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Expert Insights: Natural Remedies Vs. Clinical Treatments For Stretch Marks
Stretch marks – you either have them, had them, or know someone who does. Those unsightly lines seem to creep out of nowhere, leaving many of you wondering how to reduce their appearance.
According to studies, anyone can get stretch marks, but they’re much more common in women, with around 50 to 90 percent of women having them. While some wear their stripes proudly, many seek ways to minimize the look of stretch marks on the body. The good news is that there are a variety of remedies, both natural and clinical, that can improve the appearance of stretch marks.
But how do you decide which treatment route is best for you? This article explores some of the most popular natural remedies and clinical procedures used for stretch marks. You’ll learn the advantages of each one and weigh your options side-by-side to determine the ideal stretch mark solution based on your needs and preferences. So, keep reading below.
Clinical Treatments: Fast-tracked solutions backed by science
1.Get laser treatments
One of the most prevalent and effective stretch mark treatments available is the laser treatment. These lasers work by stimulating collagen production deep within the skin. Specific types of lasers, like pulsed dye lasers, penetrate the dermis to heat up the tissue. This triggers your skin to churn out fresh, new collagen, which plumps up the area and smoothens the stretch marks.
The treatment itself only takes 10 to 20 minutes. Some swelling and redness are normal after treatment, but it fades after a couple of days. Where you’ll really notice a difference is after 4 to 6 sessions spaced a month apart.
2.Get laser treatments
Modern chemical peels can be a great option for fading those annoying stretch marks. They’re very safe as long as they are performed properly by a licensed esthetician or dermatologist.
During the session, your skin will be prepped and cleansed first. Then, a chemical solution like glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid is applied. You may feel a warm, tingling sensation as the acid gets to work, exfoliating the top layers of skin. This lets you know the acids are doing their job to remove dead cells and stimulate fresh collagen production. Within a month after several treatments, your stretch marks should begin looking smoother and lighter as collagen regenerates.
3. Try microdermabrasion treatments
Like chemical peels, microdermabrasion is a professional treatment that polishes away dead skin cells. It’s also widely available and considered as one of the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the US. During a session, your esthetician will use a handheld wand that sprays micro-fine crystals onto the skin. They gently remove the dull, dead cells on the surface, revealing the fresh skin underneath. This polishing process also encourages your skin to churn out new collagen and elastin fibers.
The crystal spray does cause some minor redness and skin tightness that can last an hour or two after each session. But don’t worry, as it isn’t major, especially if you moisturize properly afterward. Over a series of 6 to 8 treatments every few weeks, microdermabrasion can help stretch marks look much smoother.
Natural Remedies: Promising solutions
1. Try microdermabrasion treatments
Applying natural oils and butter to stretch marks may help improve skin hydration and elasticity. These plant-based oils and butter are rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that may nourish the skin and diminish the appearance of those stripes. The key is to consistently massage the oil and butter into your stretch marks daily. It also helps to rub it in a circular motion to increase blood flow and allow the nutrients to be fully absorbed.
2. Exfoliate with sugar or salt scrubs
Gently sloughing off dead skin cells may help diminish the indented look of stretch marks. All you need is a base of brown sugar or sea salt, plus a nourishing oil like almond, coconut, or olive oil. The sugar or salt provides a gentle abrasion to polish off dull skin. Ideally, opt for larger-grained versions rather than super-fine powders to maximize the scrubbing power.
Mix a couple of tablespoons of your base with a few teaspoons of oil until you get a gritty, thick paste. Apply the mixture in gentle circular motions on areas with stretch marks. Exfoliate for a minute or two before rinsing. The key with scrubs is not to rub overly hard or aggressively. Think of it as giving your skin a mini massage to increase blood flow and cell turnover.
3. Apply vitamin C serums
Vitamin C is a powerhouse for skin health, and serums with this antioxidant may help reduce the look of stretch marks. When applied topically, vitamin C boosts collagen production and helps fade discoloration.
After cleansing and toning, use a few drops of your vitamin C serum. Then, gently massage it into any stretch marks and let it fully absorb for a minute before moisturizing. Remember, consistency is key for seeing results, so aim to use it daily for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks.
Clinical treatments Vs. Natural remedies: Which is best for you?
Clinical treatments are known to provide faster and more targeted results. However, they often come with higher costs and potential side effects or risks. Thus, consulting a dermatologist or healthcare professional is recommended before pursuing any clinical treatments.
Meanwhile, natural remedies are generally safe and offer a more holistic approach, but results can vary, and some of these remedies have yet to be proven and tested as effective.
Ultimately, it comes down to your budget, severity of marks, and personal preferences. Those with deeper stretch marks may benefit more from clinical treatments combined with at-home care for optimal results.
As seen above, you’ve got loads of options to minimize the look of your stretch marks! While completely removing stretch marks may not be realistic, you can make them fade away and be less noticeable with the right care and solution. So, weigh your options and find the perfect skincare routine for your stretch marks!