Stretch Marks

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks look exactly like they are; thin pieces of stretched skin.   Skin is made of three layers; the epidermis (outer layer), the dermis (middle layer), and the subcutaneous stratum (innermost layer).   Stretch marks occur when the elastic middle layer of the skin expands at a faster rate than the epidermis, and it can happen during pregnancy, puberty, and even bodybuilding.  The skin is overstretched and the connective fibers collagen and elastin break down which leads to the formation of scars called stretch marks. 

The skin is not able to bounce back and recover its former glory which has lead to the development of a variety of ways of how to get rid of stretch marks.  They all have having varying degrees of success, which depends not only on the efficacy of the treatment, but also on an individual’s own genetic make-up and how their body responds.  Like all forms of scarring stretch marks do not disappear completely, but it doesn’t have to be game over for your skin as there is much that can be done to get rid of them. Treatments fall under three broad categories, home remedies, medical procedures, and cosmetic treatments.

Home remedies

Regular application of creams containing retinoic acid or Retin-A can be effective, although it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding.  One frequently cited study revealed that early use of 0.1% tretinoin cream for six months significantly reduced the appearance of stretch marks (Kang S et al. Topical treatment (retinoic acid) improves early stretch marks. Archives of Dermatology 1996; 132 (5): 519-526).  Other popular treatments include cocoa butter, rose hip oil and jojoba oil, taking hot baths, regularly massaging the affected area, and exfoliating daily.

Surgical procedures

Stretch marks typically occur below the naval and can be eliminated by a tummy tuck, which removes skin and the fatty tissue beneath.  Laser surgery is used to treat stretch marks at an early stage, when they still appear red.  Several different types of lasers can be used, and several sessions are usually required.  Whilst lasers will not completely eradicate stretch marks they can significantly reduce their appearance.

Cosmetic treatments

Microdermabrasion strips away the top layer of skin by chemical or mechanical means and as it doesn’t reach the dermis (where stretch marks are formed) the treatment is used in combination with other approaches.   Endermologie is another popular cosmetic approach.  A machine massages the skin with rollers and a sucking action and proponents claim it can increase circulation buy up to 200 % as well as helping to stretch connective fibers.

Disclaimer:  The information provided within this site is not meant to be a substitute for a medical doctor's opinion.  This site is for informational purposes ONLY.  Please check with your medical practitioner before any type of treatment or prevention method is started.

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