What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Stretch Marks?

Medically Reviewed on 2/14/2022
how to remove stretch mark
Although you can’t get rid of stretch marks completely, certain treatments can significantly reduce their appearance.

You can't get rid of stretch marks entirely because they're a type of superficial scar

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are ways to help them look better, but no single treatment or product works for everyone; some products don't work at all.

Treatment must meet the following criteria to have a visible effect on the appearance of stretch marks:

  • Increase collagen and elastin production
  • Support fibroblast activity and blood circulation
  • Promote overall cell renewal in the affected area

Although no treatment can completely remove a stretch mark, those that meet the criteria can significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks so that they are no longer visible.

  • Makeup (concealing):
    • Using makeup is one of the easiest and fastest options to hide stretch marks. Various products are available in the market that may help conceal stretch marks.
  • Creams, gels, or lotions:
    • There are many of these on the market, and manufacturers frequently claim that they can remove stretch marks.
    • However, it is unlikely that they will be able to prevent or remove stretch marks. When your stretch marks are still red or purple, you should use them. 
    • The best way is to use these over the skin before the marks start developing.
  • Massage:
    • Massage the skin with a moisturizer or massage glove daily to help improve circulation to the area. This, in turn, promotes the growth of new tissue.
  • Topical creams:
    • Ceramide, almond oil, grape polyphenol, vitamin E topical cream, topical-containing hyaluronic acid, or tretinoin is effective in treating stretch marks although longer treatment times may be required.
    • To help resurface the skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you can try prescription retinoid creams or over-the-counter retinol.
  • Microdermabrasion:
    • It is a painless procedure to reduce the visibility of stretch marks. This procedure works by stimulating the skin's collagen and elastin fiber to tighten the upper layer of the skin.
    • Tiny exfoliating crystals are sprayed onto the affected area, or a special tipped wand is rubbed over the area during the procedure. The crystals are gently removed with a wand-like device, bringing with them dead skin from the epidermis layer.
    • Microdermabrasion must be repeated over time to produce effective results. Your skin may feel tight and dry after the procedure.
    • There may be some redness due to exfoliation. It takes about 24 hours for your skin to heal.
    • Despite its effectiveness, this procedure cannot guarantee that stretch marks will be completely removed. Your results will be influenced by the severity of your stretch marks.
  • Microneedling:
    • The dermis—the middle layer of your skin where stretch marks form—is targeted. Tiny needles are inserted into your skin during this procedure to stimulate collagen production.
    • Increased collagen and elastin promote skin regeneration, which can improve the appearance of your skin and reduce stretch marks. To effectively treat stretch marks, you will need to participate in multiple treatments over several months.
    • Microneedling is an effective treatment option for stretch mark reduction, particularly in people with darker skin.
  • Laser treatment:
    • Lasers are used in the procedure to penetrate the skin and stimulate regeneration.
    • This stimulates the tissues surrounding your stretch marks to heal faster.
    • Laser treatment activates pigment cells in your skin by stimulating melanin production in the affected area.
    • As a result, your stretch marks will blend in with your natural skin tone.
    • Although laser therapy is effective, it takes more than one session to see results. To treat stretch marks, various laser therapies are available.

Natural ingredients and their benefits include:

  • Cocoa butter:
    • Cocoa butter is a natural match for the skin's structure because it melts at skin temperature and matches the skin's oil balance.
    • It contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants with numerous skin benefits such as fighting skin regeneration, increasing collagen production, and improving skin elasticity and tone.
  • Shea butter:
    • Shea butter contains naturally occurring vitamins A and E and is known to help with various skin conditions, including blemishes and wrinkles, as well as dermatitis and stretch marks.
    • Shea butter has been linked to an increase in collagen production.
  • Argan oil:
    • Because of its nongreasy texture and quick absorption, argan oil is another popular skincare product.
    • Argan oil has naturally high vitamin E and fatty acid contents, which means it increases skin elasticity, hydrates skin, and aids in moisture retention.
  • Collagen and elastin:
    • Look for stretch mark cream with collagen and elastin.
    • These naturally occurring proteins found in the skin's dermis and epidermis layers are essential for skin health and healing, as well as promoting soft, supple skin.
    • Although many influencers swear by its benefits, no scientific studies have been conducted to prescribe collagen and elastic ointments to help with scar reduction.
  • Lutein:
    • Lutein is a nutrient that can be found in green leafy vegetables and egg yolk. It improves the health and appearance of the skin by increasing hydration and elasticity.

If natural remedies aren't working to remove stretch marks, professional procedures are available. Many of these are more invasive and expensive than at-home options, but they are a great option if your stretch marks are negatively affecting your self-esteem and body image.

How and where can stretch marks appear?

Although stretching/tearing the skin is not painful, it does result in scars known as stretch marks. These marks may appear differently with various skin tones; however, because of the higher melanin content in the skin, they are more noticeable in people with darker skin tones

Stretch mark severity can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Level of stress on the skin
  • Cortisol (a hormone that weakens elastic fiber in the skin)

When they first show, they appear as long, rippled lines on the skin that are generally dark pink or purple. They fade to almost translucent over time.

Stretch marks can appear on both men and women in common areas of the body, such as:

  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Stomach
  • Breasts

Can I prevent stretch marks?

Keeping the skin hydrated and avoiding excessive weight gain may be your only chance to avoid permanent skin damage.

  • Although no perfect product to prevent stretch marks has yet been discovered, controlling changes in our body and weight may be our best bet for keeping our skin looking healthy and smooth.
  • Stretch marks are not a sign of poor health; they are a normal part of life that can affect anyone, regardless of size or shape.
  • Unfortunately, getting rid of them completely is difficult, but there are things you can do to help them fade faster and minimize their appearance.
  • Stretch marks can be disfiguring in some cases because they are so extensive. This can cause distress and prompt the affected person to seek medical assistance.

A consultation with a general practitioner or dermatologist is a good place to start. If you choose procedural treatment, you should consult a cosmetic surgeon.

QUESTION

Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks are medically referred to as striae or linear marks. They form when your skin is stretched rapidly, and your skin cells are unable to grow as quickly. The visible damage is caused by damage to the dermis (the middle layer of the skin).

Here is a list of causes of stretch marks:

  • Weight gain:
    • When you gain weight quickly, the skin stretches, resulting in visible marks.
  • Puberty:
    • Rapid growth is common in young people going through puberty. Stretch marks may result because of this.
  • Certain medical conditions:
    • Stretch marks can be caused by conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing's syndrome.
    • Marfan syndrome causes skin tissue to lose elasticity.
    • Cushing's syndrome causes the body to produce too much of a hormone, causing rapid weight gain and skin fragility.
  • Pregnancy:
    • Pregnancy is the most common reason for the appearance of stretch marks. Stretch marks will be visible after pregnancy.
    • This is caused by the sudden loss of weight and contraction of the stomach following birth.

Stretch marks are commonly seen in men due to weightlifting when the muscles bulk up too quickly for the skin to catch up. They can occur due to growth spurts and weight gain, and they can persist after weight loss. Stretch marks are frequently associated with puberty and pregnancy in women.

Stretch marks can be caused by corticosteroid creams and pills that reduce skin elasticity. Interestingly, stretch marks have a genetic component as well. If you have a family history of stretch marks, you are more likely to get them.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 2/14/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

STRETCH MARKS: WHY THEY APPEAR AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM: https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/scars-stretch-marks/stretch-marks-why-appear

Stretch Marks: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/what-are-stretch-marks

Stretch marks: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/stretch-marks

Stretch Marks: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436005/