What causes stretch marks, and how can I get rid of the ones on my hips and thighs?
Stretch marks commonly appear due to pregnancy, excessive weight gain and weight lifting. They occur when the skin is stretched and thinned, causing the elastic fibers to break. Many people use cosmetic creams, with ingredients such as alpha hydroxy (acids), to lessen the appearance of their stretch marks. These creams may be able to temporarily plump up the skin’s surface, but unfortunately are not scientifically proven to permanently remove the stretch marks.
The heat from the laser light triggers new elastin production in the deeper layers where the stretch marks are formed. As a result, your skin will have a tighter and smoother appearance. Newly formed red stretch marks may be successfully removed with a single treatment, whereas older and deeper stretch marks may require several treatments. The procedure is quick, causes minimal discomfort, leaves no scars and is relatively inexpensive.
What are the Causes of Stretch Marks?
The causes of stretch marks vary depending on the individual. However the most common reasons are weight gain, excessive weight loss and pregnancy. So essentially anything which involves the stretching of the skin rapidly.
Pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks on the body of a woman because of the extreme stretching of the skin around the abdomen. The hormonal changes in the body during the pregnancy period also are thought to play a role in the formation of stretch marks.
Increase in Weight
Weight gain can also lead to the appearance of stretch marks on the skin because the skin it is stretching to be able to accommodate the extra body fat. Other people who can develop stretch marks because of gaining weight or mass rapidly are weight lifters or body builders who are likely to have them on their arms. Growth spurts in adolescents may also result in the appearance of stretch marks on various parts of the skin.
For some people, losing a lot of weight quickly can bring with it stretch marks. However this is more to do with them being more visibly obvious; chances are they were there when they were overweight.
Treatments to Remove Stretch Marks
Since stretch marks are common, you would think that getting rid of them would be easy, but this is not always the case. There are many solutions available for removing stretch marks but they are not all effective. Nevertheless, there are some that have proved to be effective in at least making them fade until they are no longer visible. These treatments can be categorized either as prescribed, salon treatments or treatments that are sold at pharmacies or retail stores and do not need a prescription.
It is important to treat stretch marks as soon as they are noticed to prevent them from becoming worse and damaging the skin permanently. This can be done through the use of skin creams that specifically remove stretch marks. Most of these creams help to decrease the visibility of the stretch marks but do not necessarily remove them from the skin. However, consistent use of the skin creams such as Tretinoin may result in the area affected by stretch marks changing its appearance to look like normal skin. However it’s impossible to offer any guarantees because of the differences between people with stretch marks.
Laser therapy is considered an effective stretch mark removal option that should only be done after consultation with a qualified physician. The doctor will be able to give advice on the best laser treatment depending on factors such as one’s age, skin condition and the area of the body that has the stretch marks. The objective of laser therapy is the stimulation of the production of collagen and melanin in the skin through the use of lasers.
Age of The Marks
For older stretch marks, microdermabrasion is a good solution as it removes the top layer of the skin so that a new layer one can grow in its place. The treatment is done using a hand-held device that is used to graze the surface of the skin using crystals. Later, a tube is used to remove the skin cells and the crystals by vacuuming them. This hopefully results in stretch marks that are less visually obvious. It’s like an extreme form of exfoliation.