If you’re not sure what stretch marks are and find yourself asking “Why do I have stretch marks on my bum?!”, you’ll want to have a read of Part 1 – Why Do I Have Stretch Marks?.
If you’re here to find out what you can do about the tiger stripes already splashed across your hips and bum, read on.
What Can I Do To Prevent Stretch Marks?
Keep skin nourished so that it has optimal regeneration conditions. This means moisturizing, ensuing you have a nutrient rich balanced diet and are well hydrated.
Manually stimulating the skin in problem areas by massage or skin brushing (which also helps with cellulite) can increase the blood flow to the area and will assist with skin regeneration and remodeling.
If at all possible, attempt to slow down the rate of growth of the tissues underlying the skin – if attempting to gain or lose weight then do so as a gradual process rather than all at once. This will give the skin a chance to expand with the underlying tissues without being stretched too rapidly.
How Can I Treat Stretch Marks?
If you’ve already got stretch marks, you can diminish their appearance. The marks will naturally fade by themselves to an extent, however for most people they will remain visible as silvery white scarring.
There are several options available to you if you are trying to fade your stretch marks:
There are a multitude of creams out there that claim to tailor to stretch mark treatment or prevention.
Products can vary in effectiveness, so I recommend doing your research and finding some quality, independent reviews before spending your hard earned cash.
Here are some popular (and positively reviewed) creams available on Amazon.com, and they are fairly affordable at around the $20 price point:
One that I particularly like though, is the one below, which has really good user reviews and is also vegan, cruelty free, and made in the US! It’s a little more expensive though, so you might want to do your own research before buying:
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive process where the skin is inflicted with minor damage by an abrasive material such as very fine crystals or particles to slough off the outer layers of skin and initiate a repair response.
The downsides? Though there are at-home microdermabrasion kits available, you’ll most likely need to go to a salon to get a ‘proper’ treatment and many repeat treatments will be necessary to notice improvements – which can get costly.
I much prefer the next option, skin needling.
Skin needling, also known as ‘dermarolling’, works by pricking the skin with fine needles to break up the scar tissue and stimulate the skin to repair by introducing minor damage to the skin.
Below is an example of what the needled rollers look like; yes they may seem very medieval-torture-device-like(!), but they feel a bit more like someone scratching across your skin.
Dermarollers like the above one, can be used to break up scar tissue – which reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
Newly formed skin is more supple and displaces the existing scar tissue. The cons to this treatment option is that it can be painful to administer.
Progress can also be very slow, but it can be done at home for just the cost of your dermarolling/needling equipment.
Below is a kindle book which talks about using Dermarolling for scar treatment, as well as a longer 2mm dermaroller (you generally need to use longer needles for scar tissue – especially on areas like the butt where the tissue is thicker).
This example shows the improvements that can be had with skin needling – I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they’re nothing short of impressive!
Laser surgery is probably the fastest way to fade stretch marks, but also one of the most costly options.
You’ll likely need a few sessions to see the best results. This method works by using laser light of a particular frequency and energy to break up skin molecules in the scar tissue in a process called ablation. New skin cells will form in place of the old scar tissue.
Laser surgery can’t be done at home though. You’ll need to inquire at your local clinic or beauty salon if you want to pursue this option.
Carboxytherapy, also known as carbon dioxide therapy, works by injecting carbon dioxide (CO₂) into the area affected by stretch marks. In a clinical setting, a medical professional uses a specialized machine to regulate the flow of CO₂ through a syringe and into the stretch marked skin.
Carbon dioxide is part of the gases that we naturally exhale. When present in our body, this gas tells our system that it requires additional oxygen. By signaling the need for oxygen, CO₂ increases blood flow. Increases in blood flow can have several benefits, including speeding up the healing of injuries.
Stretch marks are caused by tearing in the middle layer of skin which lets the blood vessels in deeper layers of the skin show through. By encouraging blood flow to the targeted area and increasing skin elasticity, carboxytherapy speeds up this skin’s healing process. This healing helps to manage the appearance of stretch marks, making them less noticeable.
In carboxytherapy, treatments are usually spaced one week apart, with seven to ten treatments of 15 to 30 minute each required for optimal results. Following each injection, there is little in the way of downtime. However, submerging the body in water should be avoided for a couple of hours as the CO₂ disperses.
These are just a few ways that you can improve the appearance of your stretch marks. With enough dedication, I would say that all cases can be visually improved, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth – there are definitely lower cost options out there.
The important thing to realize is that every case of stretch marks is unique, and this means that your response to different treatments will also be unique. Do your research and experiment to find out what works for you, but know that it is very possible to improve the appearance of your stretch marks.
If you suffer from stretch marks – how do you feel about them? Have you tried any stretch mark treatments, and what have you found to be effective? Let me know in the comments below!