Stretch marks can be visibly reduced, if that's what you want to do
Want to flaunt your natural self? You glow, girl. Do you want to minimise their appearance? There are options for that too
Stretch marks are the bin bulaye mehman of skincare. They pop up out of nowhere like a magician pulling a pigeon out of their hat. Except, in this case, the pigeon makes a nest in your home and poops on your furniture. While we’re trying to Google ways to reduce stretch marks, they’re so unpredictable that they’ll appear on any part of our bodies – arms, thighs, knees, bottom, breasts, waist, nothing is really off-limits.
Stretch marks are usually caused when your body suddenly grows. Your skin is stretched to a point where the collagen (which gives skin its elasticity) can’t keep up with the body’s requirements. It can happen during growth spurts, rapid weight fluctuations, pregnancy, body-building and sometimes, it just comes down to a genetic predisposition.
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#TruthBombMon today we talk about stretch marks. . . I know I’ve spoken about boob stretch marks but haven’t about other body parts. And I know a lot of y’all are insecure about your stretch marks to an extent someone told me that they are so insecure about their stench marks so they can’t wear a bikini and in like GURLLLLL WHHHAAAA! I have stretch marks(zoom into my butt!), butt acne and cellulite but I’ll still wear a bikini. But I understand our insecurities are own. And it’s hard. But here’s the thing stretch marks are normal so fucking normal. And you can have it on your things, (I have one or two on my knees also. No kidding) in your stomach, your back, chest, calves, shoulder near the armpits. And here’s the thing ALL SEXES/genders get it! In the early stages, your stretch marks may have a red or purple hue. This is because your red blood vessels can be seen through the stretched lines of your skin! . And my favourite quote about stretch marks is “your body is not ruined. You’re a tigress who has earned her stripes!” 💙 . . Photo credits @meghnabhalla . . Practice daily. Stay safe. Stay humble. #healing #forgiveness #LoveYourBody #StretchMarks
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With the body-positivity and acceptance movement taking greater leaps around the world, a growing number of people have embraced their stretch marks. And they’re right, the tiger stripes are absolutely normal. Want to flaunt it? Go for it. Do you want to reduce stretch marks? You can do that too.
There are a few clinical procedures that can help in minimising their appearance if the creams and lotions just aren’t cutting it.
“Stretch marks once formed will never completely go away (so, ladies, embrace your stripes),” says Surat-based dermatologist, Dr. Aanchal Panth. “We can make them less apparent. All the procedures follow the same principle of causing a minor injury to the skin in order to stimulate collagen formation, thereby making ‘new skin’ to replace the scarred tissue.”
These are some of the processes that Panth says can reduce stretch marks. Each of them takes time and a lot of care, so you need to be mentally prepared for what’s ahead.
How to reduce stretch marks, according to a doctor
Tretinoin is a form of Vitamin A available in cream and gel form. It’s often prescribed to combat severe acne. However, Panth says that it can also help to decrease the appearance of stretch marks. “It helps in stimulating collagen formation, making the stretch marks less apparent. If the stretch marks are thin and shallow then Tretinoin may help. It has to be applied for at least 6-8 months in order to notice an improvement.”
Tretinoin is a tricky ingredient to work with because of its severe side effect (dryness, peeling, sensitisation) if improperly used. It should only be applied under the guidance of a professional.
2. Hyaluronic acid
“Hyaluronic acid helps in pulling water from the deeper surfaces of the skin to the top,” says Panth. In this manner, it ends up giving our skin a plumping effect. She says that in mild cases, using a cream with hyaluronic acid can help reduce stretch marks.
3. Chemical peel
If you’re picturing a Dwight moment as Hannibal Lector don’t let your imagination get away from you (I did). Chemical peels are not as horrifying as they sound. It’s a skin-resurfacing procedure where a chemical solution is applied to the skin. The top layers of your skin then start to peel away in the following days. “With chemical peels, we are aiming to give a controlled injury to the upper layers of the skin, in order to stimulate the skin to make more collagen. Eight to ten sessions of peels can help in improving the appearance of mild stretch marks,” says Panth.
“It is a procure in which a probe containing multiple needles is rolled over the affected area to cause pinpoint bleeding. It injures the skin, improves blood supply to the affected area and hence stimulates new collagen formation. Six to eight sessions of this treatment at monthly intervals is required to notice improvement,” explains Panth.
5. Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP treatments involve the extraction of platelets from your blood. The platelets, Panth says, release growth factors which help in skin remodelling over 6-8 sessions at monthly intervals. “PRP is injected in the areas of stretch marks. It helps in improving the texture of the skin and making stretch marks less visible.”
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6. Microneedling Radiofrequency Device
“Microneedling RF is a device which delivers heat with the help of needles, to deeper layers of the skin,” says Panth. This process causes thermal injury to the dermis which then triggers collagen formation. “It gives a tightening effect on the skin and also improves the appearance of stretch marks. About 4-6 sessions at intervals of 4-6 weeks are required to notice improvement.”
7. Fractional Co2 laser
“This device injures micro-segments of skin leaving normal skin in the middle. Injury caused to the skin by thermal damage helps in remodelling the skin. These uninjured segments hasten the recovery process. She explains, “Four to five sessions are required at 6-8 weeks interval to notice improvement.”
Another method that Panth suggests is tattooing, saying, “The white stripes of stretch marks can be camouflaged by tattooing the area to match normal skin. Like a regular tattoo, we introduce skin coloured pigment into the upper layer of the dermis.
A few sessions are required to get the perfect colour match. The procedure will have to be repeated every 2-3 years to maintain the colour.”