The Difference Between Stretch Marks & Scars

post pregnancy stretch marks

Technically, stretch marks and scars are the same thing, but there is a big difference between the two.

Stretch marks are typically the result of being overweight or from pregnancy. Essentially, stretch marks happen when the skin is stretched past its' elastic capacity, and literally tears. The tear does not go all the way through the skin, and is usually only on the surface.

A fresh stretch mark is usually a pearlescent white colour and these are usually fairly easy to repair or reverse with the use of products like bio-oil or stretch mark lotions. Both of these products can be found at your local pharmacy or drugstore, and usually in the baby aisle.

Once a stretch mark changes colour from a pearly white to an almost blue-ish purple colour, no amount of bio-oil or stretch mark cream will make a difference to these. But you can try Call Nature's Skinderma Pro which may still manage to fade the worst of it.

If a person has stretch marks as a result of obesity, once a person begins to lose weight, the marks develop the appearance of "folds" in the skin, giving it an almost crêpe paper appearance.

A scar on the other hand is usually the result of some kind of sharp force trauma to the skin. Obviously, there are thousands of ways to develop a scar, from cuts or stabs from a sharp object like a knife or glass, to burning from a hot surface or even fire.

In some cases, scars can be removed either through surgery or if the scarring is fresh enough, through products like bio-oil or other topical prescription medications. Unfortunately, when it comes to scarring, some people unfortunately develop raised, extremely prominent and sometimes highly pigmented scars. These types of scars called keloid scars, and are often disfiguring such as this:-

keloidal scarring on hand

A regular scar however is usually white in colour and lays flat against the skin. Scar tissue often does not take on colour (for instance with tanning) and can stand out quite a lot against deeply tanned skin.

So the answer to the question "are stretch marks and scars the same?" is technically yes, but to the layman, no. The next logical follow-up question would be "can stretch marks and scars be removed?". The answer to this question is yes and yes, in some cases.

In the case of stretch marks, because it only surface damage to the skin, given enough time, the stretch marks will eventually fade away. You can speed up the process with dry brushing or exfoliation before showering or bathing in conjunction with a good moisturiser or body oil. As for scars, certain prescription medications, and some more natural products, can help to fade scars and make them almost invisible. But as mentioned before, in extreme cases, certain scars can be removed surgically, giving the skin a more normal appearance.