There is one thing above all else that anyone reading this article should remember, stretch marks are natural. While society may have caused us to think they are problematic and undesirable, the truth is everyone can get them, both men and women. Stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of, and you should not feel bad if you have them. It’s highly likely that many of the people you walk past on the street or see at work each day will also have stretch marks in some form.
Another thing to remember is that stretch marks are commonly associate with one of the most incredible moments in life, the birth of a child. A 2015 study published in the American Academy of Dermatology Journal found that over half of all women will develop stretch marks during pregnancy. With that being said, some people can feel self-conscious about their stretch marks. We all have insecurities, which no matter how many times people tell us not to worry about, we still do.
So, if your stretch marks have you feeling down and self-conscious here are a few different ways you can treat them:
Retinol based cream and lotion
One of the ‘go-to’ ingredients in skincare over recent years has been retinol. As a derivative of Vitamin-A, retinol is found in various skincare products aimed at treating numerous different skin conditions. Because of the beneficial effects of retinol, it can also be used to treat stretch marks. Retinol can make your skin feel softer and smoother. It also helps your skin absorb other creams or lotions you may be applying.
As mentioned above, stretch marks are common when women are pregnant. Some women may take steps during their pregnancy to try and reduce the severity of their stretch marks by applying oils or creams. However, the NHS advises that women should not use ones that contain retinol while they are pregnant.
Microneedling and dermarolling
One of the most versatile treatments for your skin that is available in 2021 is microneedling. This treatment has an interesting history which some people trace back to the ancient art of acupuncture. Microneedling, or using a dermaroller at home, produces tiny punctures in the skin which cause your body to start the healing process in the treated area.
As a result, areas that have been exposed to microneedling or dermarolling begin to produce collagen-rich skin tissue. This new tissue is more even in tone and texture, which allows your skin to look smoother and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Microneedling is often used to treat scars such as stretch marks, or generally to treat ageing skin.
For some women, their stretch marks are something they are self-conscious about when they are visible to other people. This could be, for example, when wearing a swimsuit at the beach on holiday. In these cases, a great way of treating stretch marks is to simply cover them.
You can use a tinted moisturiser to help mask the visibility of stretch marks to give you that little confidence boost for those occasions when your stretch marks may be noticeable to others. It will also give you a lovely glow to your skin.
Do nothing for a while
This may be easier said than done for some people, but before rushing out to have treatments like microneedling or buying creams, it can be worth taking some time to do nothing. In some cases, even by doing nothing stretch marks will fade and become less prominent. The colour and size of the mark can fade and become less noticeable on your skin. As time goes on, you may learn to accept these marks as simply a part of your bodies story and embrace them as a part of you.
However you feel about stretch marks, it’s important to remember that these are natural and not something, in most cases, you can control. Trying to embrace them as part of your body is vital to avoid viewing yourself in a negative way. It’s also important to note that while you may think you’re the only person experiencing them, the reality is very different.