One minute, you are seventeen with your flawless skin, perky breasts, tight butt and the world is your oyster. The next minute, you are a middle-aged woman with a tummy pooch, cellulite and a non-existent skincare regime.
Life does get at you fast doesn’t it?
Cellulite and stretch marks are the two best friends who torment every woman in her nightmare. So many questions keep coming to your mind.
Does this mean I am going to be fatter? Am I adding weight? Do I still look desirable? How will I rock that two-piece bikini I have been saving for summer? There goes my dream of dying with flawless skin.
The harshest part is that stretch marks are notorious for being positioned in the most obvious or important parts of your beautifully shaped body. The thighs, the arms, the breasts or the abdomen.
It’s hard to discover stretch marks on your body. It’s rough honestly, but contrary to popular beliefs, any woman of any age, race, size and status can have stretch marks.
Studies have shown that about 80% of women will have stretch marks in their lifetime. It could be from genetics, weight gain, puberty or even pregnancy.
You are not alone sister…
Stretch marks may not be pleasant to the eye, but they are not a medical condition.
No, it does not mean you will die young or you are ageing faster than the model on TV. It is basically just your skin stretching.
They are also called striae and they are caused by rapid skin expansion which stretches the elastin in the skin on a molecular level, and we all know that according to Hooke’s law of elasticity, once an ‘object’ is stretched past its elastic limit, it never fully returns to its former shape or position, and that’s exactly what happens to the skin.
Though women don’t have a patent to stretch marks, it is more common in the female gender than their counterparts.
The good news is that you can always reduce the appearance and prominence of the stretch marks on your body but the not-so-great news is they never fully disappear.
They can get to a point where they are almost invisible and inconsequential but the skin is fully stretched and there may be no going back.
This is what your popular cosmetic company or plastic surgeon may not want you to know (you’re welcome).
Regardless, there’s absolutely no harm in trying to restore your gorgeous skin to its former glory. With determination, commitment, a wallet full of cash and dedication, your skin will be as good as new.
Below are some tips to get rid of your stretch marks.
-The InExpensive Way
Maybe you are on a budget and you can’t afford the expensive oils and lotions to reduce the appearance of the stretch marks and cellulite, you can pay in your sweat by working the stretch marks out. Yes, fitness and Exercise have been known to help.
A healthy lifestyle improves your self-confidence, reduces anxiety and also gets rid of the coloured stripes on your skin.
Exercising increases your blood flow and boosts anti-oxidants and these help in stimulating new collagen for stretch mark repair.
Ultimately, exercising will slow down the effects and developments of these unwelcome scars but will not completely rid the skin of the existent stretch marks.
That being said, work it out, ladies.
The distance between your flawless skin and you is a whopping one hour on the treadmill.
-The Topical and Retinol Way
This is the dermatologically approved method for treating the stripped enemy.
For this method to work effectively, you need to catch the stretch marks early. Before they are well ‘seated’ in your dermis.
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that has been known to reduce the appearance of stretch marks up to 20 per cent.
It works by increasing the production of collagen which is responsible for skin regeneration.
They are sold over the counter in your neighbourhood pharmacies but they come in different effectiveness rates depending on your choice or desperation.
For optimal results, dermatologists advise that the cream is used for about 6-12 months.
-The Micro Cosmetic Ways
Microdermabrasion is the plastic surgeon’s minimally invasive way of getting rid of your stretch marks. This procedure is safe for all.
It involves sanding away of dead skin with crystals (aluminium chloride or sodium chloride) using the handheld equipment. One of its other advantages is collagen and elastin production.
The process takes about an hour and it is relatively affordable.
Microneedling is another effectively proven method approved by plastic surgeons. This process, unlike microdermabrasion, requires multiple sessions for the best results. The equipment creates tiny punctures in the skin thereby kicking the skin’s automatic healing process into action. This process requires a lot of patience.
-The Effective and Expensive Way
Yes, you guessed right. LASER!
This has been known to be the most effective way to get rid of your stretch marks, the method is proven, tested and trusted.
Laser surgery for stretch marks removes the outer layer of your skin by introducing a pulse of energy camouflaged as beams of light into the skin thus tricking it into ‘thinking’ there is an injury just like in micro needling. The skin automatically regenerates and the healing process is triggered.
This process encourages your new growth in the skin
Don’t be fooled, laser surgeries are expensive and no, they are not covered by your insurance. Remember they are still cosmetic surgeries
Here’s to hoping one of these methods work for you.
If you’ve got the stripes, embrace them. They are a part of your growth, journey and process.
Walk tall, remain confident, the scars don’t define you.
Trust us, even that gorgeous model in the magazine has stretch marks, remember she has just been airbrushed.
Live your life!