Best Remedy for Stretch Marks: Laser, Surgery or Natural
|Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes|
We are alive in the times where we see the world with a camera lens. The beauty mode is always on and beautiful skin is an illusion. We see photoshopped models and fall into the pit of body dysmorphia. The common irregularities of the skin are smoothened and the filters make you look so good that sometimes you don’t like what you see in the mirror, because of how unadulterated the view is. We tend to forget that the skin has pores, texture and stretch marks that exist and that it is impossible to look airbrushed in real life.
While there are a ton of products that seem to work on various skin issues, stretch marks remain a mammoth that cannot be tamed. Earlier a woe of pregnant women and mothers, stretch marks have slowly made their place in everyone’s life, including children, teenagers and even men. The various number of stretch mark removal creams in the market are enough to prove the intensity of this widespread skin condition. The fast food lifestyle affects our weight and causes these problems. It is quite natural to want to know more about stretch marks, how to avoid them and how to get rid of them by applying stretch mark removal cream, stretch mark lotion or stretch marks oil. Before we get into all that, we need to first understand what stretch marks are.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks, known as striae in medical terms, are scars that develop when the skin stretches or shrinks during a short interval because of weight gain/loss. The proteins in the skin, namely collagen and elastin break down due to the stretching/shrinking. The skin leaves scars while it heals from this condition, commonly known as stretch marks. The appearance of these marks varies from person to person. The skin tears itself when it gets stretched. This causes the blood vessels under the skin to become visible, which is why stretch marks are initially red or purple. As the skin heals, the fat under the skin becomes visible and the marks lose their color. Indians have brown skin, so the stretch marks are usually a shade or two lighter than the color of their skin.
Factors that cause Stretch Marks
Although sudden weight gain/loss is the primary reason for stretch marks, various reasons may trigger sudden weight gain/loss.
Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretch marks. Women tend to gain weight during pregnancy. The skin of the abdomen, lower back, hips and breasts stretches considerably, to accommodate the fetus and develops stretch marks. If you want to try any kind of stretch marks removal cream or stretch mark oil, be sure to start using these products in first trimester itself.
The growth spurt that occurs during puberty may cause sudden fluctuations in teenagers’ weights. The hormones stabilize as they enter adulthood and they may get back to their original body type, but with stretch marks.
- Physical Training
Professional bodybuilders, actors, models etc., may be required to lose a lot of weight in a very short period. This sudden loss tends to shrink the skin, thereby causing stretch marks. The same may happen when they are required to gain weight.
Medicines like Corticosteroids that help treat severe allergies or other skin issues may cause stretch marks. They are known to reduce collagen and it may be stated that their regular use could cause stretch marks.
- Health Conditions
Various health conditions like diabetes, depression, hyperactive thyroid gland, and genetic conditions etc. may also lead to fluctuations in a person’s weight and result in stretch marks
Natural Remedies for Stretch Marks
The following natural ingredients products may help with diminishing the appearance of stretch marks. It should be noted that these works much better when they are used as preventive measures, because when you get stretch marks on your skin, you can only help reduce their appearance and not get rid of them completely.
Aloe Vera is deeply hydrating and is suitable to all skin types. You can cut a leaf and scoop out the gel or use a store-bought pure aloe Vera gel and rub it on the stretch marks, add a few drops of any of the oils in the list below to some aloe Vera gel and mix till you get a creamy consistency. Massage this cream onto the affected areas of the skin till it gets absorbed.
Enriched with omega fatty acids and antioxidants, ghee is the most moisturizing ingredient in your kitchen. It can transform dull and dry skin into healthy skin that glows from within. Massaging it on the skin moisturizes it and keeps the stretch marks at bay. And it is one of the best skins brightening moisturizer available.
Massage Oils provide the much-needed elasticity to the skin while it expands. This helps in promoting a healthy skin that is less likely to stretch because how hydrated and moisturized it is. However, there are number of stretch marks oil available in the market that may give results or may not, depending on the skin type. But natural body massage oils like argan oil, sesame oil & almond oil provide elasticity to the skin and make it healthy.
- Almond oil as a stretch mark oil
Almond oil is rich in vitamin A and is known to fade dark spots. It is known to prevent wrinkles and improve the elasticity of the skin. Regular application of the same may help in the prevention of stretch marks.
- Argan Oil as a stretch mark oil
Argan oil is a feathery light massage oil suitable for oily skin that keeps it moisturized, without making it greasy. It is deeply moisturizing and massaging it onto the skin may prevent stretch marks. It is considered safe for use during pregnancy and is used by a lot of pregnant women.
- Castor Oil as a stretch mark oil
Castor oil is the most moisturizing oil. The veins under the skin burst when the skin is stretched and moisturizing castor oil on them soothes them and enhances the blood flow, thereby preventing stretch marks. However, people with oily skin should avoid using it, because it makes oily skin very greasy.
- Coconut Oil as a stretch mark oil
Coconut oil is the miracle oil that is a solution to every skin and hair problem ever. Suitable for all skin types, coconut oil has been used by pregnant women to avoid and treat stretch marks. It is also used to treat chicken pox scars.
- Olive Oil as a stretch mark oil
Olive oil is also used by a lot of pregnant women to avoid stretch marks. A rich source of vitamin E, olive oil adds elasticity to the skin and keeps it moisturized while it is expanding. The antioxidants present in the oil help prevent damage to the skin, thereby preventing stretch marks.
- Sandalwood oil as a stretch mark oil
Sandalwood oil is known to provide elasticity to the skin and prevents fine lines and wrinkles that might develop on the facial skin as we age. massaging it on the skin cools the skin and makes it less likely to get irritated from the stretching. You may also mix sandalwood powder in aloe vera gel if you have oily skin or in another carrier oil, if you cannot find sandalwood oil.
- Potatoes for stretch mark removal
Potatoes are known to treat hyperpigmentation to an extent where there are useful even for treating stubborn dark circles. All you have to do is grate a potato, squeeze out the juice and apply it to the stretch marks. You may also poke a few holes in a potato slice using a fork and rub the slice over the stretch marks. It lightens the scars and makes the skin appear clean and smooth.
- Coffee and Sugar Scrub for stretch mark removal
Another great way to keep stretch marks at bay is to use a coffee and sugar scrub. All you have to do is take 1 tbsp of each sugar, coffee and an oil of your choice and mix them up in a bowl. Apply this mixture on the affected areas and scrub for 3-4 minutes. The sugar mildly exfoliates the skin, the coffee brightens the skin and the oil keeps it moisturized during the scrubbing so it does not dry out. Using this twice a week may help with stretch marks.
Pros of choosing Natural Remedies
- Natural remedies mostly consist of things you can easily find lying in your home or buy at a store near you.
- They are cost effective. Almost every item on the list above is super affordable.
- They are very moisturizing for the skin.
Cons of choosing Natural Remedies
- Some remedies in their natural forms may irritate the skin and cause an allergic reaction.
- They take a long time to show significant results.
Other Remedies for Stretch Marks removal
Apart from the various natural remedies available for stretch marks removal, there are other remedies that run parallel with the western medicine system. They are:
The easiest way to manage stretch marks is to use a stretch mark cream, stretch marks oil or a stretch mark lotion. The market is filled with a number of products that claim to be stretch marks creams, and stretch mark removal creams. All you have to do is buy these stretch mark removal creams, stretch marks lotion & stretch marks oil, use them on affected areas and wait for the results.
- The stretch mark removal creams are easily available, online and offline.
- These stretch mark creams or stretch mark removal cream are pocket friendly, no matter how shallow or deep your pockets are.
- They stretch marks cream are very moisturizing and help the skin heal.
- The results are based on a hit and trial method
- All the stretch marks cream & stretch mark oil claim to remove stretch marks, but hardly any of them actually do it.
- You can never be sure of the ingredients that are used to formulate these stretch marks creams or stretch marks oil.
- Laser Treatments for stretch mark removal
Laser treatments are known to treat stretch marks by fading them. Laser treatments heal the skin and give it a smoother texture. This happens when the stretch marks are subjected to concentrated rays of light, which stimulates the growth of cells and smoothens the scars.
Ablative Laser Treatments remove the outer layer of the skin. The new layer thus formed is smoother and conceals the stretch marks.
Non-Ablative Laser Treatments are gentler in comparison to their counterparts. They boost the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, without removing the top layer of the skin.
Laser treatments work best with new scars because the blood vessels of the affected area are stll working. This is why the new stretch marks are barely textured and the skin heals faster.
- Laser treatments really help with new marks.
- They boost collagen production, and make the skin appear smoother than before.
- Laser treatments may cause hyperpigmentation on dark skin.
- They require multiple sittings. The top skin is removed multiple times, depending upon the intensity of the stretch marks, for them to fade effectively.
- The constant removal of skin may cause side effects like leeding, itching, etc.
- It is a cosmetic procedure and is rather expensive. You are charged on the basis of the number of sittings you are required to take.
- They merely fade the appearance of the stretch marks and do not get rid of the marks completely.
- Surgical Treatments for stretch mark removal
The only procedure that completely gets rid of the stretch marks is excisional surgery, where the part of the skin that has stretch marks is literally cut out. The healed skin that is generated on top of the patch is free of stretch marks. Excisional surgeries are mostly performed on people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have loose skin hanging on to the body parts that once used to be fat. It is also performed in cosmetic surgeries commonly known as lift surgeries, including tummy tucks, thigh lifts and arm lifts.
- Surgical procedures help completely get rid of stretch marks.
- These procedures usually require only one sitting, thereby ensuring fast results.
- Surgical procedures are usually pretty expensive.
- They are mostly carried out when coupled with a tucking procedure. The likelihood of them being carried out for mere aesthetic appeal is rare.
- They too, leave a scar which has to be managed.
- They are not permanent. The skin that is generated after the surgery is also skin and it might stretch/shrink again after a sudden weight gain/loss.
Stretch marks are a rather common by-product of sudden fluctuations in a person’s body weight. Earlier mostly caused after pregnancies, they are no longer rare due to the modern-day lifestyle changes. The red and purple stretch marks are new and may be healed but the ones that are textured and lighter than your skin tone, are permanent. They can only be managed as the treatments would merely make their appearance diminish on the skin. We need to understand that these remedies help by reducing their appearance and improving their texture. More emphasis should be laid on collagen production and smoothening the skin than to make it look like the stretch marks never existed in the first place. There is no remedy that gets rid of stretch marks without leaving a trace, not even excisional surgery because that too leaves a scar. They are mostly rather expensive because of the aesthetic appeal they have. The best way to go about managing stretch marks is to opt for natural remedies. They may take time and may not “remove” the stretch marks, but their cost-effective nature helps in reducing the stretch marks’ appearance, making the skin soft and healthy, and rarely (almost never) causing a severe side effect.
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