Do you have old stretch marks on your skin which you just can’t seem to shift? If the answer is yes – then you are not alone…
When it comes to treating these lines on your body, there are typically two variations 1) Reddish or purplish marks which are fresh tears formed by recent stretching of the skin, & 2) White or silver marks which are older & more faded lines on the body.
The methods to treat these two types can be somewhat different due to the nature of their anatomy. Whilst there will be some overlap in treatment with regards to general skin moisture improvement etc, there are some significant differences too.
How to Get Rid Of Old Stretch Marks – Fast
The main difference is that older marks & scars on the body are now very much apart of the skin structure. You typically have a 6-8 week window to treat newly formed lesions with creams & lotions being your best plan of action.
However older lines require a more robust & serious treatment protocol as the damage to the dermis layer of the skin is very much now set in stone. Whilst topical treatments can still be effective (only a handful) you will have to implement some more serious measures.
Essentially you have to ensure that the treatment methods you are using are penetrating deep enough to help repair & increase the collagen & elastin fibers within the dermis layer. Anything that simply treats the surface epidermis layer wont do.
Steps to Fade Stubborn Lines on the Body
Step 1: Natural Home Remedies
As I always suggest, going with the natural compounds is a great way to start. Not all of these substances will penetrate deep enough to fix the underlying layers of collagen & elastin, however they will prepare the skin for the subsequent treatments.
Using a natural sugar scrub every 2-3 days before getting in a warm shower is a great way to exfoliate the affected area first & foremost. Following this up with a high quality cocoa or Shea butter will then greatly improve skin moisture & texture.
In addition to this, supplementing with vitamin A,C,E & Zinc are effective ways to again improve general skin quality.
You can do this either in tablet form, breaking the capsules up & mixing with your favorite stretch mark cream.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to increase these nutrients within your diet also.
Each of these home remedies will help contribute to overall skin health & work to promote the efficiency of the more serious collagen producing methods latter on. If you want to learn more about these natural treatments, read my full thoughts on them here.
Step 2: Wear Sunscreen
Limiting sun exposure & wearing sunscreen during the day is not only general good practice, but vital for reducing the appearance of old stretch marks. Whilst a tanned complexion is considered to be more “healthy” looking, a darker skin tone will only serve to make translucent lines more prominent.
The lines caused by stretching of the skin WONT tan or change color with the rest of the body. They will remain silver or white.
You can choose to cover the marks with a natural cosmetic such as a foundation or skin camouflage if you so wish.
However, my advise is to use an oil free sunscreen which will reduce irritation & prevent against clogging of skin pores. A natural cream with an SPF of 20 or higher will do the job!
Step 3: Dry Brushing
Another great skin preparation technique when treating old stretch marks, is to dry brush your skin each day. I just love this technique & rarely go a day without doing it. In addition to skin care, dry brushing has a whole host of other health benefits. These improvements include:
- Lymphatic System Drainage
- Vascular Blood Circulation
- Nerve Ending Stimulation
- Digestion Efficiency
The brushing motion on the skin can also help strengthen pores, as well as connective tissue in the area being worked on. This aids in returning the skin to its natural elasticity & vibrant/youthful state.
It has also been shown to stimulate fresh collagen production in the skin. Whilst I have my doubts on this, I certainly keep this technique in my skin care arsenal for the aforementioned benefits. It definitely won’t inhibit old stretch mark recovery…. & it feels great!
Step 4: Derma Rolling
Now its onto the nitty-gritty of skin damage repair. I have written more extensively on this technique in greater detail here. But to summarize – derma rolling (or micro-needle abrasion) is the first treatment which can legitimately penetrate down to the dermis layer in order to effect collagen fiber re-structuring (key for treating old stretch marks)
It’s performed by taking a small roller with anything from 200-300 micro needles, & rolling the head back & forth over a body part creating tiny punctures within the skin.
These holes heal up by themselves within just a few short hours. The body perceives this ‘mini-trauma’ and starts the skin’s natural regeneration process.
At this point it is critical to follow up with a collagen boosting lotion or cream. If the rolling has caused the breakdown of dermis layer tissue, it’s now time for the topical treatment to help rebuild it. The natural compounds can work well here, although there is one extra-strength cream I recommend.
Step 5: Laser Re-surfacing
The final avenue of treatment at your disposal when it comes to old stretch mark removal, are the surgical procedures. These methods are certainly the more painful & expensive routes to take. You will also have to consult your local doctor or plastic surgeon to see what they advise, which will usually be laser re-surfacing:
Fractional Photothermolysis Laser Treatment – This technique may be considered the gold standard when it comes to treating old stretch marks, as well as all skin tones. It works by simultaneously stimulating new collagen cells, as well as destroying old tissue. It does this by pinpointing only the problematic cells, increasing effectiveness whilst reducing unnecessary wounding to the skin.
It also increases melanin or skin pigmentation, which over time will help to return tissue within the problematic lines to the skins natural color. This will make them almost undetectable to the naked eye. Again, you need to back up this treatment with an effective healing cream to complete the rebuilding process.
How To Remove Old Stretch Marks
When it comes to treating old white lines on the body, it’s more a case of fading them – as opposed to removing them entirely. Opting for one of the more serious medical procedures can give you an almost 100% reduction in stretch mark appearance. But all other treatments are just a game of inches…
How much can natural remedies, topical creams & derma rolling reduce your battle scars? In my experience with treating my own pregnancy stretch marks – quite a lot! I would say it’s eminently possible to achieve a 50-70% reduction in old lines & lesions with these methods.
It will take a consistent & concerted effort on your part, but will be well worth the time spent in the long run. 50% might not seem like a tremendous result, but I assure you, every percentage point counts when it comes to your confidence. It makes all the difference when it comes to showing off our bodies or not…
I know it did for me!
Other Useful Sources On Old Stretch Mark Removal: