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Stretch Mark

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What are effective ways to remove or prevent stretch marks?

Many products claim to "repair" stretch marks:

Here's a rundown of the products available for stretch mark removal and what they can -- and cannot -- do:

Wheat germ oil: There is not much scientific data on whether home remedies for stretch marks, such as wheat germ oil, can help. One recent study did find it helped improve stretch marks in their early phase.

Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. It most likely works on stretch marks by boosting collagen production, Baumann says. Glycolic acid can also be administered in higher doses by a dermatologist. Treatment typically costs around $100 and requires three or four office visits before results will appear.

Vitamin C: Certain formulations of vitamin C may also increase collagen production and help early-stage stretch marks, Baumann says. For maximum effect, combine with glycolic acid. Vitamin C supplements may also be effective. She suggests 500 milligrams three times a day.

Peptide-containing products: Peptide-containing products are widely marketed as "repair" creams and are a waste of time and money, Baumann says. Despite commercial claims, there is no convincing data that these work.

Retinoids: Retinoids have been shown to be fairly effective in increasing collagen and elastic production during the early stages. But you should avoid them if you're pregnant or nursing. Retinol, tretinoin, and the prescription medications Differin, Renova, Retin-A, and Tazorac are examples of retinoids.

Glycolic acid plus retinoids: Using these together may provide better results. But again, retinoids aren't used when you're pregnant or nursing.

Laser treatment: This popular treatment option is used by many dermatologists, and they are also being tried on stretch marks, as well.

 

She joked about my baldness, I joked about her stretch marks, and now she's really angry, is that really fair?

A better question to ask is did her remarks actually hurt you? If they did you shouldn't have responded by trying to hurt her back. If they didn't hurt you and your reply wasn't meant to hurt her it does clears your name (but doesn't automatically make you in the right).

If her words hurt you, you should tell her that men actually have insecurities too and that you really don't like the fact that you are going bald. Seeing how much her stretch marks bother her, my guess is that she knows a thing or two about insecurities. You should both be able to come to terms with the fact that you both are sensitive to certain parts of your body and that you don't want to be made to feel bad about them.

If her words didn't hurt you and you weren't trying to hurt her, you need to explain that to her. You need to explain that you obviously have no problems with her stretch marks as you are still with her when you know about them. That this is just as true as the fact that she is with you even though she knows that you are bald. She needs to recognize that you weren't attacking her and that you don't view a part of her body negatively.

In either case, you need to talk to her. Women may appear to go crazy for no apparent reason sometimes, but their is always a motive to their action. The problem is that they might not even know it themselves. The trick is figuring out what the possible reasons they are upset are and asking specific questions to discover the nature of what is troubling them. It takes time and energy, but in the end anything worth doing does.

 

How do men feel about women with stretch marks?

It's part of the human body. Time, age, pregnancy and other factors notwithstanding, it's just another mark of what people have lived through. Living through stuff should be celebrated. Stretch marks and scars are the prove of all that we have survived, they are all part of life and in their own way a unique form of beauty.

 

How do you prevent saggy skin and stretch marks when you have rapid weight loss?

I have to agree with the previous answers. I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think there’s anything you can do to prevent the excess skin and noticeable stretch marks. My best friend lost over 80 pounds 4 years ago after her 3rd baby and constantly complains about the trade-off. She goes to boot camp at 5:30 in the morning 4 days a week and has completed 3 half marathons (I’m super proud of her!). She wouldn’t trade being healthy for filling her skin – it feels way better to be healthy – but she definitely wishes her skin had bounced back as well.

Despite her best efforts, she still has to wear size 10 pants and/or Spanx to keep the excess belly skin “in.” She’s been looking into plastic surgery to have the excess skin removed, but it’s expensive and a major surgery. She’s met with a few surgeons to talk about her options and they’ve all suggested a “Mommy Makeover” instead. She breast fed all 3 kids so she has almost no breast tissue left, although Victoria Secret frequently helps in that department! This website has some pretty graphic before and after photos: Tummy Tuck in San Jose. There’s one of a 35-year-old woman who lost 160 pounds, which I think is amazing! It’s probably more drastic than the norm, but I think what really matters is what makes each individual feel comfortable with themselves, and it’s different for everyone.

 

Why would I have stretch marks on my biceps if I'm not fat?

Stretch marks are tears in the dermis. They can develop anytime growth occurs too fast for your skin to keep up:

rapid weight gain

hip or breast development during puberty

growth spurts

pregnancy

rapid muscle growth

 

What are the other causes of stretch marks on a stomach besides pregnancy?

The most common reason is actually weight loss. If one has fat around the tummy and loses weight significantly, it almost always leaves stretch marks. It is the same reason why women get stretch marks after pregnancy.

 

Is there any way of removing stretch marks?

Hi! Stretch marks are one of the most persistent problems that women have. This may dishearten you but there is no way to completely remove them. However, to lighten them various methods have been tried with varied amount of success, among them is CO2 Laser, Carboxy therapy etc. In women who have them mostly on the infra-umbilical level and if they are undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, most of the stretch marks are removed with the skin that is removed as a part of the tummy tuck procedure.

in my hands I found that Co2 laser does work for a sizeable group of patients sometimes even upto 70-80% improvement is seen.

 

What are effective ways to remove or prevent stretch marks?

Many products claim to "repair" stretch marks:

Here's a rundown of the products available for stretch mark removal and what they can -- and cannot -- do:

Wheat germ oil: There is not much scientific data on whether home remedies for stretch marks, such as wheat germ oil, can help. One recent study did find it helped improve stretch marks in their early phase.

Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. It most likely works on stretch marks by boosting collagen production, Baumann says. Glycolic acid can also be administered in higher doses by a dermatologist. Treatment typically costs around $100 and requires three or four office visits before results will appear.

Vitamin C: Certain formulations of vitamin C may also increase collagen production and help early-stage stretch marks, Baumann says. For maximum effect, combine with glycolic acid. Vitamin C supplements may also be effective. She suggests 500 milligrams three times a day.

Peptide-containing products: Peptide-containing products are widely marketed as "repair" creams and are a waste of time and money, Baumann says. Despite commercial claims, there is no convincing data that these work.

Retinoids: Retinoids have been shown to be fairly effective in increasing collagen and elastic production during the early stages. But you should avoid them if you're pregnant or nursing. Retinol, tretinoin, and the prescription medications Differin, Renova, Retin-A, and Tazorac are examples of retinoids.

Glycolic acid plus retinoids: Using these together may provide better results. But again, retinoids aren't used when you're pregnant or nursing.

Laser treatment: This popular treatment option is used by many dermatologists, and they are also being tried on stretch marks, as well.

 

Do stretch marks go away?

In my experience, they do not. When I was a child I experienced rapid weight gain between the ages of 8-9 and then again at 11. I developed stretch marks on my abdomen similar to a pregnant woman. As you can imagine these were a source of ridicule in my teen years, as well as a deep sense of shame. I also developed mild gynecomastia. When I was 21, I lost 100 pounds and have kept it off for over twenty years; in fact, I am lighter now then I was in eighth grade: 160 lbs. BUT, the stretchmarks never went away. The loose skin never went away. The only option that seems to have any chance of alleviating these appearances is plastic surgery, which for many reasons I won't even entertain the thought of. There is still that moment with a new lover when we undress where my brain screams, "I can explain!" It has taken me a lifetime, and I'm still working on it, to silence that voice. Stretch marks are scar tissue. Scar tissue doesn't go away unless it's cut out in a more aesthetically pleasing manner than society might choose. They might fade. If you don't tan in the area of the marks, they might become less noticeable. But they never go away.