How to Prevent Stretch Marks and What to Do If You Already Have Them
Stretch marks that look like white and purple scars affect almost 90% of women after pregnancy. They also can appear in men and teenagers. Stretch marks are thought of as a problem and everyone wants to get rid of them. In this article, we decided to find out how to cope with them effectively and what methods don’t work at all.
Since Bright Side always tries to be positive, we’ve provided you with an uplifting bonus at the end of this article.
Why do stretch marks appear? Who can get them?
Stretch marks, also known as striae, happen when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. That’s also why scars may form. They affect not only women after pregnancy but also:
- teenagers that suddenly grew up during the summer
- athletes who are very physically active
- bodybuilders who gain and lose weight
- people taking steroids
- people who’ve lost weight rapidly
- people who’ve gained weight rapidly
- people who’ve undergone breast enlargement surgery
- people with thin skin
- people who have a genetic predisposition
- people with hormonal failure
- people suffering from Cushing’s disease or Marfan syndrome
Products that can prevent stretch marks but not cure them
Most popular products that claim to get rid of stretch marks are just a marketing trick or myth. Yes, if you want to prevent stretch marks, these products work really well. But don’t assume that they’ll help you get rid of already existing scars.
- Special creams and lotions are just moisturizing creams and lotions. They can’t eliminate stretch marks from the skin.
- Cosmetic products containing tretinoin (vitamin A that works against pimples), collagen, and hyaluronic acid won’t help you get rid of stretch marks despite their properties of active substances.
- Oils (coconut, almond, olive, those with vitamin E, shea oil, and others) won’t erase stretch marks even if you massage the skin regularly.
- Such medicinal herbs like aloe can’t remove scars, even if the wisest representatives of traditional medicine promise it will.
An effective home method:
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get rid of stretch marks. Luckily this is not that bad because scars don’t affect our health. But if these marks annoy you, you can try to make them less visible.
If you pay enough attention to your problem, you can make the situation better without leaving your home. And there’s only one option: scrubbing and peeling.
Coffee, honey, and sugar body scrubs can help simply because these products are scrubs. They remove the upper layer of scars and slowly make your stretch marks look more like healthy skin so that they become less visible.
Reliable professional methods:
Of course, you can get a perfect result with the help of a cosmetologist or surgeon. There are lots of methods to help fight against stretch marks using modern technology.
- Peeling. Unlike scrubs that are made of smooth natural components, peeling procedures imply the effect of aggressive chemical substances. In most cases, local anesthesia may be used.
- Microdermabrasion. It’s a rather painful procedure as it removes several layers of the epidermis with the help of aluminum oxide crystals. The method is supposed to force newer and younger skin to grow faster.
- Laser. Laser therapy is one of the newest and most effective methods against stretch marks. Laser — as well as microdermabrasion devices — removes skin and affects deeper layers too. Sometimes the procedure is performed under general anesthesia. As for advantages, it’s not that expensive and there’s a low chance of having any adverse reactions.
- Plastic surgery. Sometimes people turn to this method of removing the damaged skin and replacing it with healthier skin. Such operations are quite expensive and take much more time to recover from — up to 8 months in some cases. What’s more, is surgical scars may appear after the operation.
Mesotherapy. Numerous useful substances such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins are included in the mesotherapy injections. It’s rather suitable if you want to prevent stretch marks and it’s way more effective than creams and lotions containing the same substances.
A creative solution:
Today you can cover your scars with tattoos. Success depends on your skin, the ink, and the tattoo artist’s experience and style.
When it’s not recommended to get a tattoo:
- If stretch marks are new and still purple, it’s better to wait — otherwise, your tattoo can get damaged or ink can fall out. It’s important to remember that a good tattoo artist won’t agree to cover new stretch marks with tattoos.
- Don’t get a tattoo while breastfeeding. Once again, a reliable tattoo artist won’t let you do this. It’s recommended to wait at least 1 year.
- Don’t get a tattoo if you plan to have a baby in the future. The image may become damaged.
You may get a tattoo if:
- Scars are old or they’re white in color
- You’ve been pregnant and already lost weight and became fit
- You don’t plan on having any more pregnancies
A magic way:
Brazilian tattoo artist, Rodolpho Torres created a unique way to hide stretch marks. He picks the color of ink that best matches his clients’ skin tone and covers white marks so that the result looks better than Photoshop.
It’s surprising but he uses the same method when it comes to fixing dark circles under the eyes. He covers problematic skin with skin tone-like ink so clients can forget about their problem areas.
Rodolpho is really famous: there are 1,600,000 followers on his Instagram and lots of ordinary and famous people stand in line to visit him.
How can you prevent stretch marks?
Even if you already have stretch marks, you should know how to prevent new ones from forming.
- Your diet should be balanced and contain all necessary vitamins and elements. Most of them influence the skin’s bounce and elasticity.
- Drink enough water. Skin elasticity depends on the amount of moisture in it.
- Watch your weight. Don’t lose or gain weight too fast.
- If you play sports, don’t try to achieve rapid results. Again, take care of your weight.
- Moisturize and nourish your skin. If you don’t have scars, lotions, oils, and creams work well. If you apply them during a massage, your skin will become more bouncy, elastic, and healthy.
Unlike most people in the world who think stretch marks are awful, representatives of the body positive movement try to convince us that stretch marks aren’t ugly, they’re beautiful.
Spanish artist, Cinta Tort Cartrо decided to highlight this beauty with the help of paint and a brush. Her Instagram is full of women who are brave enough to show their natural drawbacks and the artist helps them to love themselves.
Pakistani artist, Sara Shakeel became famous on Instagram thanks to her idea to make stretch marks into lines of glitter. More than 320,000 people can’t help but enjoy Sara’s masterpieces.
Some modern clothing brands also contributed to this movement and featured models that didn’t fit popular beauty standards. Their ad campaigns showed that stretch marks are beautiful and there’s no need to hide them.
What do you think about stretch marks? Should we get rid of them or love our bodies the way they are?