Getting rid of stretch marks on stomach after pregnancy or sudden weight loss can be a tiring affair. Here is a list of cosmetic and natural techniques for reducing stomach stretch marks.
Once the joyous phase of pregnancy has ended, women are faced with the presence of unsightly stretch marks on the stomach. So what exactly is the cause of those ugly stripes over your belly? Stretch marks or “striae” as they are medically termed, are scars which are left behind after a period of rapid weight gain or loss. This is because when the skin is overstretched, it loses its elasticity, the collagen is damaged, and there is a breakdown of the fibers of the dermis. Commonly observed in pregnant women and people who have rapidly lost weight, stretch marks can also be brought on by increased levels of steroid hormones during puberty and teen years.
In the initial period, the stretch marks are characterized by pink or reddish and brownish scars. Over time, these prominent scars do fade and become less noticeable. Although some women are lucky to avoid it, an estimated 90% of the pregnant women have stretch marks. Unfortunately there is no way of getting rid of these marks fast.
The microdermabrasion method uses jets of zinc and aluminum oxide crystals to remove the dead skin, which is then suctioned off using a small vacuum.
This technique uses endermologie machines which massage and work the skin using rollers and gentle suction. This increases the circulation and expels the built-up water and toxins in the tissues. Usually a series of treatments are needed for effective results.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
This method of stretch mark reduction uses fruit acids or plant-derived extracts to remove the top layer of skin cells. This is done by breaking down the proteins that hold dead skin together and increasing the regeneration of the cells. This allows the healthier cells to resurface and an improvement in the color and texture of the skin. They are also believed to increase the flexibility of the skin, thus allowing the stretch marks to disappear.
Laser surgery is more effective in the initial stages of stretch marks development as they just allow the scars to fade. It is also said to promote the synthesis of healthy, new collagen.
Retin-A or tretinoin cream is known to reduce the redness of the newer scars. These retinoids include vitamin A which has been known to be fairly effective in increasing collagen and elasticity during the onset of stretch marks. Pregnant and nursing women should ideally avoid such creams.
Getting Rid of Stretch Marks Naturally
Most cosmetic remedies are quite expensive. If you would rather treat them at home, then you can try these simple remedies.
- Exfoliate daily using a loofah. This will help remove the dead skin of the scars.
- Apply cocoa butter, rose hip oil, emu oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter to reduce the marks.
- For stretch marks caused by pregnancy, there are a range of pregnancy stretch removal cream and lotions available in the market.
- Massage with vitamin E oil daily for about two weeks.
- Foods that are rich in vitamin A, E, and C can also help restore the skin.
- Foods rich in zinc and silica can help build up the collagen and fibers in the skin.
- Eat foods that containing essential fatty acids such as vegetables, vegetable oils, and fish oils.
In addition to this, massaging the areas regularly, and taking hot baths, can increase the circulation and reduce stretch marks naturally to an extent. However, it is important to note that the home remedies may not work that fast to reduce the scars as compared to cosmetic cures. Before going in for any surgery or cosmetic cure, consult a plastic surgeon and have him perform an examination to determine if your stretch marks can be removed through laser surgery.