Stretch marks are purple grey or red streaks that appear on the skin due to skin elasticity. Stretch marks can appear on any body part, but the most common places include the thighs, stomach and bum. In most cases, both men and women are reluctant to show off the affected body part in public.
Thankfully, there are several medical treatments and home remedies that can help drastically reduce the appearance of these skin denting lines.
This article shall explain the causes of stretch marks on thighs, stomach and bum, how to prevent these causes, and how to get rid of the market and have blemish-free skin.
Stretch marks on thighs, stomach and butt
Stretch marks are reddish, purple, or pinkish indented streaks on any body part, but often around the thigh, stomach and butt. Tiny tears in the dermis layer cause these streaks or lines, and they tend to fade into greyish colour over time. Stretch marks are common in people due to the expansion of the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres.
Types of stretch marks
Yes, there are different types of stretch marks,
depending on the appearance and formation.
This is known to be the onset of stretch marks on the skin as it indicates the flattening of the epidermis and loss of rete ridges. This makes the collagen fibres thicken more and appear in parallel patterns. It also causes the elastic fibres to decrease.
Stretch marks at this stage are usually flat or slightly raised in pink or red. They also tend to be itchy.
Striae alba is a more mature stage of stretch mark formation. As the striae rubrae progresses within months, the stretch marks become more hypopigmented, irregularly shaped, in a scar-like wrinkled texture.
Striae alba is usually white and becomes more prominent due to the loss of skin elasticity as you age.
These types of stretch marks are also known as pregnancy stretch marks. They appear in parallel lines on the abdomen, thigh and breast, usually in the second trimester.
These stretch marks do not cause problems for the baby or the mother, and they tend to fade and become less noticeable after childbirth.
These types of stretch marks affect those with darker complexions because of the amount of melanin present in their skin. They usually appear in purplish or dark blue colours.
These are also types of stretch marks that are common with people who have darker complexions. They are usually linear stretches in black or dark grey colours, which later fade into whitish lines.
Those with Cushing’s syndrome and those who have used corticosteroids for a long time after their surgery often develop a cutaneous condition that causes the appearance of stretch marks. These stretch marks with purple or pink symmetric lines are called striae atrophicans.
Causes of stretch marks
The primary and only cause of stretch marks on the body is the stretching of the skin, which can affect anybody. How severe the stretch mark will be, depends on many factors. These factors are;
One of the characteristics of puberty is weight gain, which gives room for the skin to overstretch in areas like hips, thighs, and breasts. These stretches cause stretch marks on the body. Stretch marks are standard parts of puberty for most people, especially women and those who gain a lot of weight during that period.
Rapid weight gain over a short period also stretches the skin, and excessive skin stretching damages collagen, thereby leading to stretch marks.
The tummy needs to expand to accommodate the baby, and this often leads to somewhat brown, purple, pink or red stretch marks on the stomach. Apart from the tummy, the skin on other parts of the body, such as breasts, thighs and hips, also gets stretched and then causes stretch marks on these areas. However, there can still be stretch marks on the tummy without pregnancy, as long as the skin around that area is stretched.
Genetics also play a vital role in whether you have stretch marks. In a study conducted to assess stretch marks risk factors among adults in Riyadh city, KSA, about 70% of the participants had a family history of stretch marks.
Muscle growth, either through routine exercise or repeated use of steroids, can cause stretch marks. Once the muscles start bulging, the skin stretches and stretch mark streaks appear.
Breast implant surgery
According to a plastic surgeon, one of the factors to be considered before embarking on breast surgery is skin type. Soft, thin skin cannot accommodate large implants, as they are at risk of skin stretching and drooping.
Some drugs can cause the skin to stretch and develop streaks. These drugs can cause weight gain, bloating, and swelling, thereby leading to stretch marks on thighs, stomach and bums. These medications include; birth control pills and corticosteroids.
Some health conditions can cause sudden growth, weight gain, or other skin issues that make the skin develop stretch marks. Examples of these conditions are; Marfan syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danfoss syndrome. People with these health conditions are even more at risk of having stretch marks on their bodies.
Medical treatments for stretch marks
A study affirms that some medical treatments can improve the appearance of stretch marks on the thighs, stomachs, and bums. These treatments are usually carried out by a certified health professional like Dr Nina Bal who, after you make an appointment, will discuss the cost implication, risks and expectations of any treatment method chosen.
Parts of these treatments are;
Microneedling with derma roller, derma stamp or derma pen
The process of micro-needling, also known as collagen induction therapy, helps the skin produce elastin and collagen that enables the skin to regain its elasticity. This method uses microneedles to make tiny punctures in the skin to boost collagen and elastic development. Microneedling can improve stretch mark scars by about 75% after 1-3 treatments. You can expect visible results within six weeks after the procedure. For ultimate results, it is advisable to have three treatment sessions every four weeks. This will lead to complete skin rejuvenation and less visible stretch marks.
Their different types of micro-needling devices; derma roller, derma stamp or derma pen. They differ based on shape. It is necessary to go for a consultation and pre-examination of your skin to determine the suitable tool.
A chemical peel is another way to fade off the appearance of stretch marks on the body. This process makes use of acids such as glycolic acid. A review affirms that chemical peels profoundly exfoliate the skin and foster collagen production.
Both the ablative and non-ablative laser treatments trigger the production of collagen and also remove the outer layer of the skin, thereby revealing smooth skin and smoothening out stretch mark scars.
The process involves directing concentrated light rays on the areas with stretch marks to smoothen the scars and stimulate new skin growth.
Other medical treatments include;
- Radiofrequency therapy
How to get rid of stretch marks on thighs, stomachs and bums
There are different kinds of ways to reduce or fade away stretch marks on the body. There are myriads of natural remedies, and there are cosmetic treatments. However, cosmetic treatments are more effective and faster than natural remedies.
Natural ways to get rid of stretch marks on thighs, stomachs and bums
Several skincare products contain Vitamin A, and vitamin A in skin care products is referred to as retinoids. A lot of topical cosmetic creams sold over the counter includes retinoid that can make the skin smoother and clear blemishes. A 1996 study affirms that tretinoin, a prescription strength of retinol, is capable of causing stretch marks less severe.
However, it would help if you read the instructions carefully before applying them to your body.
Using lemon juice or a sliced lemon wedge on stretch marks daily can make the scars fade away. The scars fading away is possible due to the bleaching properties present in lemon.
Argan oil is enriched with Vitamin E, which improves the skin’s elasticity. It can help heal damaged tissues and fade stretch marks when applied regularly.
Aloe Vera gel
The sticky gel part of the aloe Vera plant can also help improve the appearance of stretch marks. It should be applied and washed off after a few minutes.
Applying coconut oil to the body encourages collagen production and fights inflammation. This can also help speed up stretch marks on the thighs, stomach and bum.
Eggs consist of amino acids and proteins that can regenerate stretched skin and fade away scars.
Sugar is a natural exfoliant that can scrub away dead skin cells, thereby reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Sugar scrubs also can promote blood circulation in the body.
Different treatments can make stretch marks fade off, but not completely. However, it should be noted that stretch marks do not pose any health risks.
Quite a several reasons ranging from genetics, puberty, pregnancy, weight gain, and some treatments, can cause the appearance of stretch marks on any parts of the body. It is, however, advisable to always seek medical advice if you feel uncomfortable about it.
Using lemon juice, Argan oil, aloe Vera, coconut oil, and sugar scrubs can help fade off stretch marks on the body.
Weight gain increases the risk of having stretch marks. Funnily, rapid weight loss also increases the risk of stretch mark formation.
Scrubs as an exfoliant can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However, it is impossible to ‘scrub away’ stretch marks.
Gaining muscles through exercise is one of the factors that may put you at risk of having stretch marks. Stretch marks are like scars, and exercise can’t erase them.
Self-tanner and body makeup are some of the products that can be used to hide stretch marks successfully.
There are different ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks on the body. However, medical procedures have proven to be best effective.
Stretch marks on the thighs, stomach, bum or elsewhere do not have any health risk whatsoever. However, if you feel uncomfortable about how the scars look on your body, you can seek medical consultation to determine the best treatment method.