Every Question You’ve Ever Had About Stretch Marks, Answered

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Photo: Courtesy of @SaraShakeel

Stretch marks happen to the best of us, but we want to know is why — and is there anything we can do to treat them? Savoir Flair tapped Amira Nassar, Laser and Skincare Specialist at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, to ask her everything we’ve ever wanted to know about stretch marks. From what really causes them to the products that (actually) help, read on for your ultimate guide to all things stretch marks.


Is there anything we can do to prevent stretch marks?
Stretch marks can be prevented by controlling your weight, staying hydrated, eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, exercising frequently, and keeping your skin hydrated with a rich lotion or cream.

What is the real reason we get stretch marks?
Stretch marks come about when you rapidly gain weight, which causes the dermis (middle layer of the skin) to tear. Also, they are associated more with pregnancy compared to other factors. In fact, three out of every four women who give birth end up with stretch marks.

Other than pregnancy, stretch marks can also be caused by hormonal changes like puberty, genetics, weight changes, or when a person is using corticosteroid creams.

Do all pregnant women get stretch marks?
No, not all pregnant women get stretch marks. This is because there are women whose skin elasticity is quite good, and which snaps back after giving birth. It can also be genetics.

Is there anything we can take to prevent stretch marks before pregnancy?
We can prevent or reduce the risks of getting stretch marks before pregnancy by exercising to tone up the muscles, applying natural aloe vera gel, cocoa and shea butter body lotion, and eating foods rich in zinc and vitamin C.

What is the difference between red and white stretch marks?
The difference between red and white stretch marks is the age of the mark. Newer stretch marks are always red in color and easier to get rid of than the white ones, which are older.

Most people believe that only women can get stretch marks, which is a myth. The fact is that stretch marks appear in both men and women!

Where do stretch marks usually appear?
Stretch marks are most likely to appear on body parts with larger amount of fat, like the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, back, and of course the inner and outer thighs.

When should a pregnant woman start using treatments to prevent stretch marks?
We advise women to start treatment for stretch marks as soon as possible after delivery, when the stretch marks are still red in color. This is because the fresher they are, the more they will improve and respond positively to the treatment applied. At the moment, the best treatments for stretch marks is either radio frequency or laser.

What specific treatment would you use to treat them?
I use Fractional Co2 laser, which works by heating the skin and boosting the collagen. There is also the Radio Frequency Microneedling skin treatment, which helps reduce stretch marks by stimulating new collagen and generating new cells. There are also some creams and gels that contain hyaluronic acid and retinoid that, when applied, help to reduce the stretch marks.

Is it possible for stretch marks to disappear on their own?
No, it is very unlikely for stretch marks to go away on their own without any form of treatment or applying topical products meant to improve their appearance.

tips how to get rid stretch marks -@sarashakeel
Photo: Courtesy of @SaraShakeel

What is the biggest stretch mark myth?
Most people believe that only women can get stretch marks, which is a myth. The fact is that stretch marks appear in both men and women!

Is it possible to remove stretch marks permanently or they will appear again with each new pregnancy?
Unfortunately, stretch marks cannot be completely eliminated. The best you can hope for is that you will not get stretch marks with your next pregnancy if you are taking good care of yourself (exercising to tone up, hydrating the skin, and maintaining a healthy diet).

Are stretch marks a genetic problem?
Yes, genetics absolutely play a role, but a person’s lifestyle can also be a contributing factor.

Are stretch marks related to skin color, age, or body weight of the mother?
Yes. If you have a lighter complexion, you will tend to develop red stretch marks. On the other hand, darker-skinned women tend to get stretch marks that are lighter than their skin tone. When it comes to age, studies have shown that women aged 35 or over have a lower chance of getting stretch marks compared to their younger counterparts. As for the weight during pregnancy, gaining more than the recommended weight will most likely lead to stretch marks.

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