The Most Effective Ways in Getting Rid of Stretch Marks

Getting rid of stretch marks is perhaps one of the most sought after information on the Internet that is related to dermatology. It is not surprising because all of us can have them. Stretch marks appear when the body undergoes sudden growth and the skin reaches the limits of its elasticity. That’s why it is most common in women who have undergone pregnancy. Teenagers and body builders are prone to having them, too.

Although most people are prone to having stretch marks, there are people who simply are not. It does not mean that they do not grow, though. Their genes play a big role. So basically, if your mother has stretch marks, the chances of you having them are very high. Stretch marks appear differently for each person depending on the color of their skin.
Getting rid of stretch marks is divided into two categories. The first is the verified topical solutions and the other is the unverified topical options. Verified solutions are proven and many people swear by their effectiveness. Unverified solutions might also be effective. Although there are studies suggesting that they help get rid of stretch marks, their effectiveness remains unverified.

Verified Solutions

Tummy Tuck – Tummy Tuck or abdominoplasty is the surest way to get rid of stretch marks. That’s because in this procedure, the surgeons will cut your stretch marks out. It does not mean though, that you need to get your abdominoplasty schedule right away. You can try other solutions first.

In the United States, tummy tuck can cost between $4,000 and $20,000. And because this is a surgical operation, it has some risks. Be prudent in weighing these risks before making your decision. Furthermore, healing time can take three to six months depending on the magnitude of the surgery. You may need to leave from work for about two to four weeks.

Laser Treatment – Fresh stretch marks can be removed by vascular laser or pulsed dye laser. Majority of the post partum Korean women who have undergone this treatment testify to its effectiveness. To completely get rid of fresh stretch marks, you will need to undergo three to six sessions. Each session can cost approximately $450.

For older stretch marks, or those that are not discolored anymore, fractional laser treatment is necessary. This treatment targets small areas, particularly the stretch mark edges. The edges are smoothened until they reach the same level of the healthy skin. To get the best results, you will need three sessions and each session costs around $1,000.

Supplements – Dermatologists suggest that increasing your intake of vitamin C helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. A 500 mg tablet of vitamin C daily should be enough. For better results, you can combine vitamin C with a topical glycolic acid.

Moisturizers – A well moisturized skin has better elasticity. So if you are planning to get pregnant soon, you should start applying lotion to your tummy. One study suggests that those who moisturized daily showed substantial improvement in the skin’s elasticity and appearance. If you have fresh stretch marks, apply lotion on them. Your old stretch marks may not totally go away but still you can expect some improvement.

If you are worried about the chemicals in the usual over the counter lotions, you can make your own. Combine equal amounts of aloe vera, wheat germ oil and olive oil. The same study mentioned above suggests that this combination is the best do-it-yourself lotion that you can make.

Retin-A – Retin-A is a topical solution thought to enhance collagen production. As a result, the skin becomes more elastic and thus resists tearing when it is stretched. There is a study from the University of Michigan suggesting that those who used Retin-A on fresh stretch marks saw great improvements.

However, Retin-A or anything that contains retinoic acid should not be used by pregnant women because it can cause birth defects. Also, Retin-A is not as effective on old stretch marks. You must also have prescription to be able to buy Retin-A. Moreover, you must not expose your skin to the sun while using Retin-A because it can burn more easily.

Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid is known to increase collagen production and thus makes your skin more elastic. And because it is safe on the skin even during pregnancy, it is a great alternative to Retin-A. The only consideration that you need to take is sun exposure. When you are using it, make sure that you do not expose your skin to sunlight. Another great thing about it is you can buy it over the counter.

Retin-A and Gycolic Acid – Combining Retin-A and glycolic acid is a good idea since both of them are effective in removing stretch marks. It is a common practice to prep the skin with Retin-A before applying glycolic acid. However, you must note that Retin-A is not good for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you plan to use this combination, make sure that you are not breastfeeding or you do not plan to get pregnant.

Vitamin E Oil – Vitamin E is one of the most essential vitamins for the skin. Taking little doses will certainly not harm you. Vitamin E oil is more effective for women who have undergone pregnancy in the past.

Unverified Solutions

There are other alternatives apart from what we have mentioned above. Although some people claim their effectiveness, they remain unverified. You can try them, nevertheless, because all of them are natural and do not cause harmful side effects. These home remedies come in the form of essential oils.

• Myrrh
• Rose
• Helichrysum
• Geranium
• Frankincense
• Lavender

Be careful about marketed products that claim to contain cocoa butter and peptides because no substantial evidence supports their effectiveness. In fact studies do not find significant effects when using these substances on stretch marks.
Generally, all you need to do to get rid of stretch marks is moisturizing your skin. If you can afford it, you can undergo cosmetic surgical operations and laser treatments. But since there are many products that you can use, getting rid of stretch marks should not be difficult or expensive.


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