What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are red, purple or pink indented streaks on the body. They are commonly found on the abdomen, breast, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. They will fade to a white or gray over time. They are commonly found in ladies that are pregnant, those who have gained weight, those with certain diseases or conditions and medication uses, such as corticosteroids. During growth spurts, teens may often notice stretch marks appearing on their bodies as well. Females tend to get stretch marks more. If one has a family history of stretch marks, they are more apt to get them. They will fade over time and are harmless.
Stretch Mark Treatment
Stretch marks will be examined by a doctor at an appointment. A review of medical history will be done and the doctor will be sure to ask about signs and symptoms, as well as when you first noticed this condition. More test may be needed if the doctor feels there could be an increase in cortisol production.
There are many treatments that one can do for stretch marks. In the doctors office, one may opt to use laser therapy. Intense wavelengths of light will be used, which will stimulate the collage growth. The location of the stretch marks, the skin color and the age of the patient will help the dermatologist determine what laser treatment is used. Types of laser treatment include fractional laser and vascular laser. Three to six treatments will be needed for vascular laser, while up to three treatments are needed for fractional laser.
Microdermabrasion is often used on stretch marks. A hand held device will blow fine crystals onto the skin. They will polish the surface, which will remove the top layer of the skin. Microdermabrasion will help with growth of more elastic skin.
Tretinoin cream can also be used to improve stretch marks, as long as they are pink in color. However, if one is pregnant, it is best to not use this cream. Tretinoin will help to rebuild collagen which in turn will make the stretch marks appear to be normal skin.
Using glycolic acid on stretch marks can help to increase collagen production, which makes the skin elastic. It is an over the counter treatment, however, if a stronger version is needed, a dermatologist can prescribe one.
While there is no proof that this does work, many have found success with vitamin E. One can break open a capsule and apply to the skin. It can also be mixed with a carrier oil. Do note that it is often most effective in woman who have stretch marks that have been pregnant before.
Stretch Mark Prevention
To prevent stretch marks from forming, maintain a healthy weight. During pregnancy, eat healthy and have a workout regime in place to keep a healthy weight and to keep weight from going on too quickly. Some are also firm believers that moisturized skin will not get as many stretch marks due to the fact that the skin is less likely to tear and stretch. Some also feel that applying essential oils to the skin will help to eliminate stretch marks. Some to try out are Rose, Lavender, Myrrh, Helichrysum, Geranium, and Frankincense. Increasing your vitamin C intake can also help to prevent stretch marks. You can take it orally and as an added preventative measure, apply it topically to the skin.