Stretch marks on the knees can be a horrible blow to your self-confidence. Especially since the leg area is usually so visible, especially in the summertime, and can be much more challenging to cover up than other stretch mark locations, such as the breasts or the buttocks.
In this article, we explore how and why you got stretch marks on the knees and legs and what’s the most efficient way to get rid of them (or at least, cover them up), so don’t you worry, we’ll have you wearing short skirts again in no time at all!
First things first – Why are There Stretch Marks on the Knees and Legs?
It makes sense to get them on the belly or the breasts, but the knees… seriously?
One of the leading causes for stretch marks on the legs is sudden growth. Often, they can appear due to hormonal growth spurts that occur naturally during puberty. Other times, stretch marks appear because of a severe weight gain (particularly for people who carry the bulk of their weight in their legs) and also due to heavyweight leg fitness training.
Stretch marks on the legs and knees can also be the result of a medical condition, such as Cushing Syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Of course, our blog does not profess to offer an alternative to actual medical advice, and we suggest you consult a professional for any medically-related issue or decision.
Stretch marks on the legs, as in other parts of the body, start out as a light pink or red color and eventually fade into a white or silvery shade. Blue, black, brown, or purple stretch marks can also happen and aren’t anything to worry about.
Okay, But Is It Normal to Have Stretch Marks on Your Knees?
You might worry that stretch marks on the back of your knees might turn you into a medical freak, but stretch marks on the leg area are surprisingly common. According to WebMD, a staggering 50% to 90% of women have such stretch marks, and they are also usual in teenage boys and girls.
Great, so How Can I Get Rid of Them?
Even though stretch marks are perfectly natural and nothing to be embarrassed about, you might not feel comfortable exposing them. Well, the good news is, there are loads of methods out there, both medical or at-home, for the removal of stretch marks on the knees.
Micro-needling is one of the most popular options for getting rid of stretch marks on the knees, as well as in other areas. It has been shown to fade away such scars significantly.
It’s a relatively simple procedure, but one that takes some time to show results. The doctor or clinician will prick your skin with a derma pen covered with lots of tiny pins. This will convince your skin that it has been damaged and thus activate the healing process, stimulating the production of elastin and collagen, which can make the skin plumper and regenerate cells.
It is also possible to do micro-needling at home, using a derma-roller (a less intense version of the pen). This is also reasonably effective and can be a good alternative if you have a hectic schedule or prefer the privacy of your own home.
Microdermabrasion is a form of exfoliation, typically done by a specialist, in which the skin is sprayed with a cosmetic, chemical-free concentration of crystals and other, rougher materials that work to slough away dead skin cells and bring forth new, healthy ones.
It’s one of the least intrusive, least painful methods, mainly suitable to get rid of stretch marks behind the knees (a more painful area), and has been proven to be quite useful in fading away marks.
- Chemical Peels
Another exfoliation method – that’s because getting rid of dead skin is important in the promotion of new, healthy growth – is a chemical peel. Also typically done at a salon or clinic, chemical peels involve the application of a substance on the stretch-marked area.
This substance typically contains alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy-acids (BHAs), which burn away current layers of skin that has become degraded or damaged in some way. They also have great properties for going deep into the skin layer and unclogging pores and build-up, which might also be causing your skin to appear dull or rough.
- Laser Treatment
Although a time-consuming and moderately invasive procedure, laser treatment is lauded as one of your best options for fading away stretch marks.
Laser therapy involves the use of a laser beam on a targeted skin area to promote growth. You can choose between ablative lasers and non-ablative ones.
The ablative laser, as its’ name suggests, actually destroys the topmost layer of your skin and allows newer, healthier skin to come through (removing the damaged layers fades the stretch marks considerably). Non-ablative laser therapy, rather than destroying, targets the inside of the skin and works to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen (making the skin appear fuller and healthier).
- Tretinoin and Retinoid Creams
It is often recommended that you combine laser treatments with the topical application of tretinoin or other retinoid-based creams, but you can also use these on their own. Tretinoin and retinol are derived from vitamin A and help boost collagen production and rebuild damaged skin by stimulating the regrowth of cells, both old and new. They are also extremely efficient in combating the effects of aging.
While they’ve been proven to be efficient for stretch marks, tretinoin is rather strong and is a prescription-only product. Other retinol-derivates are milder and can be bought over-the-counter.
Vitamin A derivates are quite strong and may cause adverse reactions. As such, they are not recommended for use by women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant.
- Removal Surgery
Surgery is by far the most invasive removal procedure and can be particularly upsetting on a delicate area, such as the knee joints, which is why we would recommend trying some of the other options in this list and keeping surgery as a last resort.
- Stretch Mark Creams
There are loads of excellent products out there, some organic, some less so, all boasting to prevent or significantly fade your stretch marks. Some of our favorites include TriLastin Stretch Mark Cream, which has an excellent track record in treating existing/old stretch marks, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula, with its’ deeply moisturizing properties, and Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy, with its’ skin-supporting ingredients.
For our in-depth, 100% honest review of the best stretch mark creams, click here!
In the treatment of knee stretch marks, exercise has also proven effective as it stimulates the blood flow in your legs and improves the growth of new cells.
- Dry Brushing
Brushing the skin while dry (typically before showering) with a bristle-brush encourages a healthy blood flow and removes the dirt accumulated during the day, as well as old, dead skin cells.
Careful though, don’t dry brush too roughly, because this might damage the skin.
Another method of stimulating healthy blood flow, frequently massaging the affected area (typically with oils), can improve the appearance of stretch marks. Read more about massaging for stretch marks here.
- Natural Oils
The key to skin repair is moisture, and these essential oils are well-known for their nutritive and healing properties:
- Argan Oil has been shown to improve skin’s elasticity;
- Bitter Almond Oil, lauded for its’ soothing, moisturizing effect has been proven effective in the treatment and prevention of stretch marks;
- Vitamin E Oil is a natural anti-oxidant and healer that will efficiently hydrate and strengthen the skin – read more about treating stretch marks with vitamin E oil here;
- Patchouli Oil has also shown that it has excellent skin-strengthening properties and can stimulate the production of collagen and diminish the appearance of stretch marks.
How can I Conceal the Stretch Marks on My Knees?
As treatment takes time to work, you might want to look for faster methods to hide your stretch marks. A good idea would be to wear long, ideally loose-fitting clothes (so as not to impede blood flow). Or, if going out in a skirt/bathing suit/shorts is necessary, consider investing in a stretch mark concealer.