Medically reviewed by: Bebe Pajo, MD
Lots of gals have extend marks, and some men do, far too. 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 in all probability Googled “how to get rid of stretch marks.” So, what is the respond to?
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to get rid of stretch marks absolutely,” stated Bebe Pajo, MD, a skin doctor at Water’s Edge Dermatology with a specialty in beauty dermatology. “But there are great therapies out there these days that can make them look significantly less obvious.” Examine on to discover more.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks, or striae, are a form of scar. They typically acquire when areas of the human body mature rapidly, stretching the pores and skin to its boundaries. When the pores and skin stretches, collagen and elastin — proteins that assist the skin and maintain it adaptable — can rupture. As the pores and skin heals, extend marks present up in areas where by ruptures happened.
You are most probably to produce extend marks on your belly, buttocks, breasts, thighs, hips, lessen back or upper arms. They might be purple, white, black or dark blue, dependent on your skin tone. They fade about time and generally conclusion up lighter than your normal skin. New extend marks may possibly be elevated, but they ultimately turn into indented.
Stretch marks are not painful, but they can be itchy when they are forming.
What causes extend marks?
Stretch mark results in include:
- Swift excess weight gain or reduction
- Speedy muscle mass attain from strength schooling
- Progress spurts for the duration of puberty
- Breast augmentation
- Marfan syndrome, a condition that influences the body’s connective tissue
- Cushing’s syndrome, a dysfunction in which the body produces much too significantly of the hormone cortisol over prolonged durations (cortisol weakens the skin’s elastic fibers)
- Use of a topical corticosteroid product more than a extensive time period of time
- Smoking, which decreases pores and skin elasticity
Getting a private or loved ones historical past of extend marks will make you extra vulnerable to them. Ladies are far more possible to get extend marks than males researchers are not certain why, but purely natural fluctuations in hormone ranges could play a function.
Being pregnant stretch marks, termed striae gravidarum (SG), are widespread, especially in more youthful ladies, women of all ages who have a household background of SG, people who have extra weight right before and through being pregnant and individuals who give beginning to major babies.
Do extend marks go absent?
Stretch marks fade in excess of time, but they under no circumstances disappear fully (except if the influenced place of skin is minimize out, such as through a tummy tuck).
If you’re unhappy with your extend marks, speak to your dermatologist to see if you are a fantastic candidate for just one or much more of the treatments under. In some conditions, additional than one particular remedy may be advised.
Extend mark removing procedures
The pursuing treatments won’t take out stretch marks, but they may perhaps make them fewer visible.
Extend mark lotions
There are many creams, lotions and gels that assert to diminish stretch marks. Their effectiveness varies. Some really don’t give any improvement.
“Stretch mark lotions may perhaps be worth seeking when the marks are new,” Dr. Bebe claimed. “But as soon as you’ve experienced them for a long time, they won’t get the job done.”
To enhance your possibilities of looking at advancement, massage the cream into the extend marks and apply it each individual working day for a number of months. “If you do not see any improvement in six weeks, the products almost certainly won’t get the job done for you,” reported Dr. Bebe.
Some people swear by other topical solutions, this kind of as cocoa butter and vitamin E, but none of them have been identified to fade stretch marks in research.
Prescription-strength retinoid lotions this sort of as tretinoin cream can improve the seem of extend marks that are a lot less than a handful of months previous. They work by triggering the production of collagen, which may perhaps cause the marks to seem a lot more like your usual skin.
In the course of a chemical peel, your dermatologist applies an acidic alternative to the stretch marks. This eliminates the best layer of pores and skin, resulting in the skin to produce much more collagen and elastin as it heals.
Two styles of lasers are applied to diminish extend marks: ablative and non ablative. The laser treatment your skin doctor endorses will rely on a number of aspects, together with the shade of your pores and skin, the shade of your extend marks and how prolonged you’ve experienced them. Dependent on the dimension of your extend marks, you could possibly have to have various treatments.
Ablative lasers such as fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG remove the topmost layer of skin, which effects in smoother skin. They also promote the generation of collagen, which can help easy out lifted stretch marks. Fractional CO2 lasers are applied for deeper scars. Erbium YAG is improved for much more superficial extend marks.
If you have dim skin, fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG lasers may not be ideal for you for the reason that they can lead to publish-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkish places) or burns that can leave long term scars.
Frax1550 laser is a non-ablative laser. It does not eliminate the major layer of skin. As an alternative, it stimulates the manufacturing of collagen and elastin, which helps the scars to recover and fade. Like most lasers, Frax1550 functions very best on more recent extend marks, but it may perhaps enable slightly with older, white extend marks.
Through radiofrequency solutions, your skin doctor will intention a product that emits radio waves at the affected skin. The waves warmth the pores and skin, which triggers harm, adopted by therapeutic and the generation of new collagen.
Profound RF is a product that utilizes both equally radiofrequency and microneedling to take care of scars. In microneedling, tiny needles make microscopic punctures in the pores and skin. The minor trauma coaxes the skin to make new collagen as it repairs itself.
Radiofrequency remedy merged with microneedling poses considerably considerably less threat of hyperpigmentation than ablative lasers. You’ll have bruising for 7 to 10 days, but the treatment results in a lot less submit-cure agony compared with laser therapy.
In this technique, a skin doctor or plastic surgeon works by using a swiftly rotating product to “sand” away the major layer of skin, smoothing it and minimizing the overall look of irregular skin contours these types of as extend marks.
Microdermabrasion, a significantly less invasive edition of dermabrasion, may well also make stretch marks fewer noticeable, however it won’t enable as a lot for deep stretch marks.
How to protect against extend marks
There are not lots of methods to continue to keep stretch marks at bay, other than avoiding quick get or reduction of extra fat or muscle. Most of the procedures you may possibly have heard about, like making use of cocoa butter, olive or almond oil or vitamin E, have been revealed in experiments to be ineffective.
That stated, for stopping being pregnant stretch marks, quite a few strategies might be value attempting. A single research uncovered that a each day, 15-moment massage of stretched pores and skin utilizing bitter almond oil helped. Creams made up of hyaluronic acid or an extract of the herb Centella asiatica have also demonstrated guarantee. If you’re expecting, seek advice from a health care provider in advance of applying any most likely annoying merchandise to your pores and skin.
Created by: Jessica Brown, a overall health and science writer/editor centered in Nanuet, New York. She has published for Avoidance magazine, jnj.com, BCRF.org, and a lot of other outlets.