Stretch marks can be irritating to look at, but luckily, they can be made somewhat less visible by using tanning treatments. Some people think regular tanning in the sun or spending time in tanning beds can also do the trick, but reducing the look of a stretch mark is actually best accomplished by over-the-counter creams or sprays in tanning salons.
About Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body when the middle layer of the skin, or dermis, is stretched to a point where its elasticity breaks down. When this happens, microscopic bleeding and tissue inflammation occurs, which results in the raised reddish and purple look of a new stretch mark. When the dermis is stretched out, the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is also stretched into translucence. After these marks heal, the scar tissue is what results in the permanent stretch mark. Over time, these scars may fade into a silvery white color that is lighter than the natural skin tone.
Some ways of achieving a tan without exposing the skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun are by using tanning lotions and creams. These can include stainers, bronzers and tan accelerators. Creams and lotions are one of the most popular ways of achieving a tan without laying out in the sun since it has less health risks than direct exposure to ultraviolet light. They can also be applied anytime at the leisure of the user. It’s important to make sure that tanning lotions or sprays are applied evenly over the surface the skin to ensure an even tan.
Tanning Salon Sprays
Tanning salons that offer spray tans work the same way as tanning lotions and creams do. Although it is probably costlier than applying creams at home, a salon may be able to achieve a much more even-toned look over the entire body than a person is able to achieve at home.
Tanning in the Sun and Tanning Beds
A common misconception is that the whitish appearance of a stretch mark will go away if it is darkened by tanning in the sun or in tanning beds. This may actually worsen the appearance of stretch marks, however, because they don’t tan as well as the healthy skin surrounding it. Stretch marks don’t tan easily because they are scars, which are resistant to changes in color. Tanning in the sun also poses other hazards, such as damage to healthy skin and the risk of developing skin cancer.
Eliminating Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can’t be eliminated by tanning, but they may fade into less noticeable colors over time. To prevent stretch marks from becoming more obvious, it is important to use sun screen to prevent darkening the healthy skin around a stretch mark, which would make the scar look more obvious.
References and ResourcesTeensHealth: Tanning
About Stretch Marks: Learn About Stretch Marks
TeensHealth: Stretch Marks
Stretch Mark Treatments: Can Tanning Really Cover Stretch Marks?
DermzNet NZ: Dihydroxyacetone