Are stretch marks forever?

How and why do we get stretch marks and once we have them, what can we do?

Are stretch marks forever?
Are stretch marks forever?

Everyone hates them, those ugly fine lines that appear on your body when you grow or gain weight really quickly. 50% to 90% of women get them during their pregnancy when the skin stretches on tummy, thighs and buttocks. But there are other reason than pregnancy that lead to those pinkish streaks or stripes:

•Rapid weight gain or weight loss

•Prolonged use of corticosteroids

•Growth spurts, especially during adolescence

•Large increase in muscle mass, especially in arms and legs

•Genetic disorders, such as Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos

•Prolonged steroid use

Tons of  creams like Tretinoin and other skin products that are supposed to rebuild collagen are on the market, but the truth is that most don’t work and are costly. You can’t make stretch marks go away without the help of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. These doctors may use one of many types of treatments: 

Pulsed Laser Therapy: Promotes growth of collagen and elastin through intentional and controlled damage of the skin

Microdermabrasion: Resurfaces your skin by gently blasting it with tiny crystals while simultaneously vacuuming them back up. This only affects the outermost layer of skin, and promotes new surface skin growth

Excimer lasers: Promote new melanin development in stretch marks and help to even out the color

Glycolic Acid: Doctors intentionally wound the skin with a chemical solution to prompt skin regeneration

But unfortunately, nothing will completely eradicate all signs of stretch marks. The good news is that stretch marks often turn much lighter over time until they are barely visible. For some reason people feel ashamed of them where as they don’t for a scar they got from an accident for example. There is no reason to be! An Instagram account called LOVEYOURLINES has been set up by two anonymous mums who want women to celebrate their bodies, just as they are. The idea behind is to showcase a part of your body that you may have struggled with in the past or currently still are and to courageously share a photograph to inspire others to feel good about themselves. The account has 28K followers which shows that stretch marks are an important subject to many people.

If you don’t have any stretch marks yet, here is what you can do to diminish the risk of getting them: Be on a constant healthy diet in order to keep your weight stable. To maintain your skin’s elasticity it is important to keep it soft and supple by massaging it with a good body lotion (or butter). Don’t forget to also hydrate your skin from the inside out – make sure to drink 2-3 liters of  water every day.