How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks and Loose Skin
Pregnancy stretch marks on the tummy, learn how to get rid of stretch marks here.
Ugly stretch marks and loose skin on the thigh after rapid weight loss. All these can be prevented and eliminated.
Have you ever heard of the words Striae Gravidarum? Well, it is just a high sounding name for stretch marks or wrinkly skin. These marks are the consequence of damaged fibers of your skin which can occur anywhere on your body, but more frequently than not on the breast, back of your arms, your belly area, on the buttocks and the thighs. Whereas, loose and saggy skin is the inability of the skin to snap back into its former position after a bout of rapid weight loss or after giving birth and as such, the excessive skin is then left hanging there.
Although the Striae Gravidarum condition is rather common and both genders are susceptible to it, but women are more likely to suffer from it than men. The stretched marks are usually formed right after a bout of severe or rapid weight loss, post pregnancy or even on bodybuilders as they develop muscle mass that stretched the skin. If you have a darker complexion, your stretch marks may not be so easily seen as your dark skin acts as a camouflage and as such the marks are not so visible. This is not to say that those stretch marks do not exist, they do, but are merely taking cover in the dark skin camouflage.
Although stretch marks are visible, they are actually not on the surface of the skin, but are developed from the the fibers just beneath the skin. At its inception, they appear as greenish or reddish lines on the body parts affected. The color are derived from tiny blood vessels and capillaries being more conspicuous. The color will slowly fade away with time leaving behind some whitish looking streaks and uneven skin.
With the exception as in the case of pregnancy, most stretch marks and loose skin are avoidable merely by not exposing your skin to sudden or severe stretching as in the case of rapid weight gain or weight loss. If losing weight is your goal, do it in a steady progressive manner and at the same time taking a skin nourishing supplement to boost the skin elasticity. Same goes for bodybuilders who may need to take these supplements since as their muscles grow, it stretches the skin to accommodate the increased muscle mass and thus, the development of unsightly ugly stretch marks.
Vitamins that can help to prevent or ease stretch marks development include Vitamin A, C and E. Supplementing your diet with collagen can also be rather helpful too. Topical applications of moisturizers and Vitamin E creams can also help to retard, diminish and prevent embarrassing stretch marks from developing.
Your genetic disposition, the natural elasticity of your skin and also your dietary habits can also contribute to how much stretch marks you will develop when the skin is being stretched. Skinny people are the most susceptible as they have lesser skin to stretch during pregnancy and as such, the stretching of the skin is even more pronounced and visible.
Stretch marks and loose skin are very common aesthetic problems so much so that the skincare and beauty industry has developed many creams, lotions, laser machines to diminish or even eradicate their appearances. Most of the topical application products are marketed to include skin nourishing active ingredients to enhance skin suppleness and good health. Even if that really is the case, many of these over the counter creams do not work very well, if they even work at all in the first place.
Here are some of the more common topical creams, natural oils and moisturizers that are thought to improve or prevent stretch marks.
Tretinoin Cream - With the regular and consistent application of tretinoin (which is derived from vitamin A) cream may sometimes help to fade away some newer and shallower stretch marks. The downside is that some people may suffer from negative side effects like certain types of skin irritation, allergies and scaly or flaky skin conditions.
Tretinoin works by proliferating the growth of new skin cells and as such can also be used to smoothen out wrinkles and fine lines up to a certain degree. With more newer and younger skin cells, the skin will then be having a makeover as the older damaged skin fades away.
Bitter Almond Oil - Expecting mothers who massage bitter almond oil on their tummies regularly are more inclined to have stronger skin with lesser stretch marks than other pregnant women who do not do so. Therefore if you are pregnant, try to consistently massage this oil onto your belly at least twice or more times everyday.
Argan Oil - The Argan oil is an extract from the nuts of the Argan trees which are largely found in Morocco which is a country in North Africa. This oil is mainly used for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes since the oil has a heavy content of the essential fatty acids and antioxidants to combat skin damaging free radicals as well as containing skin nourishing vitamins such as vitamin A and E. This oil can also be used for other skin treatments such as for the protection from sun damage. It can also be used as a moisturizer as well as for skin tightening or lifting and so can also reduce the appearances of wrinkles, fine facial lines, stretchmarks and even for the tightening up of loose skin to a lesser degree.
Lupin seed extracts - These seeds are supposed to boost collagen production in the skin, but there is no solid evidence to show that they can help to fade away or even prevent stretch marks occurring at all. So its curative powers for the skin are only from anecdotal testimonies and folk remedies.
Coconut Oil - Coconut oil helps to keep your skin hydrated making it more supple, less wrinkly and moisturized. It also contains Vitamin A and E both of which are powerful antioxidants. The regular application of the oil is said to help increase your natural collagen production, mop up free radicals and promotes the renewal of your skin cells. Furthermore, the lauric acid in the oil will also help to repair certain types of damaged skin conditions.
Moisturizers - Moisturizers such as shea butter, aloe vera gel, cocoa butter, olive oil and the likes may also help to make the skin feeling softer and smoother, but they are not likely to be very effective in treatment of stretch marks and loose skin although there are people swear by it. Again the evidence for their effectiveness is largely anecdotal at best. On the other hand, there is no harm trying them out though as they do have some moisturizing effect as well as skin calming essence.
There are more good news though. There is a brand of skincare product called Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy that is getting very good testimonials from its users because of its effectiveness in getting rid of ugly stretch marks. The manufacturer accredits the product's success story to its ability to induce natural collagen production in our bodies.
That begs the question as to why is collagen so important for the eradication of unsightly stretch marks and loose skin? This is because collagen is the main protein which brings the firmness to the connective tissues of our skin thus making it more supple and tight. Our bodies naturally produce plenty of collagen during our younger days, that was why our skin were springy, supple and were without wrinkles way back then, wasn't it? However as we age, the collagen production declines as well and that is why our skin losses its suppleness and elasticity it once had. As such, we have to consume collagen rich food or supplementation to make up for the decreasing levels of collagen in our bodies.
There is another active ingredient in the Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy blend, copyrighted as Regestril. In a study carried out on women with post pregnancy stretch marks, the researchers were pleasantly delighted by the results of its effectiveness when they found up to almost 73% elimination of the stretch marks in merely a matter of 60 days when using the product. Amazing, isn't it?
There are other methods of treatment which can be uncomfortable, costly and where repeated treatments are required such as in micro-dermabrasion, laser therapy (both of which are described below in this article) and even surgery and thus to be attempted only when all else failed. Find out about this amazing stretch mark diminishing therapy at Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy
Now what I am going to say next may come as a pleasant surprise to some people. Although it is a fact that you may get excess skin after losing weight, the emergence of loose skin may only actually be the remnants of your excess body fat which is still clinging onto your skin making your skin droopy.
One way of determining that the remnant of excess fat is causing your skin to become saggy and jiggly, you can simply pinch the area with your thumb and forefinger and if you are able to clinch more than a couple of millimeters of your skin, this will mean that you have more excess body fat to lose before your skin can tighten up and become firmer.
Until you lose that remaining excess body fat, your skin will have some difficulties returning to its former suppleness and tautness. This will mean that as long as there is body fat still clinging onto your skin, it will sag as loose skin. In this situation, all you need to do to get rid of the lose skin is to shed more body fat. Ideally, to 10% or below of body fat ratio for men and 20% for women. When you have reached these body fat ratio percentages and still have loose skin, then those are real flabby skins and thus have to be treated accordingly.
For guys with lose skin and stretch marks, you may want to consider taking up bodybuilding. You see, underneath your skin are your muscle and body fat, both of which are pressing up against your skin and keeping it from sagging. So when you were obese, your skin must expand and stretch to accommodate the increase in body size.
This is why building muscle mass can fill up some of the places caused by muscle and fat loss and in so doing, stretching out the skin to accommodate more muscle mass and you can then diminish or even eliminate the loose skin and stretch marks to have tighter looking skin.
Microdermabrasion - This method of treatment diminishes the appearance of stretch marks by simply removing the upper layers of the skin. Your aesthetician or dermatologist will use a fine crystal like spray to sort of sand blast away the dead skin cells and the outer layers of skin. Once this is done, a young and healthy skin will develop in a matter of days. The bonus is that microdermabrasion method also encourages the skin to produce more of its own collagen which is vital for maintaining smooth, supple and radiant skin.
Microdermabrasion is an almost, if not a painless procedure to remove upper layer of damaged skin and that is why, it has almost no downtime at all for the patient. The entire procedure, depending how large the area to be treated usually takes less than an hour to complete. This procedure is then repeated weekly or fortnightly until a reasonable result is achieved.
This method is very effective for the removal of acne scars and minor skin blemishes but its efficacy for the removal of loose skin and stretch marks is rather limited though.
The Excimer laser treatment - This method of treatment encourages the skin to produce more melanin (skin color pigmentation), thus camouflaging the stretch marks closer to the color of the skin in the area. The patient needs to repeat the treatment weekly or fortnightly until a somewhat satisfactory result is obtained. Thereafter, for skin color maintenance purpose, repeat the treatment whenever necessary, usually once a month or so.
If you are considering this form of laser treatment, do understand that the stretch marks are still there, just that they are not as visible due to the camouflaging effect of the skin color. Although the treatment does not damage the skin, sometimes some redness after the treatment may happen depending on the person's skin sensitiveness to the treatment.
Fractional Erbium Glass laser - This is a non-ablative laser treatment, in other words it is a less invasive laser treatment method and works by laser targeting the skin tissues without any damage to the skin. This laser procedure is rather effective for the treatment and elimination of acne scars, stretch mark, sun damaged skin, wrinkles and various types of skin blemishes.
The procedure begins with the application of a local topical anesthesia on the area to be treated. During the treatment, patients may experience a slight needles and pins pricking feeling. Thereafter, a cooling mask containing anti-oxidants and vitamins is applied on the treated area to soothe, calm and nourish the skin.
Although this treatment is generally safe, a slight redness or swelling in the areas treated can be expected. Patients will also be advised to stay away from sun exposure for a couple of weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe some medication for speedier recovery, for the prevention of infection and inflammation if he or she deemed necessary.
Ways to prevent and remove loose skin and stretch marks
Watch Dr Eric Berg talking about preventing and removing stretch marks in this video presentation.
Stretch marks and wrinkle removal laser machine
Saggy loose skin after a bout of severe and rapid weight loss