We all know that dreaded feeling when we take off our clothes after a long day and catch a glimpse of our reflection in the mirror. "Is that a stretch mark?" we think to ourselves, as we move closer for a better look. Sure enough, there it is staring back at us - a stark reminder of the extra ten pounds we've been trying to lose for what feels like forever.
But can you actually get stretch marks from losing weight? The answer is: it’s complicated. Rapid weight loss might cause stretching and tearing, but majority of stretch marks actually occur from weight gain—but the stretch marks become more visible when you’ve lost a lot of that weight. However, before you start stocking up on stretch mark creams and treatments, let's take a closer look at why this happens and what you can do about it.
Why Stretch Marks Happen
Stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy, but they can also be caused by sudden weight gain or loss. When your skin stretches too far, too fast, the collagen and elastin fibers that give your skin its elasticity break down. This causes the formation of tiny tears in the skin, which appear as stretch marks. While genetics definitely play a role in how susceptible you are to stretch marks, there are preventative measures available.
An easy and natural treatment method that will pay dividends long-term: hydration, both internally and externally. Drink plenty of water, and use hydrating moisturizers and body lotions. Identify lotions that have “humectants”, which are substances that attract water by binding to H2O. Examples include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, honey, etc. Humectants are found in many of Evertone’s products, including our Body Smoother which helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you're doing so gradually. Sudden weight gain or loss is one of the main causes of stretch marks, so taking things slow will help prevent them from forming in the first place.
One popular option is laser therapy. It involves rays of light concentrated in one area of the skin to stimulate new growth and smoothen out scars. There’s two types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. The former focuses on the outer layer of skin, and the latter focuses on deeper scar tissue. For more information about the differences between the two, check out Vanguard Dermatology’s website, they go in depth about the different types of lasers and their efficacy. The overall cost of laser treatments depends on how many sessions you need—so you’re looking at a range of $1,200 to $8,000.
Another option is microdermabrasion, which involves using tiny exfoliating crystals to remove the top layer of damaged skin. This treatment usually takes 30 minutes to an hour and is meant to treat the top layer of skin. However, costs vary. Per session you’re looking at $75-$300, and you will most likely need a few sessions to really reduce the visibility of the stretch marks.
With the skincare approach, you get what you need for 6 months in one bottle. It’s a more cost effective, and will get you the results you want a bit slower, but long-term. If you’re looking to zap them fast and are willing to pay a lot extra for it, then lasers and microdermabrasion might be your go-to options.
Stretch marks are a reality for many women and men, but they don’t need to be a permanent fixture in your life! There’s different options at your disposal for removing them or drastically reducing the appearance of them. It all depends on how long you’re willing to wait and what budget you’re working with.