Colin Solves Your Problems 4: Stretch Marks

Stretch marks. I am covered in them, some from growing, others from weight gain and loss. I have them on my thighs, my behind, my lower back, my chest, my stomach, my arms and shoulders….ugh. UGH. They are gross. I know where they come from and I know how they form but how on gods name do they go away???? Especially the white ones. I’ve heard a mixture of zinc, vitamin e and c is the best way and I’ve read then only way is to cut them out, which seems quite extreme to me. As the skin is constantly regenerating I do not understand why stretch marks cannot be eradicated. Rant over, I really would appreciate your input. Thank you.

I am afraid stretch marks are very deep seated problems and as you have already worked out they are difficult to treat.  When I say difficult, I mean almost impossible.  The reason is that they are located a long way below the surface of the skin and the skin is a pretty good barrier to most of what we apply to it.

A lot of interest was generated online a few years ago when some people reported getting good results against stretch marks using a product called BioOil.   I think this actually took the manufacturers themselves by surprise and seems to have been quite sincere.  But the data the firm actually has is not all that strong and in the UK the ASA (the body that monitors adverts and claims) made them tone down what they were saying quite a bit.

I have a feeling that any very oily product might have a small benefit simply by making the skin a bit more elastic and so reducing the physical strain on the stretch marks.  But I don’t think it will have a huge effect.

There is one other thing you can do, which is to avoid rapid changes in weight.  This is obvious enough but is also not a bad thing in its own right.

As to the skin constantly regenerating, this takes place much closer to the surface than where the stretch marks are.  But there is a similar process that goes on deeper down whereby the body is continually breaking down and rebuilding itself.  So over time stretch marks do disappear, although very slowly.

With this in mind I think the best thing to do about stretch marks is to try to get into the best frame of mind you can.  It might not be immediately obvious, but they are steadily diminishing.  Every day that passes, they will be a bit less obvious.  Sooner or later, they’ll cease to be a problem.

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4 thoughts on “Colin Solves Your Problems 4: Stretch Marks

  1. Sparklzandshine

    From my own experience of pregnancy, there was no stopping them. I religiously applied stuff first time round and then suddenly bang they were there. Couldn’t be a**ed the next time round.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the people who get good results with these creams have stronger skin in the first place. Having been told by a midwife that redhead skin is known to tear more easily (My mother thought it was an old wives tale – but no they are still taught to be wary of us)I rather assume that the damage of stretchmarks might be connected.

  2. Colin Post author

    I agree with everything you say Sparklz. They are unavoidable in pregnancy so just treat them as part of the experience. And the good results people talk about do vary from person to person and may well be mainly due to natural healing rather than the product. And lastly, yes be wary of redheads.

  3. Piernik

    What to you think about retinoids and hydroxyl acid? I remember an article about using tretinoin, glycolic acid and L-ascorbic acid in stretch mark treatment with good results. But it’s rather not for pregnant women.

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