Stretch marks are common and can occur in men as well women. They can be of any colour, but generally considered to a serious health concern. However, stretch marks on different parts of the body can make a person self-conscious. White stretch marks are commonly seen on the thighs, breasts, stomach, and upper arms. People may want to treat or remove white stretch marks due to cosmetic reasons. Depending on the severity and location of the marks, professional treatments or home remedies might be an effective solution.
Getting completely rid of stretch marks naturally isn’t very likely. It is hard to entirely remove them, but many approaches have shown good improvements. Stretch marks are considered to be a type of scarring that doesn’t usually fade enough to become invisible. The remedies or clinical treatment aims to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and promote their fading away more quickly.
The stretch marks are caused when the body undergoes a period of rapid growth such as growth spurts, puberty, pregnancy, weight gain, or increased muscle mass. This results in sudden stretching of the skin, which causes the collagen layer under the skin to tear away or separate from each other. The skin may returns to its normal state over time, as the body stops growing or changing. But, it becomes wrinkled and lined as it’s no longer supported by the same underlying collagen structure.
A stretch mark may initially appear as thin red or purple lines on the skin. It then gains a different texture than the surrounding skin layer. Eventually, most stretch marks fade and take on a lighter or almost translucent colouring, and become shiny.
White stretch marks, also called striae alba, are the lines that have grown older and are therefore more difficult to treat. As the blood vessels narrow, it gets harder to stimulate production of collagen. Treatment of red stretch marks is less complex and more easier than the white marks. For white marks, there are some options that may help them fade more naturally and quickly.
There are many home-remedies and products available in the market for stretch marks. It is best to consult a dermatologist to find the most suitable method of treatment for your case. Some home remedies and products for stretch marks are:
Vitamin A: Also referred to as a retinoid, plays a role in making skin smoother and more youthful. This vitamin is used in several over-the-counter topical cosmetic substances. The topical use of vitamin A extract, or an oral dose can help achieve a good skin health and overall appearance. A person can also enrich the diet with certain food sources of Vitamin A, such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
Hyaluronic acid: This substance can help with collagen production. Collagen is a protein present in the skin and other parts of the body. It helps in maintaining the shape of the skin and making it appear healthy. Collagen naturally decreases in the face and other parts over age.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil has healing properties that might help skin heal quickly. As stretch marks are scarring due to skin damage, applying virgin coconut oil to them every day might decrease some of their red appearance.
Topical creams and ointments: This is a common and affordable method for reducing the appearance of white stretch marks. Many creams are available in the market and there are some that might be prescribed by a doctor. Topical creams are mostly applied regularly to lighten the colour of stretch marks, but it can not completely remove them.
Microdermabrasion: This is a painless procedure to diminish the appearance of white stretch marks. In this, the upper layer of skin called epidermis is targeted. The method works by stimulating the tightening of collagen and elastin fibers. The tiny exfoliating crystals are applied on the affected area. A wand-like device with crystals might also be used. It is rubbed over the area and gently removing the crystals and dead skin from the epidermis layer.
Laser therapy: This is a common treatment option to manage the white stretch marks. In this, laser is used to penetrate the skin and trigger regeneration. It stimulates the tissues around the stretch marks to heal more quickly. The laser treatment leads to stimulation of melanin production in the affected area, and also activate the pigment cells in the skin. This causes the marks to blend with the normal skin tone. Although an effective therapy, laser method may require more than one session to have significant results.
Cosmetic surgery: When other methods are unsuccessful to show results, cosmetic surgery is considered. It might be expensive, but also effective as it may permanently remove white stretch marks. Cosmetic surgery in India is a successful procedure, offered by several top hospitals of the country. One such procedure is tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty. This cosmetic procedure involves the removal stretch marks along with the excess skin and fat from the abdomen. It aims to make the skin and abdomen more tone, flat and firm looking. However, surgery is recommended after careful consideration and weighing health risks.