Are stretch marks permanent or reversible?

There is no dermatologist who has not heard the following question in his practice: “Can I remove my stretch marks?” Stretch marks are more of a skin condition, but they provoke a lot of discomfort for people, not to mention how often they can be observed in both men and women.

Generally, they predominate among females. They usually appear during pregnancy due to excessive stretching of the skin. In recent years, the use of steroids by young, active men have contributed to increasing the incidence of stretch marks in males as well.

Additionally, the rapid growth of teenagers during puberty, as well as the sudden change in weight, are also associated with stretch marks development.

But which stretch marks leave a permanent damage to the skin?

For the most part of life, the skin maintains a relative persistence in its exchange, which is a guarantee of its elasticity and strength. However, there are certain periods when sudden changes occur in the body to which it adapts. In the skin, however, as a more sensitive organ, these changes are clearly visible.

To explain the origin of the stretch marks, we need to go back to the connective fibers mentioned above. Their function is to add strength and elasticity to the tissues. Their synthesis is a multi-stage process that takes place in dedicated cells. When these changes occur in the body, this production becomes deficient and the fibers are gradually diluted. Losing support in these places, the epidermis thins and falls. Such deformations are called stretch marks.

Additionally, the rapid growth of teenagers during puberty, as well as the sudden change in weight, are also associated with stretch marks.

Explaining why the fiber level is decreasing is not a mild task. Most experts claim that some of the catabolic hormones in humans – glucocorticosteroids – are the main cause. For example, when we grow in height, the amount of blood in the blood is significant, which interferes with the synthesis of the fibers.

Because of their better blood supply, new stretch marks are reddish in color. Over time, it fades. Therefore, when talking about stretch marks, we need to divide them into new and old.

Few parts of the body are protected from the appearance of these scars. Most often these are formed around the navel, chest, thighs, buttocks, armpits and armpits, lower back. In other words, they are more likely to occur in places with a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat.

Which stretch marks are permanent?

Permanent stretch marks are the ones that have already formed, healed and left scars on the skin surface. They appear whitish or grayish in color and, unfortunately, cannot be completely treated.

Those are the lines that have been left untreated for a prolonged period of time (longer than 12 months). However, the permanent damage can be slightly improved – there are various home remedies, specially designed creams for stretch marks and healthy routines that have a proven beneficial effect even on the older stretch marks.

Which stretch marks are reversible (and can fade away)?

The newly formed stretch marks can be successfully treated without leaving visible scarring on the skin. The only condition is to wait until the wounds heal completely, as every product for the treatment of stretch marks or scars can only be applied to a healthy skin surface.

Can you cover stretch marks with a tattoo?

There are many people who choose to cover their stretch marks instead of trying to improve their appearance with cosmetic products or to rely on laser surgeries.

The woman on the image below decided to have a tattoo after giving birth to her twins:

Covering stretch marks with a tattoo
Source: Reddit

However, there are some important aspects to consider before getting a tattoo. In the first place, we advise you to consult your doctor before tattooing the affected area. Many doctors advise taking at least 4-6 months after the initial appearance of the stretch mark before tattooing (source).

The more embossed is a stretch mark, the harder it is to draw on it, and the main opinion to be taken into consideration is the one of a physician, not the tattooist. Otherwise, there is a risk that the appearance of your stretch marks worsens! It is also important to remember that it is much harder to choose a design yourself.

It is important to let the artists do the job and find the right form and tones for the particular area, affected by striae because even if you have selected a certain template of drawings that you like, they may be inappropriate for the purpose.

Another important fact is that when you look closely at the tattoo, the stretch marks will still be visible because the tissue is scared and embossed. These are the basic things you need to know before turning to an artist to take care of your scars. A tattoo has the ability to conceal the ugly scars and give a nice look to the affected area, and many people choose this solution rather than the laser treatment methods.

Tattoo on a stretch mark
Source: Reddit

Prevention and treatment

The best preventative ointments, products or as homemade recipes contain: cocoa butter, coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, lard and other (less effective) ingredients. They can be found everywhere in pharmacies, grocery stores and online.

The principle of early treatment applies to the successful treatment of stretch marks. The sooner you start, the better the results will be. All creams, oils, and ointments designed for this purpose have a major preventative effect. They have a less visible effect on stretch marks that have already formed on the skin.

And the truth is that most people start looking for treatment options after they were already affected by the stretch marks. And when it comes to choosing the right product, we would suggest you trying something with a proven beneficial effect. Usually, most people will decide to buy the first option available or the cheapest one.

But instead of wasting your money on something that may not provide the results you expect, we suggest you spend some time checking what other sufferers say, regarding the effect of the particular product. It is also recommended to carefully check the ingredients listed (as well as their potential effect on the skin). We at SkinPractice provided detailed reviews of the most wanted creams and lotions for the treatment of stretch marks on the Internet. We also provided clinical evaluations (if available), so you can have the option to check all the information needed in one place.

Editor's Choice
Deux Derme - Stretch Mark Intensive Cream With Vitamin E, Shea, Cocoa...
TriLASTIN Maternity Stretch Mark Prevention Cream, Unscented, 4 fl oz. -...
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy - Hydrates to Help Prevent Stretch Marks -...
StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch...
Best Seller
Bio-Oil 200ml: Multiuse Skincare Oil (6.7oz)
Deux Derme - Stretch Mark Intensive Cream With Vitamin E, Shea, Cocoa...
TriLASTIN Maternity Stretch Mark Prevention Cream, Unscented, 4 fl oz. -...
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy - Hydrates to Help Prevent Stretch Marks -...
StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch...
Bio-Oil 200ml: Multiuse Skincare Oil (6.7oz)
Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Shea, Cocoa Butter, Antioxidants, Vitamins
Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Green Bean Extract, Emu Oil, Sesame Seed Oil
Key Ingredients: Organic Aloe, Plant Stem Cells, Seaweed Extract
Key Ingredients: Cepalin, Proprietary Botanical Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Centella Asiatica Plant Extract
Key Ingredients: Collagex-CE, Patented Form of Niacin / Vitamin B3
103 Reviews
65 Reviews
772 Reviews
372 Reviews
5,992 Reviews
Editor's Choice
Deux Derme - Stretch Mark Intensive Cream With Vitamin E, Shea, Cocoa...
Deux Derme - Stretch Mark Intensive Cream With Vitamin E, Shea, Cocoa...
Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Shea, Cocoa Butter, Antioxidants, Vitamins
103 Reviews
TriLASTIN Maternity Stretch Mark Prevention Cream, Unscented, 4 fl oz. -...
TriLASTIN Maternity Stretch Mark Prevention Cream, Unscented, 4 fl oz. -...
Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Green Bean Extract, Emu Oil, Sesame Seed Oil
65 Reviews
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy - Hydrates to Help Prevent Stretch Marks -...
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy - Hydrates to Help Prevent Stretch Marks -...
Key Ingredients: Organic Aloe, Plant Stem Cells, Seaweed Extract
772 Reviews
StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch...
StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch...
Key Ingredients: Cepalin, Proprietary Botanical Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Centella Asiatica Plant Extract
372 Reviews
Best Seller
Bio-Oil 200ml: Multiuse Skincare Oil (6.7oz)
Bio-Oil 200ml: Multiuse Skincare Oil (6.7oz)
Key Ingredients: Collagex-CE, Patented Form of Niacin / Vitamin B3
5,992 Reviews

Last update on 2018-12-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Summary
Are stretch marks permanent or reversible?
Article Name
Are stretch marks permanent or reversible?
Description
There is no dermatologist who has not heard the following question in his practice: "Can I remove my stretch marks?" Stretch marks are more of a skin condition, but they provoke a lot of discomfort for people, not to mention how often they can be observed in both men and women.
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SkinPractice
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About the author

Monika Hristova

Monika is the Editor-in-Chief at SkinPractice. She is a skin care addict and researcher, who feels strongly about helping people with different dermatology conditions from alopecia to warts.

You can read her recommendations and advice both here at SkinPractice or at Quora where she answers skincare-related questions frequently and is the most viewed author in the Skincare category with more than 3 million views or follow her on LinkedIn.

She is also a certified skin care specialist with certification from the Medical College in Sofia.

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