Hyspin says…I have old stretch marks, from growth spurt in my teenage years and most sites say it is too late for me on that front. But is there really no way to fix them (on tan or dark skin tones)? Next I’m one of those people who are very easy to lose weight (when I focus) I planning about 20 Lbs in 4 months? Which should be safe but still fast? Since stretch marks are caused by rapid weight gain and loss I am concern about stretch marks. In addition to diet rich in H20, omega-3, zinc, vitamins A, C and D. What is the best method topically to prevent and heaven forbid treat stretch marks? I have heard some people who are stretch mark prone find Bio Oil effective and other Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter, for dealing with pregnancy or muscle gain. But some medical sources I have read say that topic treatments don’t work for treating and prevent (Mayo clinic), but people experiences say otherwise is there any fact to topic treatments?
The Left Brain responds:
Unfortunately, there is no definitive “cure” for stretch marks. For an excellent review of potential treatments, I suggest you check out this post on Lab Muffin. In case you’re not familiar with Lab Muffin, it’s another beauty blog with a science twist. Click here to read her post on How Can I Get Rid of Stretch Marks.
Stretch mark science
She starts by discussing the causes of stretch marks (technically known as “striae.) While pregnancy is probably the most recognized source, they can also be caused by weight loss (as you pointed out) and other conditions such as tuberculosis and Cushing’s disease. She cites three topical treatments that have shown promising results: Tretinoin (vitamin A), Trofolastin cream (active ingredient: centella asiatic) and certain acid skin peels. There are effective clinical options as well: microdermabrasion, RF, IPL and laser treatments.
I also found it particularly interesting that prevention is more difficult than one might think. Where as common sense would dictate moisturizing skin would plasticize skin and prevent the marks, research has not shown this to be true. Of course stretch marks can be covered up with concealing products. However, don’t try to cover them up by getting a suntan. Stretch marks won’t tan because they are scar tissue and so they’ll actually become MORE visible as the rest of your skin darkens.
Image credit: http://capl.washjeff.edu/2/m/4360.jpg