Topical Cures for Stretch Marks: Why They're Effective

By: Maia Pells


Topical medications that usually are prepared as creams, ointments, and lotions. These are less invasive alternatives for curing stretch marks. Over the years, studies have been conducted for substances to treat various skin disorders without having to resort to surgical means. Below are some of the more effective and popular topical remedies for stretch mark removal:

- The Retinoids. Retinoids are chemical compounds associated with vitamin A. Several researches show that retinoid-based creams may improve young stretch marks approximately over a month old and are still red to pink in color. Older stretch marks remain unaffected by retinoids. Although effective, retinoid cream should not be used by pregnant women as the cream is easily absorbed by the skin and may affect the development of the fetus within. Retinoid works by rebuilding and "redesigning" the collagen fibers of stretch marks to make them more similar to the collagen fibers found in normal skin.

- Centella asiatica extract - Centella asiatica is a short herbaceous plant found in Sri Lanka, Northern Australia, Iran, New Guinea, and several parts of Asia. Studies have demonstrated that the plant facilitates wound healing by triggering collagen production.

- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or simply hydroxy acids. These acids are used extensively in the cosmetic industry as part of chemical peel solutions. Hydroxy acids work by peeling off the stretch mark- streaked epidermis eventually revealing the younger and healthier skin cells underneath. Caution should be an important undertaking in the use of chemical peels for side effects include burning, blistering, discoloration when improperly applied.

- Vitamin C - This is essential in the production of certain enzymes that involve in collagen hydroxylation. Thereby vitamin C is important in proper wound healing and scar formation. Citrus fruits are rich in ascorbic acid.

- Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and protection of cell membranes. Vitamin E high foods include avocadoes, wheat germ, nuts, and olives to name a few.

- Provitamin B5 or panthenol - This is used widely in many cosmetic products. In ointment preparations, panthenol has been used in treating various skin lesions such as sunburns and mild disorders aside from stretch marks.

- Cocoa butter - This is a popular skin product. Although no studies have been conducted to test its efficacy in treating stretch marks, its moisturizing effect is worth notice for it keeps the skin rejuvenated and taut. Topical remedies may not be as aggressive as their surgical counterparts; however, they are definitely less expensive and less traumatic to the skin and body. The manner of applying these lotions and creams is also by far more enjoyable and less painful than surgery. The exfoliating and massaging quality by which these lotions and ointments are applied also stimulate blood circulation to the skin. The more blood going to the affected area, the faster the wound repair. The prolonged and gradual recovery period required for topical remedies to take effect also gives the body the chance to heal itself making it possible for stretch marks to naturally fade over

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