Stretch marks are probably one of the most unpleasant things that can happen to your skin after cellulite. While cellulite is mainly a women problem, we can’t say the same about stretch marks. These white lines are one of the skin conditions that thousands of people, both women, and men, struggle with every day. They are one of the signs that time and various factors leave on our skin. And if most of the time we do not pay attention to them, during the summer season we cannot remain indifferent.
What are these white lines on our skin, how to get rid of stretch marks, and what are the best stretch mark treatments? You will find the answers in the following lines!
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks (striae distensae) are atrophic scars that are characterized by a lack of elastic fibres. The main reasons for their appearance are related to the elasticity of the skin and blood circulation. They are most often a consequence of excessive stretching of the dermis and epidermis and various disorders in the synthesis of collagen and elastin.
Stretch marks are normally durable and difficult to remove. Depending on their location on the body, they can be shorter or longer, straighter, or more curved. Depending on their appearance we can divide them into new and old. Early stretch marks have a pink or purple colour that fades over time to silvery or white.
Many people especially young girls often ask are stretch marks bad in any way. These scars do not pose a health risk and do not compromise the body’s ability to function normally. They may cause a burning sensation and itching at first, but this is not common. They are considered a cosmetic problem, not a health issue.
Stretch marks causes
- Pregnancy. Women have an increased risk of developing stretch marks after delivery as 90% of them face the problem in this otherwise beautiful and important moment in their life. They commonly get horizontal stretch marks on stomach or stretch marks on inside of thighs.
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain. This is another very common reason for stretch marks in both women and men. Women most often get stretch marks on inner thigh due to weight loss while men mostly get stretch marks above the belly button. Prerequisite and cause of the formation of these scars can be any kind of sudden changes related to body size and weight, regardless of gender and age. The biggest paradox, is that they can also occur in people who make an effort to look good, especially when they achieve it!
- During puberty. Often overlooked cause of stretch marks is the increased and rapid growth during the most active human years – puberty. It is also very common to notice sudden weight gain or loss.
- Chormonal imbalances. Hormones have an extremely strong effect not only on our mental state but also on body weight and the way we consume fat. Therefore, they have a direct relationship with weight, the absorption of fat from the body, and, accordingly, the stretching and contraction of the skin in the process of gaining and losing weight.
Most often we notice the appearance of stretch marks in areas such as the abdomen, upper thighs, buttocks, and sometimes the chest. Less often we catch their presence around the armpits. The main connection between these places is that these are all parts of the body where we usually tend to accumulate fat.
The bottom line is that when it comes to stretch marks, we are absolutely all “on target”!
Stretch mark vs. cellulite: What is the difference?
Cellulite affects around 90% of women. About the same number will also experience stretch marks in their lifetime. Both conditions are really unpleasant and can make you feel unattractive. But what is the difference?
Although often difficult to distinguish, these two skin problems take very different forms. If observed more closely, cellulite has a wavy or wrinkled shape similar to orange peel. While stretch marks are marked by the appearance of streaks, wrinkles, or reddish-white lines that are very different from the skin colour.
In short, cellulite can change the texture of the skin without changing its colour. But stretch marks not only cause dents on the skin but at the same time change the original colour of the skin.
Many people claim that cellulite is caused by the accumulation of excess fat, so it is often experienced by overweight people. In fact, this is not the case, cellulite can occur in anyone with a thick or thin body. Cellulite is triggered by changes in the size and structure of fat cells that accumulate under the surface of your skin. This accumulation of fat “pushes” the skin, creating an irregular shape of the bulge on its surface. Not only that, but changes in blood circulation, especially blood supply, in certain parts of the body can also lead to the accumulation of excess fluid in the tissues, and finally, cellulite develops in the area. Genetic is also thought to be another factor causing this condition.
Stretch marks are a common problem that women often experience after childbirth. This condition usually begins to appear due to tight skin when the size of the mother’s abdomen becomes larger. In addition, the risk of stretch marks may also increase due to hormonal changes in pregnant women. But stretch marks have nothing to do with genetics.
The difference between both is the location. Cellulite can appear anywhere in the body but mostly around the abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks. On the other hand, the white lines more often appear on parts of the body that are easily stretched. For example, you can have stretch marks behind knees or stretch marks on butt, as well as breasts or upper arms.
How to remove and get rid of stretch marks?
- Stretch mark cream. Some special creams and products that are rich in hyaluronic acid might be helpful in case you use them on early stretch marks. If the scars are old and deeper you should consider other treatment methods. Usually, creams and ointments are some of the most recommended teenage stretch marks solutions.
- Laser therapy. Pulse dye laser treatment is an effective method for birth stretch mark removal. The laser light penetrates fractionally the skin, reaches the middle and lower dermis by heating the areas, and stimulates the collagen production. Does laser stretch mark removal work? Yes, and you can see results immediately after the first procedure. The lasers are safe with minimal risk of side effects. Laer therapy will be also very effective if you want to get rid of stretch marks on breast.
- Microdermabrasion. It is a non-surgical method for skin rejuvenation and effective red stretch marks treatment. It is done by using small particles that exfoliate the skin. The procedure is extremely gentle. However, for visible improvement, you will need to have more treatments.
- Microneedling. Microneedling is a procedure that stimulates the formation of new elastin and collagen by using tiny needles and special active substances. It is a good option for stretch mark reduction. The treated area becomes smoother and more elastic. The procedure takes about an hour.
- Plastic surgery. Are you wondering how to get rid of stretch marks on tummy? The only way to completely remove old and deep scars is surgery. That is one benefit of tummy tuck surgery for many patients.
- Tattoo camouflage for stretch marks. If you have wondered how to hide stretch marks instead of removing them you may want to consider getting a tattoo. Whether you want to completely cover an area or you want to add a little creativity and colour to your marks, a tattoo may help you.
Stretch marks treatment at home
Lemon juice, sugar, ground coffee – these are just some of the many popular home remedies for cellulite and stretch marks. Egg white is also commonly used for reducing the white scars in the skin. You can apply it twice a day. After washing the protein, moisturize the skin. You can also make your own homemade stretch mark removal product by mixing equal parts wheat germ oil, aloe vera and olive oil. According to scientists, the combination of these three ingredients is the best moisturizer you can prepare at home.
Another thing you can try is the regular use of natural oil with vitamin E. It has powerful antioxidant properties and the ability to protect collagen fibres, neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals. Its direct application on the affected areas can significantly reduce red stretch marks within a few months (in case they are not too deep and old). Apply it on the skin, gently with massaging motions, at least 2 times a day.
Probably many of you know about the properties of coconut oil, castor oil as well as olive oil. But can cocoa butter get rid of stretch marks? Cocoa butter is a really good moisturizer that may help to soften the skin and prevent the beginning of a stretch mark. The good effect is mainly due to lauric, capric, and caprylic acid that can make stretch marks fade. However, cocoa butter can’t remove deeper scars.
How to prevent stretch marks?
The most effective method to avoid unpleasant stretch marks is to prevent them. Once you have developed scars, it is difficult to remove them. It is important to see a dermatologist as soon as you notice some changes on your skin.
How to lighten stretch marks during pregnancy?
- Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor about how many pounds they can gain during pregnancy, as health conditions can also affect the range.
- Use a moisturizer and stretch mark pregnancy cream. Keeping skin moisturized and hydrated can reduce the risk of appearance of stretch marks. Always consult your doctor before using any product.
How to prevent stretch marks from working out?
- Drink enough water and eat food rich in vitamin C and zink;
- Control your weight;
- Avoid the use of anabolic steroids;
- Limit or avoid steroid itching creams. You can try anti-itch creams that do not contain cortisone for small bug bites and rashes. You may also seek medical advice for non-steroidal creams for conditions such as eczema.
How much does stretch marks removal cost in Singapore?
There are many factors that determine the stretch marks removal price. Here is what you can expect to pay on average for different treatment methods:
- The approximate cost of laser treatments for stretch marks therapy is $500 – $1000;
- Microdermabrasion is around $400 – $800;
- Microneedling for stretch marks cost around $700 – $800 per session;
- The price of tummy tuck may vary between $10000 and $30000.
In the end, we remind you to take good care of your skin, because it needs nourishment and hydration every day. It is always to your advantage to consult a dermatologist who will give you the best recommendations on what cosmetic product or treatment is most suitable for you.