Expectant mothers, bodybuilders on an intense workout program, teenaged girls developing breasts, teenage boys developing their lats, glutes, and pectoral muscles, and older men who take testosterone replacement therapy all tend to get stretch marks.
How Common are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are extremely common. They occur in up to:
- 40 percent of teenaged boys participating in sports,
- 70 percent of teenaged girls about the same time they start using bras,
- 90 percent of pregnant women and
- 100 percent of men who use testosterone replacement therapy and bodybuilders who use androstenedione or steroids (legal or illegal).
People in these categories often see the thin, red, or purple lines in the skin over muscles that grow fast. Treating these striae distensae rubrae, or purple striae (stretch marks), before they transform into striae distensae albae or white stretch marks, is essential for getting rid of stretch marks for good.
What is A Purple Stretch Mark?
A red or purple stretch mark is purple because the skin is still trying to grow enough blood vessels to deliver enough nutrients to create new skin.
A stretch mark turns white when the skin “gives up,” and the growth factors that stimulate capillary formation are no longer active.
Purple stretch marks are more unsightly, but they are also far more treatable than white stretch marks. This is why it is essential that you start hydrating (treating) your stretch marks as soon as you notice them.
Teenagers tend to “grow out of” stretch marks because their skin still replaces itself quickly. However, this doesn’t mean that teenagers won’t get stretch marks at all. On the contrary, one of the leading causes of stretch marks is puberty. This merely means that young people have better chances of a faster recovery, which makes it all the more important that you purchase nurturing creams and oils for them, as well.
Adults also tend to need stretch mark creams to prevent the worsening of stretch marks. In more advanced cases, where the stretch marks are really severe or don’t respond to topical creams, it may also be necessary to use laser ablation therapy or intensive light therapy. These are also excellent methods to get rid of stretch marks that have been left untreated until they turn white.
But Are We Sure It’s a Stretch Mark?
It’s important to understand that everything that looks like a stretch mark is not necessarily a stretch mark and that certain skin problems require an entirely different approach to treatment.
- A port-wine stain is frequently mistaken for a stretch mark. Port-wine stains are sites on the skin where too many blood vessels have grown, not too few. They may start at birth and worse with time, but they usually do not worsen in response to rapid muscle growth. Some of the same cosmetic coverups that work for stretch marks also work for port wine stains, but stretch mark creams do not.
- “Stork bites” are port wine stains present at birth. These often fade away by adulthood.
- “Crow’s feet,” or telangiectasia, resemble stretch marks of the face. While people who use steroid medications can develop actual stretch marks in the face, crow’s feet are also a condition of “too much” circulation in the skin rather than too little. The treatments that work for stretch marks will not work for telangiectasia.
So make sure you consider this information carefully before you start treating your supposed stretch marks. Remember that if you haven’t gone through puberty, pregnancy, or drastic weight loss or weight gain recently, it is unlikely that you’ve gotten stretch marks and might have to look for a different treatment altogether.
How To Get Rid of Purple Stretch Marks
When you are sure, the problem is a stretch mark, red or purple coloration is a sign there’s still time to get rid of the stretch mark for good with simple remedies. Start with a stretch mark cream. On our website, we offer several in-depth and honest reviews for creams to get rid of stretch marks. We encourage you to check these out before choosing one.
If the stretch mark does not respond to the cream, don’t panic.
First of all, it’s important to remember that most creams take at least a few weeks to work.
We encourage you to also consider a retinol-based topical cream. This is excellent for getting rid of redness and stimulating the production of elastin and collagen in the body, thus healing your stretch-marked skin from the inside out.
If you’re still not getting any results, consider adding a stretch mark roller to your skincare routine. This roller contains lots of micro-needles that gently pierce your skin and trigger and automatic healing process (and collagen production).
If you’re still not getting results in two months, see a dermatologist. Remember, the medical procedures that work for stretch marks all get much better results when treatment is started sooner rather than later.