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How to Treat Pimples on Stretch Marks

Are you troubled by pimples in your stretch marks? This article discusses how you can treat and prevent them.

Who would have known that pimples can grow on stretch marks? Yes, it’s possible! It can be overwhelming to experience two skin conditions at once. Luckily, help is available to deal with those nasty tiger stripes and bumpy zits!

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are scars caused by rapid growth or weight gain that strains the skin. Skin is normally elastic, but the abrupt stretching interrupts the creation of collagen (the key protein that makes up skin tissue).

Stretch marks are quite common, with up to 90% of women having them during or after pregnancy. They are most frequent during or after pregnancy. Not surprisingly, females are at least 2.5 times more likely than males to get stretch marks.

They may also occur with quick weight changes. Adolescents who are fast developing, for example, may get stretch marks.

Bodybuilders are another example due to their fast weight gain. Some people also get it because of a health condition. In some medical disorders, a hormone called cortisol affects the skin, causing changes such as increased in oil production.

Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. High levels of this hormone in the blood make the skin susceptible to stretching.

Red and White Stretch Marks

Consider fresh stretch marks to be minor skin injuries. As your tissues strive to adjust to the stretching effects, your skin gets a little inflamed. This is why new stretch marks are red.

Good thing, the redness does not stay for long. The stretch marks gradually turn white and become less apparent with time.

Stretch marks are more common on the stomach, thighs, hips, breasts, arms, and buttocks. While they are neither unpleasant nor dangerous, some dislike their presence and appearance. 

Stretch marks, like any scar, are permanent, but worry not! Therapy may make them less visible and may relieve the itchiness. No single treatment works for everyone, though. Many products likewise seem to be ineffective.

Can I Get Pimples on Stretch Marks?

It is possible to develop pimples on stretch marks. After all, pimples are simply the results of blocked pores. 

Here are some reasons why you may develop pimples on your stretch marks:

Clogged Hair Follicles

Skin glands in stretch marks may remain intact. If those glands have clogged hair follicles, pimples may develop. This environment fosters the growth of germs, resulting in the redness and swelling associated with breakouts. 

Bacterial Infection

Where sebum and dead skin cells gather and plug a pore, unwanted bacteria grow. A common suspect is Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), a slow-growing microorganism associated with acne and pimples.

It feeds on sebum and causes inflammation. Despite its relationship with bacteria, you can’t get pimples from another person. It’s not contagious.

Diet and Lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle are possible factors that might impact your skin. Certain foods spike blood sugar levels faster than others.

When your blood sugar levels rise rapidly, your body releases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone that regulates the consequences of growth. Excess IGF-1 in your blood can stimulate skin glands to produce more sebum. With more sebum, you have more chances of getting pimples.

Poor food choices and poor hygiene can also be culprits of your pimples. A healthy lifestyle and diet may help you manage many health conditions, such as pimples and stretch marks.

Think about it, if you eat only the best and healthy foods, gaining extra weight won’t be a problem. Hence, no stretch marks! 

Moreover, your skin will be clear and even pimple-free. Read this highly informative eBook to get started!

Pregnancy, Stretch Marks, and Pimples

Sometimes, those little red bumps you see on your stretch marks aren’t pimples. If you’re pregnant, these bumps might be pruritic urticarial papules and plaques or PUPPP.

PUPPP appears as a patch of itchy, red, transient, and hive-like pimples that grow in the stretch marks on your abdomen and spread to other places. 

Typically lasting for four to six weeks, this patch commonly disappears within a few days to a few weeks after your baby is born. Medication and home cure might ease your discomfort while waiting for the rash to disappear.

Even though they cannot be avoided, the rashes can be relieved until they go away. You must be extremely cautious about what you consume or use during pregnancy. Foods, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, soaps, moisturizers, and fragrances are all examples.

You may resort to home remedies for managing your stretch marks, pimples, and PUPPP during pregnancy.

How to Treat Pimples on Stretch Marks?

Note that stretch marks and pimples are different skin conditions requiring different management and treatment options. 

These skin issues may occur one after the other or coincidentally, and causes may vary depending on the circumstances. Sometimes, skin conditions are caused by other existing health conditions.

However, one remedy can sometimes manage two or more skin conditions. Think of it as “killing two birds with one stone.”

Natural and Home Remedies for Stretch Marks and Pimples

Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory and topical treatment that may help with pimples and stretch marks. You may apply aloe vera gel on the affected areas and drink aloe vera juice, too!

Another natural treatment for stretch marks and acne is olive oil. Although olive oil may appear to be the last thing an oily face needs, studies show that it can eliminate blackheads and improve your skin in other ways.

Skin Diet

According to studies, diets high in antioxidants, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids will boost your skin health. Zinc, a mineral, is very effective for pimples and stretch marks. 

Zinc reduces inflammation, thereby preventing and improving acne, warts, wrinkles, stretch marks, and aging. Vitamins A, B, C, and E protect and repair the skin. 

Increasing your collagen production is essential for preventing stretch marks! Vitamin C, in particular, will help you achieve this. Vitamin C cleanses pores, too.

Stretch marks are scars, and pimples are the result of a breakout. Remember to  eat meals rich in these essential vitamins and minerals to achieve that happy, glowing skin.

If you are still unsure where to start your healthy diet and lifestyle journey, this eBook can help you. This eBook will teach you how to debunk skin myths and assess the best and worst foods for your skin.

Making tiny, deliberate adjustments to your diet and lifestyle will go a long way in dealing with these underlying problems, and your skin will thank you!

Talk to your dermatologist if home remedies or natural solutions do not help with pimples on stretch marks. Carefully discuss your skin issues to get the best treatment for acne and stretch marks.

Medical Remedies for Stretch Marks and Pimples

Retinoids

Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, may improve the look of stretch marks that are less than a few months old. When appropriately used, retinoids stimulates collagen synthesis, making stretch marks appear more natural.

Retinoids can clear pores, allowing other medicinal creams and gels to work more effectively on your skin. They also help to prevent acne breakouts by keeping dead skin cells from blocking pores.

Stretch marks fade in color over time, but you may speed up this process. Applying hyaluronic acid as soon as you see stretch marks emerging will keep those scars light and less noticeable.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliation can help loosen and eliminate the blockage of pores. Continued usage may prevent subsequent blockages. AHAs may also help shrink enlarged pores often seen in acne-prone skin.

You may also want to try skin treatments such as:

Dermabrasion and Microneedling

Microdermabrasion and microneedling are game changers for stretch marks and pimples. They are safer and less expensive than laser treatment. While purchasing at-home kits is an option, you can get the procedure done by experts in many salons and spas. Microneedling is the most preferred. The amount of microneedling that is right for you is completely dependent on the condition of your skin. Because of this it is important to seek out a certified medical professional to administer the microneedling treatment.

Light and Laser Therapies

Light and laser treatments may stimulate collagen development or enhance skin healing.

While laser treatment cannot eliminate stretch marks, it can help make them smoother, dramatically reducing their appearance. Your doctor can advise you on which strategy is best for you.

Conclusion

Acne and stretch marks are two of the most common skin conditions we face daily. 

Even though it rarely happens, people may simultaneously have pimples and stretch marks. Some persons develop spots on top of their stretch marks. Nonetheless, these two conditions must be addressed separately with proper corrective and preventive actions.

While pimples and stretch marks can be treated with natural and medical remedies, it is always a good idea to start leading a healthier lifestyle. Match it with a good diet to prevent such issues in the first place. Use this eBook to learn more.

FAQs

Q: Is it normal to get bumps on your stretch marks?

A: If you are pregnant, then yes. PUPPP is the most frequent dermatologic disorder seen in pregnant individuals. On the other hand, bumps on stretch marks could be pimples which are normal if your pores get clogged or infected.

Q: What causes pimples on the stomach?

A: Pimples on the stomach are more commonly caused by infected hair follicles or ingrown hairs, particularly in places that are less often cleaned, such as the lower abdomen.

Q: Do stretch marks go away?

A: Stretch marks usually diminish with time but may never totally vanish. Many creams and lotions claim to be able to prevent, minimize, or eliminate stretch marks. Some treatments may improve the appearance of stretch marks, but they will not eliminate them.

Q: How to get rid of pimples on stretch marks?

A: Pimples and stretch marks are two different skin conditions that require different treatments. However, natural and medical remedies could help clear pimples and lighten stretch marks.

Sources:

“An Update in the Etiopathogenesis of Striae Distensae: A Review Article.” An Update in the Etiopathogenesis of Striae Distensae: A Review Article.

“Stretch Marks in Pregnancy.” nhs.uk, www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/stretch-marks. Accessed 9 Nov. 2022.

Elsedfy, Heba. “Striae Distensae in Adolescents: A Mini Review.” PubMed Central (PMC), 19 Mar. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7569590.

“Picture of the Month—Diagnosis.” Picture of the Month—Diagnosis | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network, 1 Mar. 2008, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/379241.

“Stretch Marks | NCH Healthcare System.” NCH Healthcare System, 17 July 2008, nchmd.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/con-20155450.

“Cortisol Test: MedlinePlus Medical Test.” Cortisol Test: MedlinePlus Medical Test, 7 July 2022, medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/cortisol-test.

Ud‐Din, S., et al. “Topical Management of Striae Distensae (Stretch Marks): Prevention and Therapy of Striae Rubrae and Albae.” PubMed Central (PMC), 20 Oct. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5057295.

“Therapeutic Targets in the Management of Striae Distensae: A Systematic Review – PubMed.” PubMed, 1 Sept. 2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28551068.

Jean-Francoise Maisonneuve, David H. Persing, Ajay Bhatia, et al. “PROPIONIBACTERIUM ACNES AND CHRONIC DISEASES – the Infectious Etiology of Chronic Diseases – NCBI Bookshelf.” PROPIONIBACTERIUM ACNES AND CHRONIC DISEASES – the Infectious Etiology of Chronic Diseases – NCBI Bookshelf, 1 Jan. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83685.

Emiroğlu, Nazan, et al. “Insulin Resistance in Severe Acne Vulgaris.” PubMed Central (PMC), 12 Aug. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4565837.

@ClevelandClinic. “PUPPP Rash: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22374-puppp-rash. Accessed 9 Nov. 2022.

Chouk, Chourouk, and Noureddine Litaiem. “Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf, 1 Aug. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539700.

Wilson, Ashley. “15 Proven Strategies to Naturally Treat Pregnancy Acne | GoodGlow.” GoodGlow, 7 Dec. 2021, goodglow.co/naturally-treat-acne-during-pregnancy.

“The Effect of Olive Oil on Prevention of Striae Gravidarum: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial – PubMed.” PubMed, 1 Oct. 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22863639.

“Systemic Antioxidants and Skin Health – PubMed.” PubMed, 1 Sept. 2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23135663.

Nera, Stephanie. “Top 3 Ways to Naturally Increase Collagen Production – GoodGlow.” GoodGlow, 14 Feb. 2022, goodglow.co/how-to-naturally-increase-collagen-production.

Ud‐Din, S., et al. “Topical Management of Striae Distensae (Stretch Marks): Prevention and Therapy of Striae Rubrae and Albae.” PubMed Central (PMC), 20 Oct. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5057295.

“Comparison of Topical Therapy for Striae Alba (20% Glycolic Acid/0.05% Tretinoin Versus 20% Glycolic Acid/10% L-ascorbic Acid) – PubMed.” PubMed, 1 Aug. 1998, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9723049.

Need more help? Ask our team!

I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

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Ashley-Wilson-Certified-Personal-Trainer
Analyzed by Ashley Wilson

Hi, I’m Ashley Wilson. I’m a part-time personal trainer, yoga instructor, and mom of three. I had a little bit of acne as a teenager, but it pretty much went away after high school. However, during my first pregnancy, I constantly suffered from hormonal acne breakouts.

Because I was pregnant, I refused to take medications to manage my hormones to clear my acne. This led me to try lots of self-experimentation with natural remedies that would not jeopardize the health of my pregnancy.

During the course of my self-experimentation and research, I found GoodGlow’s blog which helped me quickly manage my acne by following a low inflammation diet.

After implementing a lot of the natural acne management strategies Sam and the rest of the team were writing about I asked if I could join the team and document some of my own experiences of dealing with acne during and after my pregnancy. They were gracious enough to accept my offer, and I have been on the team ever since.

While I never considered myself to be “unhealthy”, I was never really proactive about taking charge of my health. When I began experiencing a bunch of adverse side effects due to my pregnancy (acne breakouts, taste changes, mood swings, joint inflammation) I knew I had to take better control of my health.

Since I made this decision to follow a low-inflammation diet, my skin has cleared, I have more energy, and I’ve had two acne-free pregnancies.

However, my diet was just the beginning. Since joining GoodGlow I’ve also learned to prioritize my physical and mental helath. At the encouragement of the GoodGlow team I have begun to regularly practice yoga, resistance training, and meditation. This not only reduces inflammation throughout the entire body but also gives me the foundation to raise three kids while working part time.

In my “free time” I am typically running my kids to soccer practice, piano lessons, and teaching healthy cooking classes at my local community center.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch please send us an email or message our social channels and I’ll be sure to get back to you within 24 hours.

Read more of Ashley's articles.

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