While there is no easy way to completely and quickly get rid of stretch marks, there may be some options out there for stretch mark fading. Learn more here.
Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, are something that many people have to deal with at some point in their lives, whether they pop up from pregnancy, puberty, weight gain, or quick muscle gain.
What causes stretch marks is the layer of collagen in your skin being stretched too far, leaving those wavy lines of discoloration and sometimes even a raised texture.
While there is no easy way to completely and quickly get rid of stretch marks, there may be some options out there for stretch mark fading.
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, and they are used widely in the dermatology world for skin conditions ranging from acne, to wrinkles, and even scarring.
So, since stretch marks are essentially a form of scarring, multiple studies have looked into if retinoids are a good treatment option for stretch marks.
One study enrolled 20 women with pregnancy-related stretch marks who had given birth 1 week prior. These women then applied a 0.1% Tretinoin cream to the stretch marks every night for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12 weeks, the stretch marks ere evaluated to identify and positive changes, and all treated stretch marks were considered to be significantly improved from baseline.
The most common side effects with treatment were redness and scaling, but the side effects lessened after the first month and improved with applying petroleum jelly to the area.
However, if you are looking to use a retinoid cream for your stretch marks, you must not be currently pregnant or breastfeeding, as retinoids are not to be used in those situations.
If you have already given birth and are not currently breastfeeding, you can schedule an Online Visit with our doctors to see if a Tretinoin cream is the right choice for you.
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring building block of skin, and when applied topically Hyaluronic acid may boost collagen production - the very thing that gets stretched out with stretch marks.
However, the studies show only weak evidence that Hyaluronic Acid can help prevent or reduce stretch marks.
But, with Hyaluronic Acid's strong safety profile and other skin-boosting properties (including huge improvements in hydration), giving this one a try couldn’t hurt.
Another option for stretch marks might be scheduling an appointment for a treatment with a dermatologist.
So, if the extra cost doesn’t bother you, and your marks are severe, trying out a few treatments may be a good option for you.
While these treatments may not entirely get rid of your stretch marks, you may see fading with the use of one or many treatments.
Clinical treatment options for stretch marks include:
While it seems logical that keeping the area that is being stretched moisturized to help prevent stretch marks, studies don’t seem to back up that theory.
One review study stated that moisturizers like olive oil and cocoa butter are not effective for preventing or reducing the severity of stretch marks.
But, since there is no harm from applying a little cocoa butter on stretched skin areas, if you want to give it a try anyway - worst-case scenario is that you have soft hydrated skin.
If you are trying to achieve a dark tan in order to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you may actually be making the marks more visible.
Stretch marks are usually red or paler in color than tanned skin, and the marks themselves don’t tan, meaning that you may be left with pale streaks on tanned skin.
However, if you are looking for a temporary coverage option, a spray tan may better color both your skin and the stretch mark areas to help achieve a more blended look in a pinch.
Neither tanning or spray tanning will help heal the stretch marks.