Don't worry if you have stretch marks because you are not alone! Many people (especially women) experience stretch marks in their lives. Stretch lines can occur due to sudden changes in body size, such as during pregnancy, puberty, and drastic weight gain (or loss). Ninety percent of pregnant women will experience stretch marks around the hips, abdomen, and thighs. Unfortunately, line stretching appears to be genetic. If your mother had stretch marks, chances are you will too. While stretch marks may not be completely removed, you can use topical treatments and medical interventions to reduce their appearance.
Method 1 of 3: Using Topical Treatment
Step 1. Use shea butter
An ingredient that is often used by people and is considered effective is shea butter (a natural fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree). This product can reduce inflammation and hydrate the skin. Try using pure shea butter, or a lotion containing shea butter that can be applied daily.
Step 2. Use coconut oil
Moisturizers or lotions based on coconut oil can hydrate the skin and reduce stretch marks very well. You can get virgin coconut oil at the supermarket or grocery store. Massage your skin with solid coconut oil or a coconut oil-based bar lotion.
Step 3. Try using a retinoid sour cream
This cream is proven to treat stretch marks. However, retinoid creams are best suited for treating new lines. This ingredient can increase the production of collagen, which will help improve the appearance of the skin.
Retinoid Acid Cream Instructions and Warnings
Avoid this product if you are breastfeeding or pregnant because it can cause bad side effects on the baby.
You must use recipe doctor to get some products such as Renova, Retin-A, and/or Avita. However, you can also get other products without using a prescription.
The doctor will explain how often the product should be used. Read the instructions on the packaging if you are using the product without a prescription.
Step 4. Try combining glycolic acid and ascorbic acid
The combination of these two creams can help increase skin elasticity and reduce the occurrence of stretch marks over time. Usually, this cream starts working within three months if used regularly every day.
This product can be obtained without a doctor's prescription, but must be purchased separately
Step 5. Use a chemical peel that contains trichloroacetic acid
Chemical peels are also useful for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. However, they usually work best when combined with other methods, such as microdermabrasion.
- It's best to leave the chemical peeling process to a professional, although you can get these products without a prescription.
- After you've finished exfoliating, the skin will exfoliate for a few days, which can reduce the color of the stretch marks. You may have to do more than one treatment.
Step 6. Use vitamin E to minimize the appearance of stretch marks
You can apply lotion containing vitamin E every day to reduce stretch marks. You may not be able to get rid of it, but it can improve the appearance of your skin over time.
- Vitamin E can help treat stretch marks in a number of ways. This vitamin helps protect the skin from damage, which can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. In addition, this product also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- You can get vitamin E cream without a prescription.
Step 7. Try using udder crow cream
Cow's udder cream (eg Bag Balm and Udderly Smooth) is a moisturizing lotion that was originally used to treat irritated and cracked cow's udder. Now, this lotion can be obtained easily in drug stores in the form of skin lotion. This product is especially useful for women who are breastfeeding and people who have stretch marks. You can use udder cream regularly to reduce stretch marks and prevent new lines from appearing.
Method 2 of 3: Trying Medical Intervention
Step 1. Ask about pulsed dye laser treatments to increase elasticity
This method, also known as vascular laser treatment, can help reduce stretch marks. It can also increase the production of collagen, which makes the skin more elastic.
- This treatment costs starting from $250 (approximately IDR 3,500,000) for each session. You may have to go through about 3-6 sessions to see the changes, and it could take a few additional sessions depending on the size of the area being treated.
- You won't have time to recover, but you shouldn't be in the sun for some time after the treatment.
Step 2. Consider fractional laser treatment to blend the stretch lines
Fractional laser therapy is focused on resurfacing small areas. The laser will be aimed at the edge of the stretch line, which will smooth the surface of the skin. The texture of the area affected by the line will be adjusted so that it looks similar to the surrounding skin.
This treatment costs anywhere from $150 to $4,000 (approximately 2 million to 56 million rupiah), and you may also need to undergo several sessions (at least 3 times) depending on the severity of the stretch marks. After treatment, you should not be exposed to the sun for a few days
Step 3. Try getting a shot of platelet-rich plasma to treat all types of stretch marks
In this method, the doctor will use your own blood. The doctor removes the plasma, then injects it into your stretch line. Later, the plasma will increase skin growth and collagen production.
This procedure costs from $600 (approximately Rp. 8,400,000) or more. You will have some pain for a few days, but it will only take a short time to recover. Sometimes you only need one treatment session, but this depends on your skin condition
Step 4. Ask about microdermabrasion to treat all types of stretch marks
Microdermabrasion is basically grinding away stretch marks using fine crystalline powder. It's like sanding leather, but much softer than it sounds. Once the process is complete, some of the appearance of the stretch lines will disappear.
Microdermabrasion Treatment Details
$137 (approximately IDR 1,900,000)
Risks and Side Effects:
the skin is swollen, red, and flaky in the days following treatment, bruises, and is more sensitive to sunlight.
Microdermabrasion is performed using a small suction device that runs tiny exfoliating crystals over the skin, or using a wand with a diamond tip to exfoliate the skin.
Method 3 of 3: Changing Your Lifestyle
Step 1. Maintain a healthy weight
The best way to prevent stretch marks is to prevent them in the first place. Maintain a healthy weight by exercising for at least 150 minutes a week and eating a healthy diet that contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein.
Foods to Help Fade Stretch Lines
Eat foods that are rich in nutrients to give your skin the nutrients it needs to repair itself.
beans, lentils, peas
Foods containing zinc:
peanuts, nuts, tofu, oatmeal, and seeds
Fruits and vegetables:
oranges, blueberries, avocados, sweet potatoes, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and bell peppers
Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids:
Step 2. Avoid sun exposure
Sun exposure can make stretch marks more visible. If you cannot avoid sun exposure, cover the area where the stretch marks are exposed when you are outside.
Step 3. Keep yourself hydrated
Skin that gets sufficient fluid will be more elastic. So, staying hydrated can help prevent new stretch marks from forming. Drink about 2 liters of water a day to stay hydrated.
Step 4. Moisturize skin every day
Stretch marks can be prevented and minimized by keeping the skin hydrated. This is especially important for pregnant women or those who are gaining or losing weight. Apply moisturizing creams and oils at least once a day, especially when you are pregnant.
- Apply moisturizer often enough so that the skin doesn't itch or dry out. This sensation is a sign that the skin is dehydrated and starting to stretch.
- If you are pregnant, choose safe products, such as olive oil, cow's udder cream, shea oil, or shea butter cream.
Step 5. Wear supportive underwear
Soft underwear that covers your thighs and stomach can help prevent and reduce stretch marks, especially if you are overweight. It can also be a good alternative to expensive cosmetic surgery, especially if the stretch marks are over large areas of skin.
You can also wait. Over time, the stretch marks will fade if you are patient, although they won't go away completely
- Stretch lines can be very difficult to reduce if you've lost a lot of weight. Stretch marks usually appear in the large area of the abdomen and thighs. If you experience this, the best course of action is to use plenty of moisturizer every day, especially when you are actively trying to lose weight.
- Most treatments are only partially effective. Be realistic because stretch marks are permanent.