Whether you’ve recently given birth, gained or lost weight due to a lifestyle change or health issue, or simply added some extra pounds after overindulging at the new Krispy Kreme that opened on your block, you may have encountered what is the bane of many women’s existence: stretch marks. This occurs when your skin can’t keep up with the pace at which your body is gaining or losing weight. When the elastic fibers in the dermis layer of your skin are pushed beyond their limit, they will eventually reach the point of breakage. Though some women are blessed with genetics that render their skin seemingly indestructible, the majority of women will encounter some degree of damage in their lifetime, especially if they have multiple pregnancies.

Preventive Measures

Many women swear by the use of vitamin E, cocoa butter, or a host of other creams, lotions, and potions rubbed into the skin during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there is simply no evidence to support the claims that any of these products has a real impact on the prevention of stretch marks. However, proper care and hydration of the skin will certainly improve the overall appearance of skin as well as alleviate some of the tightness and itching that occurs when the skin begins to stretch out to accommodate the growing baby.

Fortunately, there are a number of options available that have proven effective to improve, if not completely eradicate, these unwelcome scars. Treatments range from the non-invasive, such as topical gels and creams, to the more aggressive methods, such as laser treatment and surgery. Results will vary, based on skin type and the stage at which a treatment is introduced. Stretch marks usually start out as red or purple in color, then fade to a white or silvery gray shade. Treatment during the red or purple stage will likely produce the best results, though the appearance of the white or grayish marks can still be improved with some methods, such as the various laser treatments.

  • Tretinoin Cream

Perhaps the most talked about topical agent in recent years, tretinoin cream helps to restore collagen, which is the fibrous protein that gives skin its elasticity. This is a retinoid cream which is derived from Vitamin A and found in brand names such as Retin A and Renova. Tretinoin has proven to be effective in several studies, however, it is important to note that it is not safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding and it can be irritating to those with sensitive skin.

  • Vitamin C

The healing properties of Vitamin C can also improve skin’s elasticity when applied directly to the skin via a lotion or cream. Some have found it especially effective to use a product that contains both vitamin C and tretinoin.

  • Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a fluid that occurs naturally in the body. Scientists manufacture this acid in a lab to be used in oral supplements, injections, and gels and lotions that are applied directly to the skin. It is thought to be effective in the treatment of joint disorders, aging skin, and cataracts. When combined with an onion extract and applied to skin as a gel, studies have shown it also helps to improve the texture and appearance of stretch marks. It works by speeding up cell turnover and encouraging the growth of new collagen.

  • Laser Treatment

Laser stretch mark treatment works by utilizing a controlled injury method. The laser produces micro-injuries that, in turn, stimulate a healing process which results in increased collagen and elastin growth. Stretch mark damage is initiated in the skin’s sublayers, so the laser shoots small pulses of laser light into areas that cannot be reached by topical products. This promotes healing at a deeper level and aids in a much smoother appearance at the surface levels. It also helps to improve the color of the stretch marks, so they blend better with surrounding skin. Different types of lasers are used, depending on the age and color of the stretch marks. A pulsed dye laser is best for stretch marks in the red or purple stage. This laser is the most effective in reducing the red color and inflammation. Once stretch marks reach the white or gray stage, fractional laser therapy may be the best choice as this laser is more effective at improving the texture of the skin and minimizing the size of the individual stretch marks.

  • Surgery

The most aggressive stretch mark treatment is surgery. Namely, abdominoplasty surgery, which is commonly known as a tummy tuck. This is not a treatment for a person with minor stretch marks, or stretch marks in locations other than the abdomen. This surgery involves tightening the abdominal muscles and removing excess skin from the lower abdominal regions. The stretch marks are literally cut out and removed. To qualify as a candidate for an abdominoplasty procedure, you need to have a significant amount of excess skin, and an understanding that while the procedure will result in an elimination of stretch marks in the lower abdominal region, you may still have stretch marks in the upper portion of the abdomen, as well as some surgical scarring. Plus, there will be some post-op pain and recovery to contend with.

Every person’s skin is unique and will respond differently to the various treatment options. Some skin is more sensitive and delicate and may be easily irritated by even the most minor treatments, and will be unable to withstand the more invasive procedures. Some skin won’t respond at all to one topical treatment, even after weeks of use, then exhibit rapid improvement when a second treatment is introduced. You must find the right formula, or combination of formulas, for your particular needs. The key is to approach each treatment with caution, and remember that everyone's skin is different and the failure of one treatment doesn’t mean another won’t produce beautiful results.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Ly Hour and I have been a leading expert and consultant in areas of search engine optimization as well as business management for well over a decade today. In that time I have amassed knowledge and skills in these areas, enough to enable you make a success story of your online venture. I have helped many businesses as well as individuals make a success of their ventures by executing well thought out strategies based on my experience and understating in these key fields. You too can join the ranks of these success stories and leave a mark as many have done in the past. Visit my website here: Top10BestPro