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Medically reviewed by: Bebe Pajo, MD
Several girls have stretch marks, and some adult males do, also. These rippled, indented lines on the pores and skin are harmless, but they do stand out. If the sight of them bothers you, you’ve likely Googled “how to get rid of stretch marks.” So, what is the response?
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove stretch marks completely,” mentioned Bebe Pajo, MD, a dermatologist at Water’s Edge Dermatology with a specialty in beauty dermatology. “But there are good remedies readily available now that can make them search considerably less obvious.” Go through on to understand extra.
What are extend marks?
Stretch marks, or striae, are a form of scar. They usually develop when areas of the physique mature speedily, stretching the pores and skin to its restrictions. When the skin stretches, collagen and elastin — proteins that support the pores and skin and keep it flexible — can rupture. As the pores and skin heals, extend marks present up in places in which ruptures transpired.
You’re most very likely to produce stretch marks on your belly, buttocks, breasts, thighs, hips, reduced back or higher arms. They may well be crimson, white, black or darkish blue, relying on your pores and skin tone. They fade more than time and typically finish up lighter than your typical skin. New extend marks may well be lifted, but they sooner or later develop into indented.
Stretch marks are not painful, but they can be itchy when they’re forming.
What results in extend marks?
Extend mark results in include:
- Fast body weight obtain or decline
- Fast muscle achieve from toughness training
- Development spurts all through puberty
- Breast augmentation
- Marfan syndrome, a ailment that affects the body’s connective tissue
- Cushing’s syndrome, a ailment in which the system makes too significantly of the hormone cortisol more than prolonged periods (cortisol weakens the skin’s elastic fibers)
- Use of a topical corticosteroid cream more than a long period of time of time
- Smoking cigarettes, which decreases skin elasticity
Owning a personalized or family members record of stretch marks helps make you more susceptible to them. Women are a lot more likely to get stretch marks than males researchers are not confident why, but organic fluctuations in hormone stages could enjoy a position.
Pregnancy extend marks, identified as striae gravidarum (SG), are common, in particular in more youthful females, girls who have a family record of SG, people who carry further fat in advance of and for the duration of pregnancy and those people who give beginning to significant babies.
Do stretch marks go away?
Stretch marks fade about time, but they never disappear totally (unless the affected area of skin is reduce out, this sort of as all through a tummy tuck).
If you are sad with your stretch marks, discuss to your skin doctor to see if you are a superior candidate for 1 or far more of the remedies underneath. In some scenarios, extra than a single therapy may well be suggested.
Extend mark removal methods
The next treatment plans won’t get rid of extend marks, but they might make them significantly less noticeable.
Stretch mark creams
There are lots of creams, lotions and gels that claim to diminish extend marks. Their efficiency varies. Some never provide any advancement.
“Stretch mark creams may perhaps be well worth striving when the marks are new,” Dr. Bebe mentioned. “But the moment you’ve experienced them for a extended time, they will not perform.”
To strengthen your chances of observing advancement, massage the cream into the stretch marks and use it each working day for quite a few months. “If you do not see any advancement in six months, the solution most likely will not get the job done for you,” claimed Dr. Bebe.
Some individuals swear by other topical treatment options, these types of as cocoa butter and vitamin E, but none of them have been observed to fade extend marks in reports.
Prescription-power retinoid lotions these types of as tretinoin product can improve the appear of extend marks that are much less than a several months outdated. They function by triggering the production of collagen, which may well result in the marks to seem a lot more like your normal pores and skin.
Through a chemical peel, your skin doctor applies an acidic solution to the stretch marks. This eliminates the top layer of pores and skin, leading to the skin to generate a lot more collagen and elastin as it heals.
Two forms of lasers are applied to diminish stretch marks: ablative and non ablative. The laser therapy your skin doctor endorses will depend on several things, which include the colour of your pores and skin, the shade of your stretch marks and how long you have had them. Depending on the dimension of your stretch marks, you might need to have quite a few therapies.
Ablative lasers these kinds of as fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG clear away the topmost layer of pores and skin, which success in smoother skin. They also promote the production of collagen, which aids sleek out raised extend marks. Fractional CO2 lasers are utilised for further scars. Erbium YAG is much better for extra superficial extend marks.
If you have dim skin, fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG lasers might not be proper for you simply because they can cause put up-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkish spots) or burns that can leave everlasting scars.
Frax1550 laser is a non-ablative laser. It does not get rid of the prime layer of skin. As an alternative, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which aids the scars to recover and fade. Like most lasers, Frax1550 will work finest on newer extend marks, but it could support marginally with older, white extend marks.
For the duration of radiofrequency treatment options, your dermatologist will purpose a system that emits radio waves at the impacted pores and skin. The waves warmth the skin, which triggers injury, followed by healing and the generation of new collagen.
Profound RF is a system that takes advantage of both radiofrequency and microneedling to take care of scars. In microneedling, very small needles make microscopic punctures in the skin. The slight trauma coaxes the skin to deliver new collagen as it repairs by itself.
Radiofrequency therapy mixed with microneedling poses a great deal fewer hazard of hyperpigmentation than ablative lasers. You’ll have bruising for seven to 10 times, but the method triggers a lot less submit-remedy pain as opposed with laser therapy.
In this course of action, a skin doctor or plastic surgeon employs a swiftly rotating device to “sand” absent the top layer of pores and skin, smoothing it and reducing the look of irregular skin contours this kind of as stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion, a fewer invasive variation of dermabrasion, might also make extend marks much less noticeable, while it will not help as a great deal for deep stretch marks.
How to reduce extend marks
There are not several methods to hold stretch marks at bay, other than averting speedy obtain or loss of extra fat or muscle mass. Most of the procedures you might have heard about, including applying cocoa butter, olive or almond oil or vitamin E, have been shown in scientific tests to be ineffective.
That said, for avoiding pregnancy stretch marks, many approaches could be well worth striving. One research identified that a day by day, 15-minute massage of stretched skin making use of bitter almond oil served. Creams that contains hyaluronic acid or an extract of the herb Centella asiatica have also shown assure. If you’re expecting, seek advice from a physician ahead of implementing any possibly annoying item to your pores and skin.
Composed by: Jessica Brown, a overall health and science writer/editor primarily based in Nanuet, New York. She has penned for Avoidance magazine, jnj.com, BCRF.org, and quite a few other shops.