Striae or stretch-marks is an unsightly, scarring skin condition that manifests an off-color shade. It occurs as a result of torn dermis due to rapid skin stretching. Stimulation is encouraged by weight, growth or hormonal changes, the latter being associated to pregnancy, puberty, hormone replacement, or bodybuilding.
Manifesting in the middle layer of the dermis, stretch marks mainly adhere to body areas that store large amount of fats. For example, the breasts, abdomen, upper and underarms, thighs, back, buttocks and hips. Stretch marks are not a health risk neither do they interfere with a body’s natural function. So how to get rid of stretch marks ?
Topical retinoids are gel or cream based prescription remedies that are FDA categorized as teratogen. Retin A is a popular retinoic cream with positive reviews. However, contraindications prohibit use by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
Other prescription only retinoid creams in this class are Tazorac, Differin and Renova. These creams boost production of collagen that aids in skin tightening whilst avoiding tears. Individuals are however, cautioned to use a sunscreen with a high UVA as the skin becomes susceptible to sunlight.
Alpha-hydroxy acid compounds
Similarly, glycolic or alpha-hydroxy acid compounds, popular in chemical peels enhance collagen production. This over-the-counter topical medication is safe for use during pregnancy but excess exposure to sunlight should be avoided. A strong dose for intense treatment can be acquired with a prescription from licensed dermatologists.
Home made lotions
Moisturizers demonstrate noticeable improvements on newer than older stretch marks. Over the counter moisturizers are incorporated with chemicals within their formulas. Individuals who wish to use a more natural way can create tried and tested home-made lotions.
A choice of two efficacious recipes involves – mixing in equal parts aloe vera, wheat germ and olive oil, or combining essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, rose, helichrysum, geranium, vitamin E and myrrh, in a base of unscented or coconut oil.
Chemical peeling is a treatment developed with different peel formulas for specific conditions. It is recommended that an individual consults with a professional in order to acquire the right formulation prior to administration.
Dermabrasion or laser
An intense approach for treating adamant stretch marks includes dermabrasion or laser. Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure professionally performed with abrasive mechanical devices such as diamond wheel, wire brush, salt crystals, sterilized sandpaper and many others. These invasive procedure removes the top to inner epidermis layers. It takes approximately one month for the skin to adequately heal.
Laser resurfacing incorporates thermal methods or photo rejuvenation that utilize radio frequency devices and pulsed light to treat stretch-marks. This modes prompt the skin cells to rejuvenate and create new ones.