Stretch marks affect an estimated 80% of people and up to 90% of ladies who are pregnant. It is, therefore, an extremely common skin condition which is often the result of rapid growth due to weight gain, puberty and pregnancy as well as sudden weight loss. Some people are genetically more prone to getting stretch marks, but there are ways you can reduce your chances of getting stretch marks.
Causes Of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks form when the skin cannot keep up with the body’s speed of growth, and so commonly form during puberty, pregnancy and periods of rapid weight gain. Women are more likely to get them due to hormone fluctuations and pregnancy, but men commonly get stretch marks too. Lesser-known causes of stretch marks are rapid weight loss and bodybuilding.
How To Remove Old Stretch Marks
Old stretch marks are likely to be harder to get rid of that newer ones, but you can still at least reduce their appearance. It may be beneficial to combine the use of stretch mark removal products with other methods which you can also do at home. For example, combining the use of products with light therapy or microdermabrasion may increase the results and the speed at which you attain them.
Microdermabrasion And Stretch Mark Removal
Microdermabrasion is a technique that uses tiny crystals to exfoliate the surface of the skin and suction away waste products such as dead skin.
It rejuvenates the surface removing impurities and is suitable for all skin types. It can be used very successfully alongside stretch mark removal products.
Microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of stretch marks in several different ways. Firstly, it is thought to promote the production of collagen and elastin which make the skin more supple – preventing stretch marks from getting worse and aiding healing. It also increases blood flow to the area, which brings oxygen and nutrients to the area and in turn can make skin care products such as stretch mark creams more effective by allowing them to penetrate deeper into the tissue. It can also soften the appearance of stretch marks by reducing the look of hyperpigmentation which can occur at the edges of stretch marks, evening out the skin tone.
Microdermabrasion no longer needs to be done in a doctor’s office as there are many at-home products you can buy to use yourself. This makes it even more convenient to use alongside a stretch mark removal cream. Take a look at our reviews of microdermabrasion products if you are interested in combining them with stretch mark removal products.
Light Therapy And Stretch Marks
The term light therapy covers a range of different products and uses. It has been used for hair removal, anti-aging and wound healing. Red light, in particular, is thought to have many healing qualities which have even been used by NASA. It can reduce inflammation and swelling, as well as increase blood flow to that area and the rate at which cells make energy
This means they have a higher metabolism for cell functions such as collagen production, which makes the healing processes more efficient.
If you are interested in combining light therapy with stretch mark removal creams, you can learn more in our reviews of red light therapy products and our review of stretch mark removal cream here.
Prevent Stretch Marks From Working Out
Stretch marks are very common in those working out who gain muscle size quickly, particularly bodybuilders. They typically appear around the shoulders, biceps and thighs, but they can appear anywhere on the body.
Change Size Gradually
If you are keen to prevent stretch marks caused by working out, firstly try to moderate your fitness regime. By gaining the muscle size or losing weight gradually, you will give your skin the time to adapt and adjust steadily. This will put less pressure on the skin and will reduce the chances of stretch marks occurring.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Don’t just rely on protein shakes for your nourishment. It is important to ensure your diet contains plenty of elements which enhance skin health as this will give it more resilience against damage and more suppleness to adapt to change. Here are some examples of foods that contain components which are essential for healthy skin:
- Salmon – Omega-3 Fatty Acid
- Nuts And Wholegrains – Vitamin B6
- Citrus Fruits – Vitamin C
- Oysters and Red Meat – Zinc
- Red Fruits and Dark Chocolate – Anti-oxidants
Maintaining a healthy, enriched diet is not only important for preventing stretch marks but also for reducing and eliminating them. This will enable your skin to produce collagen and elastin efficiently, meaning it will be more elastic and supple, as well as aiding the healing process.
Hydrate your skin
Providing your skin with moisture and nutrients from the outside is also important. Most stretch mark removal creams can be used preventative products as well, meaning you can target higher-risk areas before they become a problem and continue to use the same product. This makes buying stretch mark removal creams more cost-effective.
Stretch Marks From Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very common time to develop stretch marks, with up to 90% of pregnant ladies being affected by stretch marks. However, despite their high incidence, many women are not happy with them and would prefer to remove them. If you are unhappy with your stretch marks from pregnancy, remember that they are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they are a sign of the wonderful achievement your body just accomplished! But if you are keen to reduce or remove them, here are some safe methods which can help you.
Stretch Mark Removal Cream After Pregnancy
Before and during pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding, you need to be more careful about the ingredients in products you use. Stretch mark creams and other products containing retinoids should be avoided as they can cause harm to your baby – look out for products containing tretinoin for example. Tretinoin, which may also be known as retinoic acid, is an acidic derivative of vitamin A, which although can increase collagen production, can be very drying on the skin and has not been proved to be safe for use during pregnancy.
Stretch Removal Products For Pregnancy
There are different types of product available, from butter, creams and lotions to oils, so when you are choosing which product to use, consider what types of products you like the feel of on your skin. Some people prefer products which are quickly absorbed while others like the luxury of a silky oil. Some products can also be used in alternative ways, such as Bio Oil, which can be added to your bath too.
How to Remove Stretch Marks Naturally After Pregnancy
You may prefer to use more natural products when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Nearly all of the products we have reviewed contain natural and/or organic ingredients and are safe for use before, during and after pregnancy. Many successful products contain cocoa and shea butter, olive oil or coconut oil.
If you prefer to go totally natural, you can use coconut or olive oil into your affected areas. Being food products, they are completely safe to use and you know exactly what is in them. Simply massage in the oil after you have bathed until it is absorbed. The massage will increase blood flow to the area, bringing oxygen and nutrients which will help the healing and cell production, as well as help your skin to absorb the oils.
Why Do Stretch Marks Occur During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is one of the most common times to develop stretch marks. This is not only due to the extreme growth your body undergoes in a very short space of time, but during pregnancy, the skin may be more susceptible to getting stretch marks. It is thought that the hormones you have when you are expecting encourage water in between collagen fibers in the skin, relaxing the bonds and therefore allowing the skin to stretch more than it normally would. This is a benefit for the pregnancy, allowing your skin to have more give, but can leave you with many more stretch marks than you may expect.
Stretch Marks Removal Home Remedy
Coconuts and olive oil are commonly found in stretch mark removal, click here to buy Coconut Oil from Amazon and click here to buy olive oil from Amazon. They contain many antioxidants which the skin can absorb that are beneficial for the overall skin health. In fact, you can use these products neat as a topical massage remedy for preventing and reducing stretch marks. You can also add sugar to the oil as a homeopathic microdermabrasion technique, which can help to fade the stretch marks.
Aloe vera is renowned for its healing properties. If you have an aloe vera plant, you can break of a leaf to extract the gel and massage that into your stretch marks.
It needs to be left of for a while so it can be absorbed to work but it is safe to leave on overnight and can be applied twice a day. If you don’t already have one, you can buy an Aloe Vera plant from Amazon here.
Nourish From The Outside In
To give your skin the best chance of recovering from and preventing stretch marks, you need to maintain its health from the inside as well as out. Eating a diet rich in zinc, vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants will give your skin cells the nourishment they require to maintain efficient cell production and healing.