Stretch marks, also known as “striae” to the medical world, occur after rapid weight gain or loss. They are also common during and after pregnancy, and throughout adolescence. Obesity and increased muscle mass from weight lifting can also cause stretch marks. How to get rid of them is a common inquiry, as they affect up to 90 percent of women.
Prevention of Stretch Marks – How to Keep Them Away
The avoidance of weight gain is the easiest, and most effective, way to keep stretch marks away. However, there are certain times of your life when you’ll be more prone to developing striae. During pregnancy and the teen years, active prevention methods can be taken.
Using a moisturizer containing cocoa butter three times per day will prevent stretch marks. How to apply the moisturizer is dependant upon the situation. For pregnant women, applying to the stomach regularly is recommended. For teens, applying to the thighs, stomach, and other vulnerable areas during a growth spurt will help soften the skin, and prevent stretch marks from appearing.
Treatment of Stretch Marks – How to Remove Them
To remove stretch marks, early treatment is essential. When they first appear, their color depends on the color of your skin. They can appear pink, purple, red, reddish brown, brown, or dark brown. Over time, they will fade to a silvery white or tan color. Treating the stretch marks before they have changed color can significantly reduce or remove their appearance.
In a recent study, wheat germ oil has been proven to improve stretch marks during their early phase. Apply a few teaspoons to the affected area, and massage in thoroughly. Repeat this treatment several times per day to remove stretch marks.
Glycolic acid can also improve stretch marks. How to receive treatments is a decision you should make based on budget and need. The acid works to reduce stretch marks by increasing collagen production. However, high doses can only be administered by a dermatologist. Each session costs around $100, and 3-4 sessions may be required before changes are experienced.
Vitamin C supplements can also be used to reduce stretch marks. Taking 500 milligrams three times per day is recommended to increase collagen production. This treatment typically only works on new and early phase stretch marks, and may be accompanied by other treatments.
Laser stretch mark removal has become increasingly popular and is used by dermatologists around the country to remove early phase and white stretch marks. It works by promoting healthy new collagen production to the area. However, sessions can be expensive, at least $450 dollars each, with 3-6 sessions required.
In the battle against stretch marks, there are many different options, but prevention is always key. If you can prevent them from appearing in the first place, you may not need to seek out expensive treatments. However, if they have already appeared, remember to treat them early to minimize their long term effects.