If you’ve made it through puberty, childbirth or significant weight changes, chances are, you have stretch marks somewhere on your body. And while some women view them as battle scars, other women prefer to not see them and will go to great lengths to get rid of them.
Much to our chagrin, stretch marks can form pretty much anywhere on the body, but typically can be found on upper arms, stomach, thighs, buttocks, and breasts. They don’t pose any problems when it comes to our physical health, but they can wreak havoc on our mental health.
Stretch marks don’t form overnight and aren’t markers of the overall health of your skin. In fact, technically they are skin that is stretched out and ripped internally. You can see new ones forming as they are usually red or purple. (Need tips on how to cover them? Read this!) But the marks that have been around a while get whiter with age.
So what can one do to fade the marks?
There are a lot of products out there that claim to target stretch marks but most don’t do much of anything. You are better off using products that help keep skin the well hydrated and stimulate collagen. Exfoliators that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, like lactic acid, can also help improve the appearance of stretch marks. Another one of our favorite at-home remedies is to use is needle rolling using a roller device. You can apply lightening products (We suggest Theraderm Enlighten Skin Brightener) or products that contain healing peptides, such as Theraderm Eternox Peptide Creme, to get even great results.
At The Doctor’s Office:
If you are really serious about removing stretch marks, your best bet is a series of fractional laser resurfacing treatments. These can really help to stimulate collagen reducing the appearance of the marks. Fractional lasers cause the stretch marks to contract, which makes them less noticeable. Don’t get too excited. They don’t actually erase the stretch marks -- they simply appear thinner and less visible. As with any cosmetic procedure, the results will vary according to your age, skin quality and the size of the stretch marks. Keep in mind that you may need to repeat the laser to maintain the collagen content in your skin. Sometimes, stretch marks are accompanied by loose skin, which is more so the case on the stomach than other parts of the body (usually due to pregnancy or massive weight loss). When that’s the case, you may need to pair your laser treatments with something else, like skin tightening lasers or even a tummy tuck.
Whatever you choose, just make sure you are happy with your body!