Wrinkles can appear almost anywhere on your body, including the stomach. As you age, your body produces less collagen, essential for maintaining skin elasticity. Your skin has less ability to retain moisture, which contributes to wrinkles. Wrinkles may also be caused by poor diet, sun exposure, dry skin and genetic factors. Stomach wrinkles caused by an overstretching of the skin are referred to as stretch marks. Stretch marks are often the result of sudden weight gain or loss, weightlifting or childbirth. According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Group, as many as 90 percent of women have stretch marks, which usually occur during pregnancy and puberty.
Apply moisturizer cream on your stomach to replenish lost moisture in the skin, improve elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Look for moisturizers with ingredients that hydrate and smooth skin, such as aloe vera, cocoa butter and shea butter. Place a quarter-sized amount on your hand and massage the cream deep into the stomach wrinkles. Repeat every morning and night, and frequently during the day. Don't just moisturize existing wrinkles. Use moisturizer on your entire stomach to help prevent wrinkles and stretch marks if you're anticipating weight loss or gain, or are pregnant.
Hydrate your stomach area with wheat germ oil. Massage a few drops of wheat germ oil directly into your stomach wrinkles several times each day to help make the skin more elastic and firm. The high vitamin E and antioxidant levels in wheat germ oil promote healing and regeneration, making skin more resistant to wrinkles, scars and stretch marks, according to Aimee Masi of the Loyola Center for Aesthetics.
Use a retinoic acid cream, which is derived from Vitamin A and helps reduce wrinkles and stretch marks. A University of Michigan study found that individuals who used retinoic acid on stretch marks noticed a significant lessening of the marks. Purchase retinoic acid cream in an over-the-counter formulation, or ask your doctor for a prescription for a more potent dosage. Apply sparingly in the beginning, gradually increasing your dosage, to avoid burning and red skin.
Massage your stomach's wrinkles and stretch marks with glycolic acid cream, which will increase collagen production and improve the elasticity of the skin. According to a study conducted by the Naval Medical Center, combining retinoic acid with glycolic acid can even more effectively reduce or eliminate wrinkles. Purchase glycolic acid in an over-the-counter preparation or ask your dermatologist for a glycolic acid skin peel on your stomach.
Take vitamins that are potent age inhibitors, such as vitamins B-1 and B-6. Vitamins B-1 and B-6 reduce stretch marks in their early stages by increased collagen production, according to David J. Goldberg, professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Take a multivitamin each morning that contains both B vitamins. Make sure the supplement contains 1.1 mg of vitamin B-1 and 1.3 mg. of vitamin B-6. Increase the dosage to 1.5 mg of vitamin B-6 if you're over 50 years old.
Consider laser treatment to eliminate stomach wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. Laser resurfacing uses short, pulsating beams of heat from a laser that vaporize damaged skin cells. According to Linda K. Franks, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at New York University, the laser causes skin to become firmer and promotes the formation of new, healthy collagen. Look for a qualified dermatologist with experience and documented training in laser resurfacing.
Cut back on sugar and eat more whole, natural foods. Read package labels and avoid eating processed foods that include too much sugar. According to dermatologist Fredric Brandt, sugar damages collagen and elastin, the proteins that help keep skin elastic and firm, making your skin more susceptible to wrinkling. Eat more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as cranberries, red bell peppers and walnuts.
Store wheat germ oil in your refrigerator to prevent it from turning rancid.
Don't use retinoic acid if you're pregnant or nursing.
Check with your doctor about vitamin doses.
- Medical News Today: What Are Wrinkles? What Causes Wrinkles?
- WebMD: Stretch Marks Getting Under Your Skin?
- MSNBC: Fact Facts: Too Much Sugar Can Cause Wrinkles
- Loyola University Health System: Loyola Medical Aesthetician Reports on the Beauty Benefits of Oils
- Archives of Dermatology: Topical Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) Improves Early Stretch Marks
- Dermatologic Surgery: Comparison of Topical Therapy For Striae Alba (20% Glycolic Acid/0.05% Tretinoin versus 20% Glycolic Acid/10% L-Ascorbic Aci