What Causes Stretch Marks, & How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

Stretch marks. They may be one skincare issue that dermatologists and people in the medical aesthetics industry hear about the most. Both men and women can get stretch marks, and they can appear almost anywhere on your body. There are hundreds of products and procedures that you will see advertisements for that claim to be the cure for stretch marks. In this article, we are going to cover the causes of stretch marks, the science of skincare creams & procedures, and our recommendation. However, for the best results, we recommend going to a consultation with someone who specializes in skin care treatments. 

What Causes Stretch Marks

To understand stretch marks we need to understand the science behind our skin. As the name suggests, stretch marks are caused by skin stretching. This can be due to pregnancy, weight gain, growth in adolescence, and even working out. However, your chances of developing stretch marks can vary based on your own genetics. Our skin produces a variety of hormones, proteins, and acids that are designed to help our skin regenerate and stay healthy. This includes producing cortisol, collagen, and hyaluronic acid. As we age, our bodies might not produce as much of these core building blocks for our skin. This is why you are more likely to develop stretch marks as you age than when you were younger. One common misconception is stretch marks only happen when you gain weight. However, teenagers can develop stretch marks when going through a growth spurt, and adults can gain stretch marks when training certain muscle groups like the biceps. 

Do Stretch Mark Creams Work?

There are a variety of topical creams that are sold to help improve the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. Many creams are designed to help your body improve collagen production. That being said, stretch mark cream might not be the miracle solution you are hoping for. In studies on a variety of creams there has been little evidence to show that a topical cream can effectively get rid of the marks. More often, the creams can help decrease the visibility of these marks. A dermatologist or someone in medical aesthetics might recommend a skincare procedure over a topical cream, or potentially a combination of both. 

What Skincare Treatments Help With Stretchmarks?

A majority of skincare treatments work by superficially damaging the top layers of your skin, which forces your skin to heal. Your skin works just like your muscles. When you lift weights or do crunches you cause a small amount of damage to your muscle fibers that leads to them building back stronger. Skincare treatments work by encouraging the skin to produce more collagen by superficially damaging the topmost layers of your skin. Some skin care treatments include: 

  • Laser Services: Lasers are often used to target specific blemishes like acne scars or sun-damaged skin, but can also be used for stretch marks in some cases. 
  • Microneedling: As the name suggests a micro-needling procedure like the Vivace Experience uses small needles to lightly damage the top layers of your skin. Vivace also combines this technology with RF technology to heat your skin and stimulate more collagen production.
  • Microdermabrasion: Like micro-needling, microdermabrasion applies superficial damage to the outermost layer of your skin using an abrasive surface. This can help increase collagen production in your body.
  • RF Technology: Radiofrequency technology is often used to apply energy (heat) deeper into the skin. This is often combined with one of the above treatments to improve how your skin heals and can help patients achieve better results. 

Does Tanning Get Rid Of Stretch Marks?

Tanning is not a recommended home remedy for stretch marks. While it is true that getting your skin tanned can change the appearance of your stretch marks, it doesn’t get rid of them. A self-tanner can potentially camouflage stretch marks, but it also is not healing your skin. Tanning also puts your skin at risk of additional damage, both cosmetic damage, and at risk of health concerns like melanoma and skin cancer. 

Why Are My Stretch Marks Red vs White?

When stretch marks first form they are often red in appearance and might feel raised to the touch. They may also feel itchy. Over time they will likely fade into a white appearance and will feel more like grooves in the skin. 

Book A Skincare Consultation in Newton, MA

If you are interested in learning about different procedures that can help with stretch marks or other cosmetic issues, please contact our office in Newton. We would be happy to set up a consultation!