maintaining the softness, moisture content, and elasticity of the skin.
Much like diabetes and other life ailments, stretch marks cannot be cured or made to entirely disappear by a few products or drugs. It has to be managed. This can be done using certain treatments explained above to enhance its physical appearance and with time make it seem almost invisible. Highly effective treatments like the Pulsed dye laser, the microdermabrasion, and the use of coconut oil would be good choices of treatments to reduce the visibility of the stretch marks. Treatments should be used on the reddish stretch marks immediately to have a better chance of healing and fading with time.