Stretch marks are an extremely common problem in the female population, and partly in men.
These are breaks in the dermis that leave characteristic white or red streaks.
For some time people have been wondering how to get rid of stretch marks, as they are often very visible and unsightly.
However, the answers provided are not always exhaustive, because eliminating stretch marks is a laborious process, and which is still partly under study.
And that’s why our experts have decided to see clearly, and to help you too with this mini guide on how to get rid of stretch marks.
We will discover the causes and the remedies, as well as the best methods not only to counter them, but also to prevent their appearance.
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Stretch marks: what are they and how do they form?
Stretch marks are fractures of the dermis, the deepest layer of the skin. Materially, these are the scars left by the degradation of collagen fibers. Scars that are not only obvious to the eye, but also to the touch, as they cause a little depression. Initially, they have a bright red or purplish color, then take on a very light and obvious white color on the skin and difficult to remove.
You can recognize the stretch mark not only by its color and shape – an asymmetrical line 1-10 mm wide – but also by their appearance to the touch. In fact, they highlight the loss of elasticity of the skin showing a flaccid consistency, which often increases its unsightly character, which is the main reason why everyone wants to know how to remove stretch marks.
Let’s get to know the causes to understand how to get rid of stretch marks
If we want to know how to get rid of stretch marks, the first step we must take is to know the causes. This will not only help us counter them effectively, but also prevent them from reappearing. So let’s analyze the main causes of stretch marks.
- Weight changesThere is a myth that links stretch marks and fat (as well as cellulite and fat). In truth, this is only partially true. On the contrary, what causes stretch marks is weight change, so not only weight gain, but also weight loss.
This is because weight changes, especially if you tend to constantly gain and lose weight, stress the skin and lead to a loss of elasticity. Weakened, the collagen network tends to break down, causing stretch marks to appear. In this case it is enough to treat them immediately, even to prevent them, and they go away with a good chance.
- Cortisol: certain diseases or drugs linked to the production of cortisol, such as Cushing’s syndrome, or drugs containing corticosteroids cause stretch marks because cortisol weakens the elastin contained in the skin. In this condition, stretch marks on the arms and stomach, but also on the legs, are more difficult to eliminate.
- Pregnancy and cosmetic surgery: in general, any intervention, natural or not, which produces a relatively rapid change in the shape of the body. Mechanical stresses are generated in the dermis which, if you do not work on its elasticity, can give rise to stretch marks that do not disappear even if you start treating them in time.
For this reason, pregnant women are considered particularly at risk. Their bodies are subjected to mechanical stresses due to the inevitable variation in weight and the modification of shape. In addition, during pregnancy there is a large production of cortisol. As a result, the skin is doubly exposed to the degradation of connective fibers. What has been said also applies to the breastfeeding phase.
How to get rid of stretch marks
It must be said, in order not to generate false hopes, that the complete elimination of stretch marks can only be achieved with laser treatments, and even these treatments are not able to guarantee results in all treated cases. .
However, what interests those affected by this imperfection is to reduce their appearance until they are almost invisible. In a nutshell, what you want to do is not so much get rid of stretch marks, but make sure they don’t show. And that, fortunately, is possible. Like, how? Let’s find out together!
More vitamin A
Among the creams that have given the highest degree of satisfaction to users, we must mention those based on tretinoin. This active ingredient is a derivative of vitamin A, a vitamin that affects the process of collagen regeneration, so much so that it is also used in creams that neutralize the appearance of wrinkles and in those that eliminate wrinkle scars. acne.
It must be said, however, that tretinoin-based creams are effective almost exclusively on “fresh” stretch marks, that is to say those of red color. It is therefore necessary to intervene in the very early stages of the rupture and not when it has healed, therefore when there are white stretch marks.
Thermal mud to stimulate the epidermis
A stimulating and revitalizing effect has also been found in thermal muds. Their active ingredients penetrate deeply, stimulating collagen regeneration and cell renewal. There is also a method, also valid for creams containing vitamin A, to amplify their effects as much as possible.
It’s about combining the packs – to be done at least three times a week and, weather permitting, even daily – with physical activity and exfoliation. On the one hand, blood circulation and tissue oxygenation are stimulated. On the other hand, it makes the skin more receptive.
In this way, it is not only guaranteed that the active principles penetrate deeply, but also that they are better absorbed by the dermis, fully explaining their effects.
Remedies from the dermatologist (and at home)
We explained it when we started talking about remedies to eliminate stretch marks: unfortunately, the most effective ones require sessions with the dermatologist, and do not always guarantee complete results. However, for those who want to try, perhaps because they have very obvious stretch marks, trying is not harmful, on the contrary!
One of the most used systems – and that we can somehow try to reproduce even at home – is that of pulsed light. The light pulses reach deep into the dermis and, by studying their effects, experts have found that they also stimulate collagen production.
However, this means that the effect of pulsed light is optimal when the stretch mark is in the formation phase, whereas it is little or not effective on white stretch marks. However, if you have an IPL device at home, even then it won’t hurt to try. Most ? It even works on the first wrinkles!
Instead, he uses a completely different technique, microdermabrasion. It is a treatment based on aluminum microcrystals which carries out a very targeted and very deep exfoliation. To date, microdermabrasion is recognized as the most effective system, and it also works on older stretch marks. In addition to appearance, it also improves skin texture.
More generally, the remedy that has proven to be the most effective so far is that of deep exfoliation. Microdermabrasion guarantees the highest level of exfoliation, but even then you can try it at home with applications of highly concentrated glycolic acid (8% or 15%) which produces an exfoliating effect called a chemical peel. Ideal if you lack the budget for sessions with the dermatologist.
Finally, a last generation remedy consists of the use of the excimer laser. This specific laser will not exfoliate the skin, but stimulate the production of melanin. In this way, the stretch mark is repigmented, and therefore the color difference is no longer visible compared to the rest of the skin. A brilliant way to make them really “disappear”.
The “economic” alternative? Try a self-tanning cream!
Stretch marks: things not to do (and our latest tips)
As you have noticed, the road to the elimination of stretch marks is long, full of obstacles, often expensive and does not always guarantee the expected results. The ideal therefore – but here we are talking about the egg of Columbus – is to prevent its appearance by adopting all the necessary remedies to keep the skin elastic and always well revitalized thanks to the circulation of blood.
This is true in all cases, but especially when you are in risky situations. Which are the dangerous situations ? Pregnancy, period of high stress, period of weight gain, breast augmentation operations and, finally, weight loss diets. Yes, because, as we have already explained to you, even losing weight too quickly can lead to a loss of elasticity in the skin.
The attack, to remove them or at least eliminate their most visible effects on the arms, stomach and legs, must be done on two fronts: stimulating the dermis from the inside, and not causing negative stress on the skin from the outside.
- Under the first profile, green light for creams and oils based on Vitamin A. For pregnant women, we even recommend a double daily application. To ensure maximum effectiveness, the ideal is to apply the oil to wet skin as soon as you get out of the shower. This also promotes a light massage that stimulates the circulation of the capillaries and allows better absorption of the active ingredient.
- Green light to all those circulation-boosting foods, like blueberries, and to biorevitalizing activities, from massages to physical activity. The latter, preferably outside, so as to breathe fresh air and ensure a significant supply of oxygen to the tissues.
And from the outside? Avoid anything that can weaken the skin. Clothes that are too tight – throw away those jeans! – which block circulation, to shoes with excessively high heels if you have to spend many hours on your feet. But also synthetic fabrics which, by preventing perspiration, irritate the epidermis and do not allow good oxygenation.
And now that you know how to eliminate stretch marks: green light for perfect skin!