To get rid of stretch marks and prevent new ones from appearing, it is possible to utilize home treatments like exfoliation or cosmetic procedures like microneedling or radiofrequency to reduce their appearance. Cosmetic procedures should be done by a dermatologist or licensed esthetician.
Treatment may depend on the color of the stretch mark, which can vary from red to white. Red or pinkish stretch marks will have greater local inflammation and will be in an earlier phases of scarring, making radiofrequency a great option. White stretch marks can be treated with microneedling, for example, which boosts and reduced circulation in the area.
Stretch marks emerge when there is a change in skin elasticity due to torn collagen fibers. These fibers are responsible for keeping the skin firm and supported. The most commonly affected area is the abdomen, however stretch marks can also appear on the breasts, armpits, glutes and thighs.
Red stretch marks
Red stretch marks appear due to tearing of the collagen fibers present in the skin. This rupture leads to decreased hydration and regeneration of the next layer of skin. Blood circulation is still prevalent in areas with red stretch marks, which makes the injection of bioactive compounds (like vitamin C) more effective and allows for a faster treatment response.
To get rid of red stretch marks, the following treatments are most recommended:
- Skin exfoliation: You can use a loofah or exfoliating cream the shower. Use circular movements over the stretch marks for 3 to 5 minutes, twice a week.
- Deep moisturizing: Moisturizing creams and oils can stimulate cellular regeneration and the growth of new cells
- Apply stretch mark cream: Products with healing effects can help to generate new skin and improve the appearance and texture of stretch marks. The cream should be applied on the entire stretch mark in circular movements until it is fully absorbed. This treatment should be guided by a dermatologist to ensure you are using the best product for an appropriate length of time.
- Radiofrequency: This technique can improve oxygenation, nutrition and dilation in local blood vessels, which can help to eliminate stretch marks. It is done by a qualified professional in an esthetic clinic.
- Vacutherapy: The suction cups applied can increase blood flow to the area, which helps circulation around the stretch marks to allow the body to get rid of them
Although red stretch marks can cause intense itching, you should avoid scratching them as scratching can further irritate them.
White stretch marks
To get rid of white stretch marks, you should opt for treatments that boost blood circulation in the area, moisturize the skin and stimulate collagen production. Therefore, the following treatments are recommended for white stretch marks:
- Retinoic acid peel: It boosts the production of collagen, which improves blood flow and circulation around the skin. This technique should be done by a dermatologist or licensed esthetician.
- Carboxytherapy: It improves blood flow and collagen synthesis, which makes the skin firmer.
- Microneedling: Also known as Dermaroller, it stimulates the product of new collagen fibers, which help to support the skin. This treatment should only be done by a dermatologist or licensed esthetician.
- Crystal peeling: This is a type of mechanical exfoliation in which the superficial layers of the skin are removed, leaving the stretch mark more uniform.
- Intradermotherapy: This technique involves the injection of various substances along the stretch mark, which improves its appearance and reduces its size over time
- Galvanic therapy: This involves the use of a galvanic current machine to stimulate a deeper penetration of certain chemical substances using electric currents. The chemicals used promote collagen and elastin production.
These treatments stimulate blood flow in the area and promote the formation of new collagen and elastin cells. This can minimize the appearance of stretch mark until they are no longer visible.
How to prevent new stretch marks
To prevent new stretch marks, you should ensure your skin is always moisturized, avoid rapid weight gain and weight loss patterns (which will eventually compromise skin integrity), and maintain a protein-rich diet with plenty of water.
Stretch marks commonly appear during pregnancy around the abdomen and breasts. It is essential to keep your skin moisturized from the start of your pregnancy. Before trying any specific treatment, you should consult a dermatologist.
What causes stretch marks
Stretch marks can appear in men or women at any age, however they are most common during puberty and pregnancy, as these periods are characterized by hormonal and weight changes. Stretch marks usually appear when there is an increase in skin tension, leading to damage in the collagen and elastin fibers that cause flaccidity.