Continuously indulging in protective functions, your skin behaves as the most durable yet fragile part of the body. Stretch marks or ‘striae’ are a good illustration of skin fragility that can appear in white, light yellow or sometimes deep glossy purple shade streaks on any part of your skin.
Especially, they are more likely to develop on the belly, upper arms, breast, legs or hip region. You feel slight indentation or ridge-like feel by touching them; however, no possible health threat is linked to these stretch marks.
Finding the way to diminish these stretch marks while meeting your ideal weight goal is somehow tricky but possible. This article will get insights about fading stretch marks by losing weight.
Why do Stretch Marks Develop?
There are multiple reasons to develop stretch marks, such as:
- Stretch marks arise when the body expands or gains weight quickly, causing the skin to pull apart and the connective fibers in the epidermis to break. That’s why people who acquire weight quickly are more likely to develop stretch marks than persons who gain weight slowly.
- However, sometimes stretch marks can also develop due to abrupt weight loss because the skin does not shrink at the same speed as the body, leaving you with excess skin. Because there isn’t enough surface space to accommodate the excess skin, it folds and compresses other skin sections, thus, stretching and ripping the skin.
Chances of developing these stretch marks due to abrupt weight loss is less common than weight gain.
- The Elevated level of cortisone (controls body inflammation) in the body is produced by adrenal glands. Moreover, too much cortisone may result in a loss of skin elasticity. Consequently, skin becomes more prone to develop stretch marks.
- Weight gain in pregnancy starts in the 1st trimester then increases gradually during the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Studies suggest that about 90% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. However, it’s not a sign of any complication. Mostly, pregnant women develop stretch marks at the belly, thighs, hips, breasts or arms.
- As cortisone, high production of cortisol hormone might be a causal agent for stretch marks. It is produced in the body due to more stress or corticosteroid medications. Consequently, the person may develop Cushing’s syndrome accompanied by weight gain.
- The use of steroids in medicine or skin creams and lotions may enhance the chance of developing the problem.
Do Stretch Marks Disappear with Losing Weight?
Following the guidelines of your Dermatologist and Nutritionist to manage a healthy weight might help to reduce the severity of the stretch marks. However, this may not be true for everyone.
Some stretch marks don’t fade on their own even after trying multiple skin creams, medicines or well-managed weight. It may be due to more severe damage caused by time or some underlying chronic health problem.
Stretch marks are difficult to avoid in certain cases. Maintaining a healthy weight is the best approach to lower your chances of developing them.
Research studies suggest that weight loss programs using a specific diet with or without exercise have no significant effect on reducing stretch marks.
Moreover, most stretch marks naturally disappear with time after weight loss or childbirth. But, if not like this, then chances are the stretch marks might fade or become less visible. You can adopt exercise along with proper diet for weight loss to get best possible results.
Do Massaging Help Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
Essential oils are a good choice for fading the stretch marks withyour weight loss journey but keep in mind that they can’t diminish the scars completely. Instead, certain essential oils can cause skin allergies or irritation. That’s why, you have to consult with your doctor before applying any essential oil on stretch marks.
Some of the best essential oils that can be used by diluting with any carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil etc are listed below:
- Argan oil
- Lavender oil
- Bitter almond oil
- Bitter orange oil
- CBD oil
- Pomegranate oil
Possible Treatment Options for Fading Stretch Marks
Your health care advisor may help you fade the stretch marks, but diminishing them is quite difficult and time-consuming. Some treatment options may include:
- Retinoid creams can be beneficial for treating new stretch marks by restoring collagen and hence skin elasticity. However, in certain circumstances, these creams cause skin irritation. Never use retinoid creams in pregnancy without consulting your doctor, as they can be harmful.
- Hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizing product with the maximum ability to retain moisture much longer. Research published in NCBI suggests that it has the potential to reduce wrinkles (up to 40%), improve skin hydration (up to 96%) as well skin elasticity (up to 55%).
- Pulsed dye laser treatment improves collagen production. However, applying it on newly developed stretch marks can give rapid and beneficial results.
- Fractional phototheromolysis works just like laser treatment; instead, it targets smaller areas of the skin, thus preventing injuring adjacent skin tissues.
- Microdermabrasion involves renewing skin tone and texture. It works on the upper skin layer and stimulates the skin to tighten elastic fibres and collagen.
When Should You Visit Dermatologist?
Stretch marks on the skin are less likely to cause any serious health problem. However, if you feel unusual stretch marks on your body, it may be an underlying chronic disease such as diabetes, liver or chronic kidney disease, or certain skin cancers. Schedule an appointment with a Dermatologist, mainly if you feel severe stretch marks with uncontrolled growth.
Your dermatologist may suggest some procedures like radiofrequency, laser therapy, micro-needling, or microdermabrasion to reduce the severity and appearance of stretch marks.
Sometimes, stretch marks may appear with losing weight that are too annoying to handle. But keep in mind that these marks are not a sign of any serious health problem. However, if you are concerned for appearance of stretch marks after losing weight, talk to your health care advisor. Consult him to advise you gradual rather than abrupt weight loss plan to treat and manage stretch marks more efficiently.