Stretch marks commonly develop due to excessive stretching of the skin which weakens the naturally elastic properties of collagen and elastin found on the dermis, the second layer of the skin. Some skin scientists say that stretch marks appear when there is a combination of chemical changes in the body, which make stretch marks common among pregnant women and teens, and mechanical factors like skin stretching which often results from excessive weight gain or weight loss. Stretch marks on the legs appear for these very same reasons.
What are the Appearance and Causes of Stretch Marks on Legs?
Stretch marks leave permanent “scars” on the skin which are, in fact, skin fibers that failed to return to their original state before they were stretched. While there is no particular health problem that has been associated with stretch marks, these are often unsightly especially when deep and colored, and cause people who have them, particularly women and teens, to have a low self-esteem.
What are the 6 Ways to Get Rid of Stretch Marks on Legs?
Listed below are some of the options available to you that help you make stretch marks on your legs less visible:
- 1. Keep Skin Ultra-Hydrated By Applying topical Creams and Essential oils: Countless beauty products are capitalizing on the unsightly appearance of stretch marks, and claim to make stretch marks disappear. Fact is, no matter how much tretinoin, collagen cream or cocoa butter you apply on your stretch marks 24/7, there is no way you can totally get rid of them. Remember that your stretch marks are caused by permanent damages to your skin structure.The most benefit that you can derive from topical creams is an improvement in the appearance of your stretch marks yet, even that is not guaranteed. The older your stretch mark is, the more difficult to make it appear less visible. Topical creams and natural oils may help the skin heal and thus, improve stretch marks. However, evidence to prove the efficacy of topical products in reducing stretch marks is lacking.In addition, results vary from person-to-person. Some people seem to respond better to topical treatments than others. Nevertheless, your first option for treating unsightly stretch marks on your legs is to use topical creams. Choose the ones that contain tretinoin and collagen. These help the skin boost collagen production which essentially improves the skin’s elasticity and suppleness by improving your skin’s ability to retain moisture and to stay ultra-hydrated.If you prefer more natural products, try essential oils like sunflower oil, almond oil, rose oil, cocoa butter or, Shea butter. These essential oils also supports your skin’s healing process and can help lessen the appearance of scarring, including stretch marks.
- 2. Consider Dermatological Procedures and Surgery: Contrary to the largely lacking scientific evidence to support efficacy of topical creams, more scientifically developed procedures like the use of laser surgery for treating stretch marks are well studied. However, since the use of laser therapy for treating stretch marks is still quite new, research findings on its use on stretch marks remains limited and still inconclusive. However, if you feel that you are ready to try new dermatological and surgical procedures then, these procedures are worth exploring. Consult with a dermatologist or a skin specialist to know what options may be available for you. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Some of the things that you can ask are: how the procedure is done? How much it will cost? How many treatments will be necessary for you to see visible results? And the side affects you must expect. Two of the most promising dermatological procedures currently available for improving the appearance of stretch marks are dermabrasion and fractional laser treatment. Dermabrasion is often performed on the outer layer of the skin, deliberately wounding the epidermis to stimulate the growth of newer, younger skin. On the other hand, fractional laser treatment goes all the way down to the dermis. It works over small patches of skin and heals the rough edges of scars to smoothen them out with the rest of the skin. Fractional laser treatment also stimulates the dermis to produce collagen to replace damaged collagen fibers. Keep in mind that any medical procedure has its own risks so it pays to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before booking a schedule to get a procedure done on you.
- 3. Exercise Regularly: Stretch marks often appear in areas where there is an excessive amount of fat like the abdomen, breasts, thighs, and, yes, including your legs! Take note, not too lose weight too fast though as doing so can also cause stretch marks to develop.
- 4. Eat a Healthy, Well-balanced Diet: Again, sudden weight gain can cause more stretch marks to appear. Maintain skin health by eating more foods that are rich in Vitamin A, C, and E, and Zinc which aid in skin rejuvenation, collagen production, and skin cell repair. Potatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, and dried apricots are some of the foods rich in Vitamin A. Foods rich in Vitamin C include broccoli, oranges, cranberries, and strawberries. Foods rich in Vitamin E include broccoli, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and kiwi. Zinc, while an important mineral for many bodily functions, including collagen production, cannot be derived from food. Zinc supplements must be recommended.
- 5. Drink Plenty of Water: Drinking plenty of water keeps skin well hydrated and less prone to stretch marks. Water aids in cleansing cells and in cellular repair, including skin cell renewal.
- 6. Get a Massage Regularly: Massaging helps improve blood circulation and benefits skin health. Massaging aids the skin recovers from injury, including the buildup of stretch marks on legs.
Stretch marks on your legs do not pose any health threat to you. So, if you are comfortable putting on that miniskirt with stretch marks on your legs anyways then, there may be no need for you to take any particular regimen or undergo any surgical procedure. However, if it takes a toll on your personality and self-esteem, there are some things you can try to help regain that confidence.