Stretch Marks: Common Causes and How to Get Rid of Them
If you have stretch marks, you probably wish they’d go away. These grooves or lines in your skin aren’t harmful to your health, but they aren’t great to look at, either.
And even though they’ll never really go away, they might fade over time or with help from certain products and procedures.
Stretch marks occur when your body grows rapidly for any cause. Your skin can’t stretch enough to keep up. These long, thin, rippled marks are also called stria.
You may get stretch marks because of:
- Breast implant surgery
- Quick weight gain or childhood growth spurts
Stretch marks are more usual in women, especially during pregnancy. As your tummy grows to make room for a baby, your skin stretches. Hormones that surge when you’re pregnant may also weaken skin fibers and reason stretch marks. Any body part that gets bigger during pregnancy could get stretch marks. They might fade as you shed pounds after the baby is born.
Both women and men who are obese can get marks. Even bodybuilders who have little fat can get them where their muscles bulge. Kids might get them if they suddenly get taller or gain weight, like during puberty. Make sure they know this is usual. Childhood marks may fade as kids get older.
- Stomach or torso
A skin doctor or plastic surgeon can use lasers or other treatments to help fade the marks. It may help your skin make more collagen:
Cosmetic surgery, like a tummy tuck, may remove the skin with stretch marks. But these operations could leave scars. Plus they’re often painful and costly.
Pulsed dye laser therapy is a painless blast of light used on new, red stretch marks. The light’s energy calms blood vessels under your skin that could reason the marks.
Fractional CO2 laser therapy is a new treatment that may smooth out old, white stretch marks. One study showed that women’s stretch marks faded after five sessions compared to others who used topical creams with glycolic acid and tretinoin.
Microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to rub off the top layer of your skin. One new study showed that this treatment helped fade new, reddish stretch marks when combined with skin peels.