Whether you believe it or not, stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, most women you know have stretch marks. The media may have made us feel like all women have perfect bodies with perfect skin and curves, but this is far from the truth. Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Graham publicly talk about their stretch marks and how natural they are.
If you are not fully comfortable with these fragile lines on your skin, there are ways you can minimize stretch marks. However, science has not come up with a way to fully get rid of them yet. Prevention is better than cure, so of course, there are ways you can avoid getting stretch marks. You can also take steps to conceal them, but the most important bit is learning to accept and love them.
Minimize Stretch Marks
Rapid stretching of the skin, mainly because of rapid weight gain, pregnancy, or growth, causes stretch marks. The stretching of the skin is so rapid that the collagen and elastic tissue are left damaged. This causes the appearance of thin, fragile lines called stretch marks.
Striae is the formal term used for stretch marks. Research shows that stretch marks are really scars. By definition, scars are molecular changes in the skin that are permanent and cannot be reversed. So, if you have stretch marks, you can’t really get rid of them for good. However, that’s not a problem. We all have them.
Minimize Stretch Marks
1. Prescription Retinoid
Regular use of a topical vitamin A derivation can help encourage collagen production in the body. According to a study published in 2014 in the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, using a prescription retinoid for more than 16 weeks can help reduce the appearance of recent red marks.
However, if you are pregnant, you must avoid using a retinoid.
Using a thick lotion that contains petroleum jelly helps create a protective seal on top of the skin. This allows your skin to heal fully and can help reduce the formation of stretch marks.
3. Fractional Lasers
Fractional lasers are commonly used by dermatologists to treat the appearance of stretch marks.
All you need to do is attend three to five sessions within three months, and soon, you will notice the stretch marks on your body healing. These sessions help diminish red stretch marks and fade old stretch marks by 50 percent.
4. Micro-Needling with Radiofrequency
The process of micro-needling pokes small holes in the skin to encourage healing. This helps reduce the appearance of abnormal scars. Radiofrequency is used alongside to heat up the underneath skin to increase the production of collagen and hence, lighten stretch marks.
Some doctors use micro-needling with radiofrequency to alleviate stretch marks in patients with darker skin since it doesn’t trigger hyperpigmentation.
If you have a fair-to-medium skin complexion, you may find yourself in luck. You can make use of a self-tanner to hide the white, thin lines across various parts of your body.
All you need to do is cover your body with a thin layer of self-tanner and let it sit for a minute before jumping into the shower. There is no lingering smell that may irritate you later.