Table of Contents
What are stretch marks?
It occurs when our skin stretches or shrinks rapidly in a short period of time. This abrupt change causes our skin supportive structures such as the collagen and elastin, to tear. These damaged areas make long, linear scars called stretch marks when they healed.
Up to 90% on the population have it, commonly occur during pregnancy and in rapidly growing adolescents. Some stretch marks can be extensive and for this reason it can become disfiguring to some people, cause problems with self-image and anxiety.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Rapid weight gain or loss
Hormonal changes (medications)
Types of Stretch Marks
Early stretch marks (fresh) are usually pink, red, purple, bluish or dark brown and it can be wrinkly, raised and itchy but overtime they may lose their color and become flat white or silvery in appearance (mature).
- upper thigh
Can you prevent stretch marks formation?
- Products containing hyaluronic acid or centella asiatica may help to prevent stretch marks
- Stay hydrated, drink adequate amount of water, 6-8 glasses everyday
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals (vitamin A, C and D as well as zinc and protein can help promote healthy skin)
- Regular exercise able to improve blood circulation and helps out body to produce collagen in order to keep our skin strong and strecthy
Home remedies for stretch marks:
Products made of almond oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, vitamin E and aloe vera gel, silicon gel and other moisturisers can make our skin softer. Studies showed that they aren’t harmful to use but they do not help much in preventing or treating stretch marks.
Tanning will not remove stretch mark but it may cause skin damage and make them more visible.
Light and laser therapies
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Tretinoin 0.1% (retinoid cream)
Other non-invasive treatment:
Ultrasound therapy (HIFU/Ultherapy)
Delivers ultrasound energy to heat up deeper tissues in order to generate collagen production, cause collagen contraction, thus able to lift and tighten skin over time.
Radiesse (bio-stimulator injection)
Hyperdiluted Radiesse contains high concentration of calcium hydroxylapatite, which can help stimulate collagen to create smoother looking skin with reduced scarring from stretch mark
Recovery and Aftercare:
For best results, combination treatments are recommended depending on the severity of your stretch marks and skin types and skin tone.
In general, it takes about 6-12 months for stretch mark to fade. With treatment, it may take them less noticeable quickly.
There is no guaranteed way of removing stretch marks, although some therapies may reduce their visibility.
Ideally it takes about 4-6 sessions, one month apart for optimal results from chemical peels, laser and light treatments as well as microneedling and injection. Whereas for ultrasound therapy, a minimum 2 sessions is required.
It is very common to experience minimal downtime from the stretch marks treatments such as redness, swelling and skin dryness. Therefore, try to limit yourself from sun exposure if possible and complement your treatment with adequate skin moisturiser and lotion.