Itching is something most people struggle with. It is sometimes related to underlying causes, or simply because of a new activity. Sometimes stretch marks itch and this can be quite discomforting. Let’s discuss about itching, why stretch marks itch and what they mean.

Itchy stretch marks on skin after tanning

Is An Itchy Belly A Sign Of Stretch Marks?

Not really. For pregnant women scratching an itchy belly eventually leads to stretch marks. It is advisable that if you are pregnant do not scratch an itchy stomach, instead do this.

Massage Skin With Oils

Regularly massaging the skin with oils like almond, olive, shea and coconut would not only soothe your skin and reduce the itching, it could prevent stretch marks altogether.

If you have already developed stretch marks during your pregnancy, do these things to improve their appearance.

MASSAGE SKIN WITH A MOISTURIZER

Massaging a stretch mark oil, cream or oils like almond oil and olive oil into your belly, hips and thighs may improve stretch marks appearance. Although, research suggests that formulations with the herb centella or hyaluronic acid may help prevent stretch marks, there isn’t complete evidence that it works.

HYDRATE SKIN FROM THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE

It is important to keep the skin adequately hydrated by drinking half your weight in water. Also by pairing your moisturizer with a hydrator to keep the skin soft and healthy.

EAT A SURFEIT AMOUNT OF VITAMINS

Aside from the vitamins you take for your baby, eating plenty of vitamin C and D rich foods are important. You can get your vitamin C from peppers, citrus and strawberries. Vitamin C promotes collagen and tissue production, which helps keep skin strong and elastic, thereby improving stretch marks.Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, fortified dairy or dairy substitutes, eggs, omega-3 fatty acids and choline.

Are Stretch Marks Caused By Itching?

No, stretch marks are not caused by itching. One can develop scars and tears from aggressively scratching the skin but that does not result in stretch marks.

Stretch marks are caused by damage to the collagen and elastin in the dermis which causes the skin to loose its elasticity.

If you find yourself constantly itching, it could be due to one of the following:

  • Very dry skin
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Shingles
  • Bug bites
  • Chicken pox
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Folliculitis
  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
  • Hives
  • Psoriasis
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Ringworm
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

Are Stretch Marks Caused By Hormones?

Yes, stretch marks can be caused by an excess amount of the cortisol hormone in one’s system.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands, it plays a major part in managing inflammation within the body. Cortisol helps regulate your blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and keeps your heart and blood vessels functioning normally. Excess amounts of cortisol in the system can lead to Cushing’s syndrome, which normally causes stretch marks.

If there is an excess amount of cortisone in your system, your skin might lose some elasticity. This makes your skin prone to stretch marks.

Here are some symptoms to look out for to clarify the you have high cortisol levels;

  • Gaining weight in the stomach, upper back, and face.
  • Tiredness, weak bones and muscles
  • Acne
  • thinning hair
  • Slow wound healing
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Low sex drive
  • High blood sugar
  • Irregular periods
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Trouble sleeping

Certain lifestyle choices and habits are responsible for high levels of cortisol.

Chronic Stress

Chronic emotional or physical stress can ignite your body’s stress response system.

Medications

Medications like corticosteroids and oral contraceptives can cause an increase in your cortisol levels.

Oestrogen

High oestrogen levels in women like in pregnancy or puberty, can lead to high cortisol levels in the body.

Adrenal Gland
Issue

Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, so any form of malfunction or problem with these glands can lead to them over producing cortisol.

A Pituitary Gland Issue

Having an overactive pituitary gland can cause the adrenal glands to produce excessive cortisol.

In other to reduce your cortisol levels, you would first have to figure out the cause. If it’s caused by medications or issues affecting adrenal and pituitary gland, it is best you see a doctor. If it is caused by stress, you should consider making some lifestyle changes to improve your health. This could be having a healthy diet, sleeping more, exercising..etc. 1

What Is The First Sign Of Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are not Illnesses so they do not usually have signs or symptoms that warn you of their arrival. Most times they just appear and this can sometimes be shocking and even unnerving.

Is Stretch Marks A Sign Of Weight Loss?

Weight loss can cause stretch marks, but stretch marks aren’t always a sign of weight loss. This is because stretch marks can occur for a number of reasons.

Stretch marks occur when the two proteins that give the skin its elasticity;elastin and collagen, are damaged. They can be damaged when the body experiences rapid weight loss. It is believed that slowing down your weight loss process will lower your chances of developing stretch marks.

Dr. Konstantinos Spaniolas, associate director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center at Stony Brook University, says it’s best to lose no more than one percent of your body weight each week.

It is advisable to treat weight loss stretch marks as soon as they show up. You can also wait for them to fade away. However, they will not completely disappear if left alone. So here are some natural remedies and procedures you can use to treat stretch marks.

GLYCOLIC ACID

This acid serves as a chemical peel and is sometimes found in different products. It improves the tone and texture of one’s skin, thereby making it smoother.

RETINOID CREAMS

Retinoids are vitamin A and other chemically-related compounds that are used to improve skin quality, tone and problems.

HYALURONIC ACID

Hyaluronic acid is found in creams, lotions, serums and is used for skin repair and moisturising. Studies have shown that hyaluronic acid can improve the appearance of stretch marks. All you have to do is apply a cream, lotion or serum containing hyaluronic acid to the affected area daily.

SUGAR SCRUB

Exfoliating regularly with a sugar scrub is a good way to improve the appearance of stretch marks. Sugar is a natural exfoliant and regular use of it helps to remove dead skin cells – fostering the growth of new skin cells, automatically making the skin skin smoother.Making a sugar scrub is pretty easy, all you have to do is mix a moderate amount of sugar and almond oil, coconut oil or olive oil together. It should look like wet sand when mixed. Scrub your stretch marks once or twice every week for the best results. Remember consistency is key, so be patient if you don’t see improvements right away.

ALOE VERA

Aloe vera is well-known as skin healing plant. It’s been known to heal wounds, scars and injuries. Stretch marks are a form of scar, so it is possible aloe vera will be quite helpful in reducing their appearance. Aloe vera moistures and soothes skin, making it great for calming itchy stretch marks.

CENTELLA/CICA CREAMS

They help reduce inflammation and promote collagen production. Cica creams are used in scar treatment, and repairing sensitive skin, so they can help treat stretch marks. However, more information is required to be completely sure.

ALMOND OIL

Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E and several other nutrients. It deeply moisturizes the skin, supports cell health, reduces redness of marks and treats stretch marks.All you have to do is heat up the almond oil and massage your skin with it in a circular motion and allow the skin absorb it.

Why Do My Stretch Marks Itch After Tanning?

Tanning booths can give you a rash. This rash usually appears due to excess much UV light exposure. In other cases, you could be sensitive, so it’s easily affected. So when a rash grows on your stretch marks, it’d seem like it’s the stretch marks that’s itchy, however it’s the rash; just like in PUPPP.

Another reason you could be itchy after tanning is that you may have gotten a skin infection. This could be due to the beds not been cleaning properly, or the bed cleaner used.

Medications like birth control pills and acne treatments can make your skin vulnerable to UV radiation. An itchy rash occuring is a sign of this.

Can Stretch Marks Go Away On Its Own?

Naturally, stretch marks fade after a while on their own. But they do no disappear completely. In most cases they turn white or silver, this can sometimes be barely visible but not all the time.

Can Stretch Marks Be Removed Permanently?

Yes, they can. Most cosmetic procedures performed for stretch marks are good at removing stretch marks permanently. Here are they;

MICRODERMABRASION

This procedure targets the epidermis and stimulates the skin to tighten elastin fibers and collagen. Exfoliating crystals are sprayed onto the affected skin, then the crystals are removed gently with a wand-like device, taking along with them the dead skin from the epidermis.

LASER THERAPY

This procedure uses lasers to penetrate your skin to stimulate regeneration. The lasers trigger the tissues surrounding your stretch marks so they heal at a fast pace. Laser therapy also incites the production of melanin on the affected area, resulting in pigment cell activation. As time goes on, the stretch marks near your armpits will be blended with your normal skin tone.

MICRONEEDLING

This procedure involves using several needles to poke the skin, this triggers the skin to repair itself thinking the tiny holes caused by these needles are injuries. To treat itself, the skin produces more collagen. This causes the stretch marks to be reduced greatly.

CHEMICAL PEELS

This procedure entails the removal of the top or outer layer of skin. This improves the appearance and texture of skin, automatically fading the stretch marks

Can Stretch Marks Caused By Bleaching Be Removed?

Some bleaching creams contain steroids or corticosteroid, and these can cause the breaking down of elastin and collagen in the dermis. This leads to low elasticity in the skin and eventually tearing, causing scars which in turn become stretch marks.

Sometimes these stretch marks can go away when you stop using the bleaching creams. Sadly, this is less likely to happen, so you can either opt for a cosmetic procedures which is a sure thing or try natural remedies (not a sure thing).

Natural Skincare Products

  • Vitamin E
  • Shea butter
  • Almond oil
  • Olive oil
  • Cocoa butter

Topical Medications

Doctors can prescribe creams that contain Retinoids like tretinoin and retinol creams. You can also find products that contain ascorbic acid, glycoric acid, and hyaluronic acid.

Radio frequency

This cosmetic procedure penetrates to the deeper dermis layer to trigger collagen production and skin remodeling. Radio frequency energy is great for stretch marks reduction because it promotes new, healthy collagen and skin cells . This helps the appearance of stretch marks reduce with time.

Ultrasound Therapy

A study conducted showed that Platelet-rich Plasma therapy coupled with an ultrasound therapy showed a 70% reduction in stretch mark appearance. It

is a treatment that uses an ingenious ultrasound machine to lessen scars, stretch marks and cellulite, rejuvenate complexions, improve skin elasticity and even reduce pain and stiffness. The improvement of skin elasticity is what makes it a great treatment for stretch marks.

Citations Used In This Article

  1. What are the signs of high cortisol? (Thriva.co hub)

Published by Peace Eke-Efeme

Hey, I am Peace. I discuss health, beauty and skincare related issues with hopes of helping my readers pave their way through a stress-free life, one article at a time.