Red stretch marks: Treatments & Causes

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Red stretch marks are new stretch marks that just formed. Red stretch marks are a form of dermal scars that looks like streaks or lines.

You can develop red stretch marks on stomachs, thighs, or other body parts. They're frequent skin issues that can affect anyone. Red stretch marks are benign, meaning that they aren't harmful.

Red stretch marks

However, they can be a source of mental uneasiness for some persons. Various treatments work fine, healing, and reducing them. If you want to know how to get rid of red stretch marks. 

Keep reading.

Table of contents.

What do Red stretch marks mean? 

Red stretch marks are newly formed stretch marks. In dermatology, their formal name is Striae Rubra. Red stretch marks occur when you experience a quick change in your body shape, like during pregnancy, or after a sudden weight gain, which causes the skin to overstretch.

New stretch marks appear red because the skin surrounding it becomes thinner, which make blood vessel visible and give the stretch marks this reddish color. Besides red, Fresh stretch marks can also look pink or purple, depending on how thin the skin is and the color of the person affected by them. 

How to get rid of red stretch marks at home?

The treatments of Red stretch marks at home costs much less than procedures conducted in a doctor's office. However, it requires time and commitment. For this kind of treatment to be effective, you need to be consistent with it.

How to get rid of red stretch

You will find on the internet a lot of products that claim to be effective in treating red stretch marks. However, for most of them, there is no scientific evidences that they are working.

In the following section of this article, I will only share with you home treatments and remedies that proved to be working, based on clinical trials and scientific studies.

So let's go over the best home treatments for red stretch marks.

Almonds oil

Almonds oil for red stretch marks

A study concerning the effect of almond oil on Red stretch marks showed that women who were applying almond oil during pregnancy have lower chances of getting stretch marks.

The study also points the fact that massaging the areas of the body exposed to stretch marks using almond oil for 15 minutes gives better results.

Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola)

Centella Asiatica for red stretch marks

Centella Asiatica, called Gotu Kola, is a traditional medicinal Asian herb. Recently more and more skincare brands start using it because of its tremendous potential in preserving a nourishing the skin.

A recent medical review on the effect of Centella Asiatica demonstrated the effectiveness of creams and dietary supplements containing this herb in protecting the skin from red stretch marks.

Red stretch marks homeopathic medicine: Hydralift

Red stretch marks homeopathic medicine Hydralift

Initially, Hydralift is used to reduce the aging effect on the skin. However, based on Hydralift customer's experiences, we found that the Centella Asiatica contained in this product gave great results when it comes to the reduction and prevention of red stretch marks.

Hydralift contains the following ingredients:

Each of the ingredients cited above helps to protect the skin from red stretch marks and other skin issues.

Another reason for us to recommend Hydralift is that it contains only natural ingredients that you can use during pregnancy.

Check out the list of skincare compounds that you should avoid when pregnant.

Hydralift is a product of a well-known brand - 5th & Glow owned by skin expert Cecilia wong For more info visit their website

Hydralift Website

Aloe vera

Aloe vera for red stretch marks

Aloe vera is a compound that helps both with the prevention and the healing of dermal lesions such as Red stretch marks.

A clinical trial on the effects of Aloe vera and almond oil on a group of pregnant women showed that a reduction in the spread of red stretch marks, and their sizes. Also, this trial proved that this mixture works better than most anti-stretch marks creams on the market.

Retinoid creams

Retinoid based creams are famous for their protective and healing effect on stretch marks. However, you shouldn't use them if you are pregnant. Retinoids may be harmful to fetal development.

If you still want to use retinoid creams during your pregnancy, talk about it with your doctor first.

Cream for red stretch marks: XYZ Smart Collagen

cream for red Stretch marks

XYZ collagen is a cream for red stretch marks that reduces their sizes. It combines powerful ingredients tested clinically.

XYZ collagen increases the elastin fibers and collagen production. Also, it reduces the collagen breakdown in the skin. This cream helps in both preventing and treating red stretch marks.

To get the best result, you need to apply it twice a day (morning and evening). Based on most customer reviews and from what I've seen, it requires 12 weeks of treatment with XYZ collagen to make any red stretch marks barely visible.

XYZ collagen is almost as efficient as laser therapy in treating red stretch marks but still very affordable for info, take a look at their website.

XYZ Smart Collagen Website

Microneedling

Microneedling is a procedure that you can do at home and requires a derma roller or skin pen. These gadgets are relatively cheap. Their prices range from 15 to - 40$ on Amazon.

The skin pen or the derma roller contains small needles that create micro-injuries on the surfaces of the skin, in response to these injuries, the body increases its collagen production in the skin on the treated area.

Besides red stretch marks, you might use micro-needling also to treat acne scars, wrinkles, or large pores size.

The video below shows how you can perform this operation safely at home

Exfoliating red stretch marks

Exfoliating is a simple practice that can bring out great results. It helps you get rid of dead skin cells and rejuvenate the skin. This process helps to reduce the size of red stretch marks and favor the healing of damaged skin tissues.

For red stretch marks home remedies and treatments to works effectively, you need to be consistent. The best way to do this is by scheduling them on your daily planing on your phone or tablet.

If you are a busy person and you don't have much time, don't worry, many medical treatments exist for red stretch marks nowadays.

Tanning red stretch marks

You can use a self-tanner to hide your stretch marks. This will not reduce them or treat them, but they will be less noticeable.

It's more like a hack them a remedy.

Red Stretch marks treatments (medical procedures)

First, you need to know that medical insurances doesn't cover red stretch marks treatments. They are cosmetic procedures The second important point about red stretch marks treatments conducts by doctors or skincare centers is that they are costly.

With that said, let's go over the most popular procedures for treating red stretch marks.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is the most popular medical intervention to treat red stretch marks. A dermatologist or specialized doctor can conduct it in a clinic. However, they need to anesthetize their patient locally.

The principle of this procedure is quite simple, by exposing red stretch marks to high-frequency lasers it will force your body to create more collagen, which helps in the reduction of red stretch marks.

The doctor can adapt the power and the frequency of the laser depending on the sensitivity of your skin. It requires 2 to 4 weeks for your skin to recover from one laser therapy session.

The number of laser sessions that you need to treat red stretch marks depends on their size and where they are on the body. On average, you need 4 to 6 sessions to treat a spot affected by red stretch marks.

According to Costhelper, the cost of laser treatments ranges around 1500 and 3700$.

You can also use Laser therapy to treat and reduce scars.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a procedure recommended for persons with sensitive skin. It's less irritating for the skin than laser therapy.

Microdermabrasion consists of exfoliating the surface of the skin using a particular tool. Then, use skin-nourishing serums to help increase elastin fibers and collagen productions in the skin.

In some cases, the doctor can suggest a combination of microdermabrasion and laser therapy for optimal results.

On average, one Microdermabrasion session costs 160$.

Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery is the only medical procedure that can remove stretch marks. All other treatment only reduces their size and their appearance.

However, surgery is a complicated procedure that requires a significant recovery period. You might need to think about it twice before opting for it.

The surgeon removes the part of the skin affected by stretch marks then pulls the skin surrounding that area to reconstruct the removed skin.

On average, this kind of surgery costs around 5000 $

Tattoo over red stretch marks

Some women opt for this solution to hide their red stretch marks.

If you are a fan of tattoos, you can place one over stretch marks to cover them.

It's the same as having a regular tattoo. However, think about it twice because it will be permanent. Also if you're willing to go for this solution wait for the stretch marks to mature and turn white.

What causes Red stretch marks

Red stretch marks appear because of significant changes in the body shape or weight. Pregnancy, puberty, and weight gain are all well-known causes of red stretch marks. The location where stretch marks form depends on the reason but also the gender.

In the following sections, we will discuss in detail this matter, keep reading.

Red stretch marks on stomach

Red stretch marks on the stomach causes are pregnancy, weight gain, and Cushing syndrome.

let's go through each of these causes in detail

Pregnancy:

During pregnancy the uterus expands because of the fetal development, after the 20th week, it starts putting pressure on the abdominal wall, which causes the skin on the stomach to overstretch, and may lead to the appearance of red stretch marks.

Weight gain

Weight gain is a common cause of stretch marks. When you start gaining weight, you store fat in specific body parts, which body part will be affected depends on your morphology and genetics.

Males tend to store fat in the stomach and shoulders, while for females, it's hips and tight.

For this reason, red stretch marks caused by weight gain concern more men than women.

A reliable way to monitor your weight is by calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index). According to the world health organization, a healthy BMI should be between 20 and 25

Cushing syndrome

Cushing syndrome is a condition that affects hormonal balance in the body. The principal cause of Cushing syndrome is a long exposure to cortisol.

Hormonal disorder weakens the skin and make it less elastic, which may cause red stretch marks to appear. Some symptom of the Cushing syndrome are:

Upper body obesity thin leg and arms High arterial pressure and blood sugar

You can do a simple lab test to check if you have it or not. However, the treatment may vary from a person to another, depending on what triggered this situation.

Red stretch marks on thighs

pregnancy

Women can see during their pregnancy red stretch marks appearing on their thighs. there are two main reasons to that Hormonal disorder: during pregnancy, there are significant changes in the hormonal profile of women, which perturbs collagen and elastin fibers production and makes the skin vulnerable to red stretch marks.

Stress during pregnancy makes it worse and amplifies hormonal disorders. For this reason, try to avoid unnecessary stress and overthinking.

Weight gain

studies showed that the appetite of women increases during pregnancy. Therefore, they eat more. This situation is normal. However, some women fall into the trap of overeating in this period. Try to keep your diet clean and avoid junk food in pregnancy.

Weight gain / Weight loss

In general, when women gain weight, fat is stored in their thighs and hips. If you have a weight variation bigger than 2 pounds per week, you have a high chance of developing red stretch marks on thighs.

Puberty

Red stretch marks caused by puberty concern both male and female, when a child hits puberty, his body parts start growing, which provokes the skin to overstretch. Besides arms and back, thighs are body parts that expend the most.

Red stretch marks on thighs caused by puberty are horizontal and point to your feet.

Red stretch marks F.A.Q answer by an expert

Do red stretch marks go away?

If left without treatment, After a few months (from 6 to 12), Red stretch marks start fading and flattening to turn into white stretch marks.

In some rare cases, red stretch marks might also turn into black or dark blue stretch marks if the person affected with them has dark skin.

This condition happens because of a biological mechanism that triggers melanogenesis.

It's also important to underline the fact that since stretch marks are scars, you can't remove them entirely.

All red stretch marks treatments, including the ones conducted by a doctor, only reduce the size of stretch marks and make them less noticeable.

White VS red stretch marks

White stretch marks are harder to treat, according to many studies, red stretch marks have a better response to stretch marks treatments compared to white stretch marks.

It means that treating white stretch marks takes you more time, effort, and money.

For this reason, experts recommend treating red stretch marks as soon as they appear.

You've got two options when it comes to treating red stretch marks:

Self-treatment mainly by using home remedies, creams, Bio-oils, and topicals. Treatments conducted by a doctor or specialist at his office

Bottom line

Red stretch marks can be treated at home using topicals, creams, or essentials oils, and adopting the appropriate skincare routines.

The best products and practices that give results according to clinical trials are:

  • Almonds oil 
  • Centella Asiatica 
  • Aloe vera 
  • Microneedling 
  • Retinoid creams 
  • XYZ collagen

Red stretch marks treatments conducted by a dermatologist or a skin specialist are expensive and will not necessarily work better than treatments you can do at home. You can avoid red stretch marks by doing some simple things like

  • Monitoring your weight 
  • Eating healthy Exercising 
  • Take care of your skin

I hope you enjoyed reading my post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Don't forget to share this with your friends, take care.

References

Timur TaƟhan S, Kafkasli A. The effect of bitter almond oil and massaging on striae gravidarum in primiparous women. J Clin Nurs. 2012;21(11-12):1570-1576. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04087.x

Gohil KJ, Patel JA, Gajjar AK. Pharmacological Review on Centella Asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2010;72(5):546-556. DOI:10.4103/0250-474X.78519

Mock DM. Skin manifestations of biotin deficiency. Semin Dermatol. 1991;10(4):296-302.

Hajhashemi M, Rafieian M, Rouhi Boroujeni HA, et al. The effect of Aloe vera gel and sweet almond oil on striae gravidarum in nulliparous women. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018;31(13):1703-1708. DOI:10.1080/14767058.2017.1325865

Lokhande AJ, Mysore V. Striae Distensae Treatment Review and Update. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2019;10(4):380-395. DOI:10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_336_18


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