how do i permanently get rid of stretch marks?
Stretch marks typically take anywhere between 6 and 12 months after pregnancy to fade.

Stretch marks can take anywhere between 6 and 12 months after pregnancy to fade. They are permanent marks that can become less noticeable with treatment.

  • Hyaluronic acid:
    • According to studies, applying hyaluronic acid when stretch marks have just begun to appear can make the marks less noticeable.
  • Retinoids:
    • Tretinoin and retinol are chemical derivatives (retinoids) of vitamin A.
      • Tretinoin is available on prescription, whereas retinol can be found in various over-the-counter creams and serums.
      • The use of tretinoins during pregnancy and lactation is contraindicated. These can, however, be applied later.
    • According to a study, people who applied a cream containing tretinoin for 24 weeks saw their stretch marks fade, whereas others who did not apply the cream observed an increase in their stretch marks. Similar results have come up with other studies as well.
  • Procedures:
    • Stretch mark treatments such as over-the-counter products can be expensive. If you find no results with them, seeing a board-certified dermatologist can be helpful.
    • Dermatologists use one or any combination of the following procedures to make stretch marks less noticeable.
    • Any of these procedures can cause side effects, which are minor in the hands of a board-certified dermatologist. Minor side effects such as redness and swelling are common and usually disappear in a few hours.

Remember what works for others may not work for you. Everyone’s skin can react differently to the treatments. Some may see their stretch marks fade earlier than others, whereas others may find minimal or no benefit.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor before you use any of the products for your stretch marks. For example, products that contain retinol can be harmful to your baby.

What about other over-the-counter creams and lotions for stretch marks?

The market is inundated with various over-the-counter products such as creams, lotions, and gels for stretch marks. According to studies, no single product seems to benefit all the time, and some of the products do not work at all.

If you still want to try one of these products to fade stretch marks, always follow these tips:

  • Apply the product on early stretch marks: Treatments do not seem to work on older stretch marks.
  • Massage the product into your stretch marks: Not just applying but massaging the product gently into your skin may provide you with better results.
  • Apply the product every day for several weeks: Like other scars, stretch marks are stubborn and take several weeks to fade. Be patient.

Do home remedies for stretch marks work?

Popular home remedies for stretch marks include almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, or vitamin E. Some anecdotal reports and studies have found them helpful in fading stretch marks. However, in some studies, these have not worked. If you think, massaging with any of these oils is working for you, you can continue them.

Tanning using self-tanners cannot help you get rid of stretch marks. They can just help you camouflage early and mature stretch marks.

Can you do anything to prevent stretch marks?

Yes. You may be able to prevent stretch marks.

Although remedies such as almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, and vitamin E may not help prevent stretch marks in everyone, some ingredients can help reduce their severity.

According to studies, products containing herb, Centella asiatica, or hyaluronic acid may help prevent stretch marks.

Some other preventive tips include:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Maintaining a slow and steady weight gain
  • Increasing your daily intake of vitamins (particularly vitamins A and C) and protein

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Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Stretch marks. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10785-stretch-marks

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

Oakley AM, Patel BC. Stretch Marks. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436005/