Table of Contents
- What are Stretch Marks?
- What really causes Stretch Marks?
- Are there Topical Products that can completely fade Stretch Marks?
- Now over to the big question – Can Tretinion and Hyaluronic acid Fade Stretch Marks?
- What is Hyaluronic Acid and Tretinion by the way?
- How effective is Hyaluronic Acid on Stretch Marks?
- Tretinion (Retin-a, or A.ret, Renova, Avita )
- How does Tretinion Fade Stretch Marks?
- How should I apply tretinion and hyaluronic acid on my stretch marks?
- Can stretch marks be prevented and are there other treatments to help reduce it’s appearance?
- Possible Questions and Answers.
Probably you may have seen that purple, pink or red stretches on your skin, and you begin to ask yourself why the hell did this appear,? how do I get rid of this?. Well, I think this article has all the answers you need. Including the big question – can tretinion and hyaluronic acid fade stretch marks?.
Keep reading to know more about stretch marks
What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are also known as striae, it occures when the skin rapidly changes shape due to growth or weight gain. This scar develops when the skin is stretches, and they aren’t a sign that something is wrong with your health.
Stretch marks appears in a red or purple line on the skin, takes different textures around the skin. Although some Stretch marks fades on their own taking a lighter shade.
According to Dr. Melanie Palm, board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founder of the Art of Skin MD, in San Diego, CA. – “Stretch marks, known in medical terms as ‘striae distensae,’ are caused by rapid changes in skin tension or hormonal changes that affect the second layer of the skin, the dermis”.
What really causes Stretch Marks?
There are some certain things that can cause Stretch marks and they include Below:
Pregnancy: You’re likely going to have stretch marks when you gain rapid weight. When pregnancy occurs, the skin around the stomach starts to expand thereby making the body grow faster than your skin which causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks.
Puberty: Stretch marks normally occurs to both boys and girls during puberty, when an individual gains weight very quickly which causes the skin to stretch, and can result to occurrence of stretch marks.
Cortisone Creams: Using skincare products, such as gels, lotions, ointments, and creams that contains steroids on you skin for a longer-period of time can trigger stretch marks. This is because steroids break down connective tissue in the skin.
According to Health24,- Long-term use of topical steroids has in some cases led to permanent striae (stretch marks).
Dr. David M. Amron, founder and medical director of The Roxbury Institute and board-certified dermatological surgeon in Beverly Hills, says that stretch marks often run in families, but ultimately their cause is exacerbated by sudden changes in weight.
Are there Topical Products that can completely fade Stretch Marks?
The hard truth is that no matter what any cream, oil, or serum promises, there’s no over-the-counter product that will completely erase stretch marks, and they can’t be prevented. Dr. Palm says.
Now over to the big question – Can Tretinion and Hyaluronic acid Fade Stretch Marks?
Studies has proven, that using hyaluronic acid together with tretinion can significantly reduce the appearance of new stretch marks, making them look totally unnoticeable.
According to this study in 1996, topical retinoid product, (Tretinion) has proven to significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks after 2 months of treatment on patients with stretch marks.
According to Dr. Palm – “One cream that can potentially reduce the appearance of stretch marks is a retinoid—but there’s a catch. These products have only been shown to work on new marks. “For newer, red stretch marks, topical tretinoin cream, a retinoid, has been shown to fade stretch marks and reduce the size of stretch marks”.
Note: Tretinion (a retiniod) proved to reduce the appearance of newer or fresh stretch marks. fresh or more recent stretch marks are purple, pink or red in color. While long existing or matured stretch marks are usually white or silver in colour which are usually stubborn and persistent to fade.
According to America Academy of Dermatology. “In two large studies, applying hyaluronic acid to early stretch marks made the stretch marks less noticeable.”
What is Hyaluronic Acid and Tretinion by the way?
Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (carbohydrates) found in our body. It plays a key role in healing and moisturizing a damaged, dry and shrinked skin, it’s main function is to keep the skin lubricated and moist. Here is everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid.
How effective is Hyaluronic Acid on Stretch Marks?
Hyaluronic acid can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water! In other words, it functions as a humectant and holds water molecules onto the surface of your skin to keep it well plumped, firm and hydrated. With it’s power of hydrating and moisturizing, hyaluronic acid can smoothen out stretch marks making them less visible, not only that, it can also plump and firm the skin.
Hyaluronic acid can be found in serums (pure hyaluronic acid serum) it can also be found in creams, soaps and lotions too. You can use the cream or serum. But to get the most out of hyaluronic acid, we recommend you should use hyaluronic acid serum.
Tretinion (Retin-a, or A.ret, Renova, Avita )
Tretinion is derived from Vitamin A, (from the family of retinoids), which is used in treatment of acne/pimples and slows down visual sign of premature aging. Which comes in different brand names such as Retin-a, A,ret, Renova, Avita. And also comes in different percentage, 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%.
- 0.025%: lowest percentage (For beginners)
- 0.05%: Medium Percentage.
- 0.1%: Strongest or highest percentage.
Tretinion also comes in gel and cream form.
How does Tretinion Fade Stretch Marks?
When tretinion is applied on stretch marks, it rebuilds collagen, by boosting the skin’s collagen production level, and increase cell turnover. Collagen is responsible for the elasticity and firmness of the skin. When the collagen production in the skin is stimulated, this significantly improves the skin texture, thereby smoothening out stretch marks making them look more like your normal skin (less visible). Although it’s adviced to moisturize after using tretinion as it dries out the skin, and that’s why we have hyaluronic acid.
Note: Tretinion may cause irritations such as peeling, dryness and redness. This are signs that retinol is doing it’s work. Your skin is trying to build tolerance towards retinoid because of the cell turnover process. This signs should fade away after sometime, but for the mean time, it’s highly recommended you should deeply moisturize while using retinoids in general.
Since tretinion medication is only issued on prescription, speak with your doctor first before using It.
You can as well use retinol products instead. Since tretinion and retinol are all derivative of vitamin A under the family of retinoids. You can check out our review of best retinol serums and creams in the market which worths your money.
Having seen what these two ingredients are capable of, then imagine their combination together. Using Tretinion and Hyaluronic acid (either in lotion or serum form) will smoothen your stretch marks making them blend with your skin.
Tretinion when applied on the stretch mark smoothens the top layer of the skin and also boosts collagen production thereby promoting firmness and elasticity, while hyaluronic acid which is responsible for hydration, supple and firm structure of our skin, hydrates and supplies moisture to the skin when topically applied, whether as a serum or a moisturizer.
Note: If you’re expecting a baby (pregnant) or a nursing mother, we strongly advise you should stay clear of tretinion and retiniods. You should also avoid taking oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin, during pregnancy.
According to Deanne Robinson, MD, a dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine and also a co-founder of Modern Dermatology of Connecticut. Said; “Skincare in pregnancy can be tricky,“. She further said pregnant women who are expecting a baby and also breastfeeding mothers, should avoid using retinoids. She also said “while the vitamin (retinoids) can work wonders on your skin, excessive amounts can interfere with fetal development and lead to birth defects”.
However, pure hyaluronic acid serum or cream is safe for pregnant women (including nursing mothers too). It is naturally found in our bodies and is very versatile, so it works well with all skin types, including sensitive and acne prone.
According to Dr. Rothaus – “Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in our skin, and as a result one should not expect any problems,”. He further said “When patients complain of rashes or other problems related to hyaluronic acid-containing products, it is often a result of a problem with another ingredient, such as one of the preservatives.”
Preservatives helps extend the shelf-life of a product, but some, like, parabens, formaldehyde-releasers, isothiazolinones, and methylisothiazolinone can lead to irritation, According to DermNet NZ.
How should I apply tretinion and hyaluronic acid on my stretch marks?
According to the study, Tretinion 0.1% cream was used to treat Stretch marks, which resulted to a significant reduction in appearance.
0.1% tretinion is the highest strength and is only issued on prescription. However, since the study has proven that 0.1% tretinion did the wonderful job, you can speak with your doctor on using 0.1% tretinion on your stretch marks.
However, if you think that 0.1% maybe too much for your skin to take, you can start with 0.05% (medium percentage).
Hyaluronic acid comes as a moisturizer or serum too. Like we stated earlier. To get the most out of hyaluronic acid, use it in form of a serum. You can as well use both serum and moisturizer for even more maximum hydration effect.
Steps to applying tretinion cream and hyaluronic acid serum on stretch marks.
- Prepare your skin, wash the affected area with clean warm water using a gentle cleanser. Towel off, but not completely. Keep your face alittle bit moist or damp.
- Apply tretinion cream on the affected area, (don’t apply much). Then wait for a minute to enable the skin absorb it, before applying hyaluronic acid serum, Apply generously. You can as well apply an Oil-free moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid too.
Continue with this application daily (at night only). You should see significant changes on your stretch marks scars after some months. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen during the day.
You may be wondering why you should apply tretinion on a moist skin while research says apply on a completely dry skin. There’s no evidence showing retinol is more effective when applied to your skin while dry instead of wet.
Feel free to apply retinol whether your skin is dry or you’ve just washed it and it’s still damp; it really doesn’t matter.
I know the instructions on the box often recommend waiting until your face is completely dry before applying a retinoid,” says Sachs. “But there’s no evidence in the scientific literature I’ve seen that shows damp or wet skin exacerbates sensitivity.” And while we’re on the topic, applying a retinoid to damp skin doesn’t maximize its potency, either. “Nothing having to do with application decides how much of the retinol is converted into retinoic acid, the form of vitamin A that actually repairs skin,” Sachs says. “That’s solely related to your skin’s chemistry and retinoid receptors.”
The only reason why it’s recommended you should apply retiniods on a dry skin is to limit the acid from penetrating into the skin, which can cause irritations.
“Damp skin can interfere with how much retinol is absorbed, which can result in irritation,” says Gohara
While Dr. Friedman says you don’t have to apply retinol to dry skin, he does say that “applying retinol to dry skin will limit penetration and therefore irritation potential.” In other words, sensitive skin ladies, it’s probably best to stick to the instructions.
If you have a sensitive skin, it’s probably better you stick to the instructions.
However, when treating stretch marks using tretinion and hyaluronic acid, the skin needs to be damp because hyaluronic acid works well on a moist skin.
“Hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet,” says Allies of Skin founder Nicolas Travis.
If you should apply hyaluronic acid serum on a dry skin, it pulls any residual moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to hydrate the surface. This is the reason why you need to apply it to moist skin — which is why you should mist first and then apply a hyaluronic acid serum afterwards, and when it’s applied on a moist skin it does it’s job perfectly.
Can stretch marks be prevented and are there other treatments to help reduce it’s appearance?
Not entirely, infact when it comes to stretch marks, prevention is never a guarantee, but there are some other home remedies that can also lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
According to what Dr. Kishan Raichura, a skin health expert told The Huffington Post UK – First of all, it’s imperative to keep the skin as healthy and hydrated as possible, “While it’s impossible to entirely prevent them, pregnant women can improve skin condition to hopefully reduce the chances by keeping the area well moisturized and nourished.” Coconut oil or olive oil are both great, all-natural products to use in combination with vitamin E oil or cream to help keep collagen fibers strong. And keep in mind, drinking enough water is the best way to stay hydrated from the inside out.
In the same story, Dr. Erich Schulte, founder of QMSMediCosmetics, also mentioned skin exfoliation as an important part of your daily regimen. “It is a key benefit as it continues to stimulate the cell turnover and works well in conjunction with body-firming creams,” he said in the story. You can exfoliate the skin through dry brushing or by using an exfoliating wash. Sugar is also an all-natural exfoliator; mix it with a few drops of lemon juice and almond oil to make a paste, then gently rub it over your skin.
Don’t forget nutrition plays the major role –
According to Top10homeremedies – eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, silica, and other nutrients helps nourish the skin. The antioxidant vitamin E is especially crucial as it protects the collagen fibers in your skin from damage, which promotes skin elasticity. Almonds, olives, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados, and pumpkins are all high in vitamin E.
Other advanced treatment such as microneedling, microdermabrasion, laser therapy can help with the extreme reduction of the appearance of stretch marks, while cosmetic surgery which is the last and most expensive option can get rid of stretch marks for good.
Possible Questions and Answers.
Q. If I should apply tretinion and hyaluronic acid, how long does it take to see results?
A. According to the study, results was seen after 2 months of treatment. However, don’t expect a quick result, It could take up 5-6 months to see full results. (On new or resent stretch marks only).
Q. What percentage (%) of tretinion should I use on my new stretch marks?
A. According to the study that proved that retiniods can significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks, the percentage of 0.1 tretinion was used.
Q. Does it mean a combination of hyaluronic acid and tretinion won’t reduce the appearance of old or matured stretch marks too?
A. Stretch marks often begin as red, pink or purple marks, and slowly fade to white or silver over time. The difference in color distinguishes how old the marks are.
Newer, red-tinged stretch marks (striae rubra) are easier to treat. They begin red because blood vessels are present under the skin. The presence of functioning blood vessels allows red stretch marks to be more responsive to treatment.
On the other hand, white stretch marks (striae alba) are older and more difficult to treat. Over time, your blood vessels will narrow, making it hard to stimulate collagen production.
However the combination of hyaluronic acid and tretinion (or retiniods) may help fade older stretch marks, but treatment won’t be as responsive as treating newer stretch marks.
Moral lesson: Start treating your stretch marks, as soon as they appear, don’t wait till they get old. Remember, the earlier the better.