Treatment for Stretch Marks – The Various Options Available


Any condition that results to a change in body size can cause stretch marks. These include pregnancy, adolescence and rapid changes in body weight. On average, 9 out of 10 women will get stretch marks. The common sites are the thighs, hips, lower abdomen and buttocks. They are there are various options out there for treatment for stretch marks.

Topical Treatment Options

Moisturizers are the most common and readily available topical treatment for stretch marks. By keeping the skin supple and well moisturized, any changes like skin stretching will happen gradually without tearing and leaving permanent tell-tale marks. The lotion should be applied on the area’s most likely to develop the marks. If they are already present, apply the moisturizer directly on the marks. Take note that even though moisturizers reduce the appearance of old stretch mark, the effect is more profound on newly appeared ones. For those wary of over the counter lotions, equal portions of Aloe Vera, wheat germ oil and olive oil offer a very effective solution.

The second ideal topical application is retinoic acid cream. A study by experts from University of Michigan indicated marked improvement of stretch mark appearance after gradual use of this cream. The cream encourages collagen production, resulting to supple skin that easily stretches out without tearing. However, use of any product containing retinoic acid should be avoided during pregnancy as it has been known to cause major birth defects.

Other topical solutions, though their effect is not fully verified, have been noted to improve the appearance of stretch marks. They include;

  • Myrrh
  • Geranium
  • Vitamin E
  • Glycolic acid
  • Rose
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is one of the most effective stretch mark removal options. For old and already established stretchmarks, laser resurfacing, also referred to as fractional treatment, is most effective. The laser is mainly focused on the stretch mark edges. However this form of treatment is quite costly, with three sessions required. Each session costs about $1000. The side effects include high chances of scarring and hyper pigmentation.

Fresh stretch marks are sorted out using the vascular laser. This pulsed dye laser, set as 585 nm, reduces the initial redness, the main early sign of impending stretch mark appearance. This treatment is best effective on early onset, particularly stretch marks that have not yet turned silver. This treatment for stretch marks, which takes about 3-6 sessions, will set you back about $450 per session. The only downside is that it is not very effective in dark skinned women. It only works best in areas with defined contrast between the affected area and the surrounding skin.

Surgical Stretch Mark Removal

The most effective treatment for stretch marks is a Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty. It gets rid of the stretch marked area by simply eliminating the affected area. However this procedure is prohibitively expensive. The cost ranges from $3500 to $20000. Additionally, chances of infections and complications are very are very high accompanied by a long recovery period, ranging from 3-6 months for full recovery.

Other than surgery, the other treatment for stretch marks options, are simply done to reduce the appearance and attempt to smoothen out the scarring. Whichever the solution sought, ensure that you consult your physician on the possible implications on your health. This is specially recommended for the pregnant women.


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