Can You Get Rid of Stretch Marks? The (Unfortunate) Truth
We’re sharing answers to common stretch mark questions, including whether or not stretch marks can be completely removed. If the title didn’t already give it away, the answer is probably not what you want to hear. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, so keep reading!
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks—also known as striae—are narrow, indented streaks on the skin. They range in color, but are most often red, purple, pink, or dark brown when they first appear. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), early-stage stretch marks may also feel raised and itchy. Over time, the color of the bands can fade and appear lighter. Streaks can commonly be found on the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs. While stretch marks aren’t painful or serious, they can make people feel self-conscious or embarrassed.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks develop when the skin stretches or shrinks at a fast rate. This sudden change causes collagen and elastin—fibers that support our skin’s elasticity—to rupture. During the healing process, scars may appear in the form of stretch marks.
Who Can Get Stretch Marks?
In short, anyone. According to the Mayo Clinic, some factors can increase your chances of developing stretch marks. These factors can include being female, a family history of stretch marks, rapidly gaining or losing weight, or being overweight.
Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
Unfortunately, preventing stretch marks isn’t necessarily foolproof. For instance, if many members of your family have stretch marks, you may have a predisposition to them. To reduce the likelihood of developing stretch marks, the Mayo Clinic recommends maintaining a consistent, healthy weight. Of course, this can be increasingly difficult during pregnancy, for example. The Mayo Clinic suggests eating well and exercising to avoid gaining too much weight too rapidly. If you’re concerned about developing stretch marks during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about what measures—if any—you can take.
Can You Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
Here’s the cold, hard truth, and let us warn you it’s a hard pill to swallow: There is no over-the-counter treatment that can remove stretch marks. Despite what you may have heard through product claims or otherwise, it’s a simple fact that stretch marks can fade over time but they may not disappear. The best you can do is help to reduce or camouflage their appearance so they’re less noticeable. Luckily, there are plenty of cosmetic formulas out there that can help cover up what you don’t want anyone to see, including Dermablend’s range of full-coverage foundations.
For stretch marks, we recommend the Dermablend Leg & Body Cover. The formula provides medium coverage for up to 16 hours of smudge- and transfer-resistant wear when worn with the Dermablend Setting Powder. Plus, it glides on easily, feels comfortable, and leaves a natural-looking finish. To use, simply dab the foundation directly over your stretch marks and feather outwards to blend into the surrounding skin. If you’d like more coverage, allow the first application to dry before building it up with more. Once you’ve reached your desired level of camouflage, apply a generous amount of Dermablend Setting Powder and allow it to set for two minutes. As a last step, brush off excess powder with a brush.
Editor’s note: If your stretch marks make you feel self-conscious or insecure, it’s understandable that you’d want to cover them up. Since they probably won’t disappear completely, but gradually fade over time, we believe you should try to just embrace them. Remember, these lines are incredibly common! We at Skincare.com believe firmly that stretch marks are not flaws, so embrace them and wear them proudly—there’s nothing to be ashamed of!