Learn how to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

September 15, 2022 0 Comments

Medically reviewed by: Bebe Pajo, MD

Many ladies have stretch marks, and a few males do, too. These rippled, indented strains on the pores and skin are innocent, however they do stand out. If the sight of them bothers you, you’ve most likely Googled “how one can eliminate stretch marks.” So, what’s the reply? 

“Sadly, there’s no method to get rid of stretch marks fully,” mentioned Bebe Pajo, MD, a dermatologist at Water’s Edge Dermatology with a specialty in beauty dermatology. “However there are good therapies out there at present that may make them look much less noticeable.” Learn on to be taught extra.

What are stretch marks? 

Stretch marks, or striae, are a kind of scar. They usually develop when elements of the physique develop quickly, stretching the pores and skin to its limits. When the pores and skin stretches, collagen and elastin — proteins that help the pores and skin and hold it versatile — can rupture. Because the pores and skin heals, stretch marks present up in areas the place ruptures occurred.

You’re probably to develop stretch marks in your abdomen, buttocks, breasts, thighs, hips, decrease again or higher arms. They might be purple, white, black or darkish blue, relying in your pores and skin tone. They fade over time and usually find yourself lighter than your regular pores and skin. New stretch marks could also be raised, however they finally change into indented.

Stretch marks aren’t painful, however they are often itchy after they’re forming. 

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch mark causes embrace: 

  • Fast weight acquire or loss
  • Fast muscle acquire from energy coaching
  • Progress spurts throughout puberty
  • Being pregnant 
  • Breast augmentation
  • Marfan syndrome, a illness that impacts the physique’s connective tissue
  • Cushing’s syndrome, a dysfunction wherein the physique produces an excessive amount of of the hormone cortisol over lengthy durations (cortisol weakens the pores and skin’s elastic fibers)
  • Use of a topical corticosteroid cream over an extended time period
  • Smoking, which decreases pores and skin elasticity

Having a private or household historical past of stretch marks makes you extra liable to them. Females usually tend to get stretch marks than males; researchers aren’t positive why, however pure fluctuations in hormone ranges might play a job. 

Being pregnant stretch marks, known as striae gravidarum (SG), are widespread, particularly in youthful girls, girls who’ve a household historical past of SG, those that carry additional weight earlier than and through being pregnant and those that give start to heavy infants. 

Do stretch marks go away?

Stretch marks fade over time, however they by no means disappear fully (until the affected space of pores and skin is lower out, resembling throughout a tummy tuck). 

When you’re sad along with your stretch marks, speak to your dermatologist to see for those who’re a great candidate for a number of of the therapies beneath. In some instances, a couple of therapy could also be beneficial.

Stretch mark removing methods

The next therapies received’t take away stretch marks, however they could make them much less noticeable. 

Stretch mark lotions

There are numerous lotions, lotions and gels that declare to decrease stretch marks. Their effectiveness varies. Some don’t present any enchancment. 

“Stretch mark lotions could also be price making an attempt when the marks are new,” Dr. Bebe mentioned. “However when you’ve had them for a very long time, they received’t work.”

To enhance your probabilities of seeing enchancment, therapeutic massage the cream into the stretch marks and apply it each day for a number of weeks. “When you don’t see any enchancment in six weeks, the product most likely received’t be just right for you,” mentioned Dr. Bebe.

Some individuals swear by different topical therapies, resembling cocoa butter and vitamin E, however none of them have been discovered to fade stretch marks in research.

Retinoid cream

Prescription-strength retinoid lotions resembling tretinoin cream can enhance the look of stretch marks which can be lower than a number of months outdated. They work by triggering the manufacturing of collagen, which can trigger the marks to look extra like your regular pores and skin.

Chemical peels

Throughout a chemical peel, your dermatologist applies an acidic resolution to the stretch marks. This removes the highest layer of pores and skin, inflicting the pores and skin to provide extra collagen and elastin because it heals.

Laser therapies

Two forms of lasers are used to decrease stretch marks: ablative and non ablative. The laser therapy your dermatologist recommends will rely upon a number of elements, together with the colour of your pores and skin, the colour of your stretch marks and the way lengthy you’ve had them. Relying on the scale of your stretch marks, you may want a number of therapies.

Ablative lasers resembling fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG take away the topmost layer of pores and skin, which ends up in smoother pores and skin. Additionally they stimulate the manufacturing of collagen, which helps clean out raised stretch marks. Fractional CO2 lasers are used for deeper scars. Erbium YAG is best for extra superficial stretch marks.

You probably have darkish pores and skin, fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG lasers will not be acceptable for you as a result of they’ll trigger post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkish spots) or burns that may depart  everlasting scars. 

Frax1550 laser is a non-ablative laser. It doesn’t take away the highest layer of pores and skin. As an alternative, it stimulates the manufacturing of collagen and elastin, which helps the scars to heal and fade. Like most lasers, Frax1550 works greatest on newer stretch marks, however it could assist barely with older, white stretch marks.

Radiofrequency remedy

Throughout radiofrequency therapies, your dermatologist will purpose a tool that emits radio waves on the affected pores and skin. The waves warmth the pores and skin, which triggers injury, adopted by therapeutic and the manufacturing of recent collagen. 

Profound RF is a gadget that makes use of each radiofrequency and microneedling to deal with scars. In microneedling, tiny needles make microscopic punctures within the pores and skin. The minor trauma coaxes the pores and skin to provide new collagen because it repairs itself. 

Radiofrequency remedy mixed with microneedling poses a lot much less threat of hyperpigmentation than ablative lasers. You’ll have bruising for seven to 10 days, however the process causes much less post-treatment ache in contrast with laser therapy. 


On this process, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon makes use of a quickly rotating gadget to “sand” away the highest layer of pores and skin, smoothing it and minimizing the looks of irregular pores and skin contours resembling stretch marks.

Microdermabrasion, a much less invasive model of dermabrasion, may additionally make stretch marks much less noticeable, although it received’t assist as a lot for deep stretch marks.

Learn how to forestall stretch marks

There aren’t some ways to maintain stretch marks at bay, aside from avoiding speedy acquire or lack of fats or muscle. Many of the methods you will have heard about, together with making use of cocoa butter, olive or almond oil or vitamin E, have been proven in research to be ineffective.

That mentioned, for stopping being pregnant stretch marks, a number of approaches could also be price making an attempt. One research discovered {that a} each day, 15-minute therapeutic massage of stretched pores and skin utilizing bitter almond oil helped. Lotions containing hyaluronic acid or an extract of the herb Centella asiatica have additionally proven promise. When you’re pregnant, seek the advice of a physician earlier than making use of any probably irritating product to your pores and skin.

Written by: Jessica Brown, a well being and science author/editor based mostly in Nanuet, New York. She has written for Prevention journal, jnj.com, BCRF.org, and lots of different retailers.

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