Ever wondered how to get rid of stretch marks? Or why they are caused in the first place? Well, it is one of those bodily phenomena that aren’t actually harmful to the body but just show up due to some factors. However, the impossible beauty standards that have been ruling society for the past few decades have made us want to get smooth, clear and even-toned skin. Well, with the idea of self-love and you doing you, if you want to embrace those cool spidery lines on your body go ahead. But if you are still self-conscious about them, there are still a lot of ways on how to get rid of stretch marks. So, if you are interested, read on!
Bodycare SOS: Solutions for Reducing and Preventing Stretch Marks: The Basics
Before we learn about different solutions like how to get rid of stretch marks on thighs, let us see what these marks actually are and how they are caused. In simple words, it is a scar and has different variations. These tiger stripes can be light, dark, white, red or also a little purplish. They can also either be smooth to the touch or a little itchy and/or raised giving a bumpy feeling. Many people have noticed dark and raised stretch marks can fade over time or become smoother to touch and lighter in colour. But it depends from person to person.
Well, they are formed when your skin expands or shrinks. The type of stretch marks you get can depend on how quickly or slowly your skin stretches. It can occur anywhere on your body but the most common places are arms, thighs, stomach, breasts and hips. There are also several reasons why your skin may stretch but the most common one is weight gain and the subsequent expansion of your body mass. This is why most women get stretch marks when they are pregnant and their stomach starts to swell up. Other causes can also be sudden growth spurts or loss of baby fat during puberty, instant weight gain or weight loss, hormones, steroids, breast augmentation, or even DNA issues like Cushing’s Disease.
While there are no harmful side effects or pain, stretch marks can affect one’s self-esteem or body confidence. If you are interested for whatever reason such as how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks, we’ve got you!
1. Understanding Stretch Marks
While you may not have been interested in science back in school, when it comes to skincare, it does pay to get into the world behind beauty to understand the root problem and how to take care of it. It goes for any skin concern whether it is acne, dandruff, dark spots or stretch marks.
So if you want to know how to get rid of stretch marks, let us look at what it actually is. Body proteins play a huge role – elastin and collagen. These two are the very same that are responsible for delaying the sagging of skin, wrinkles and fine lines. When your skin suddenly changes in size, it can break the elastin or collagen to break. The amount of elastin you have allows your body to endure the stretching to a certain level. Similarly, collagen is part of the building blocks that form your skin and keeps it plump and smooth. But once they break, in exchange for healing them, it is said that scars can form in those areas.
Studies suggest that the darker your skin tone, the more chances of getting stretch marks. But again several factors are involved which means it depends from person to person.
2. Hydration and Moisturisation
Scientific studies say that one can never completely get rid of scars. But there is a small sliver of hope – through individual observation, many people have recorded their journey or claimed to have witnessed scars that have faded completely. And there are several ways on how to get rid of stretch marks or prevent them from forming in the first place. Some may work, some may not, but that is the thing about skincare – if you don’t give up, you are bound to see some changes, whether it fades or gets less visible. The most common and simplest method is to hydrate and moisturise your skin.
Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day and opt for hydrating products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid. As for moisturisation, see to it that you apply oil or moisturiser to the area. It is also how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks, or when you know that you are going to gain or lose weight – moisturise in advance to prevent the scars from forming. Basically, this tip ensures that your skin is abundant in elastin and collagen so that your skin doesn’t break when it shrinks or grows.
3. Proper Nutrition for Healthy Skin
Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet is another way on how to get rid of stretch marks. If the food items are rich in proteins, vitamins and zinc, your skin will stay healthier and boost elastin and collagen. This in turn will make sure that your skin is resilient and smooth. Look for foods like carrots and oranges, milk, nuts, dals, green leafy veggies, tomatoes, beans, chicken, egg and fish. They more or less encourage the skin’s elasticity and help subside marks on your skin in general.
4. Regular Exercise and Body Massage
If you have been thinking about hitting the gym nowadays, well, now you have one more reason. Exercise is a universal solution for a lot of problems disguised in the form of torture. But it is worth it as it is also how to get rid of stretch marks. It basically helps blood circulation to all your body parts and boosts the production of collagen as well. And it looks like stretching exercises don’t just loosen your limb but help your skin stay flexible.
Finish up your workout routine with a massage. Massaging the targeted area with an oil or moisturiser again has the same purpose as it boosts blood circulation. It also stimulates the skin cells to repair the skin that has scarred.
5. Topical Treatments and Home Remedies
While there is no concrete evidence that certain medicines, home remedies or skincare products can help in how to get rid of stretch marks, but it does work for some people according to user reports. You will find tons of fitness gurus and beauty influencers vlogging their journey with the help of topical treatments. Now, the trick is to find what works for you best. If you are pregnant, even before you start showing, start massaging with oils. You can also try DIY packs made of sugar, aloe gel and coconut oil. This scrub not only exfoliates but speeds up the healing process.
On how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks, there are many products. But consult your doctor if you want to try out these creams or serums with active ingredients like vitamins K, retinol, hyaluronic acid or niacinamide. Cocoa butter, shea butter and potato juice are also some age-old remedies that some people swear by.
FAQs about Solutions for Reducing and Preventing Stretch Marks
Q1. Are stretch marks bad for skin?
Stretch marks most of the time are not bad, contagious or harmful. But it can be a symptom of some disorders like Cushing or Marfan syndromes.
Q2. Will stretch marks fade?
Some stretch marks do fade over time. The quickest results recorded are between six to 12 months. But it can also take years if you do not treat it.
Q3. Why do teenagers also get stretch marks?
Teenagers can also get stretch marks specifically on their thighs and arms due to weight fluctuation. Loss of baby fat, growth spurt and change in hormone levels can also lead to stretch marks. Young adults starting out with weight training can also see some marks if there is sudden loss of fat or increase in muscles.