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The Medical Spa of Baton Rouge Blog

5 Ways to Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Posted by Dr. Tasha Shamlin on 03/16/15

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Stretch marks can show themselves during times when your skin is stretched. That is why you might notice them during growth spurts in your early life, when you gain weight, if you gain a large amount of muscle or during pregnancy. Nonetheless, certain medications and health conditions can also cause these lines to appear on your body. Stretch marks do fade from their original darker color to a lighter white or gray shade over time, but you can still see them and even the faded lines can be embarrassing. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce their appearance on your skin if you don't like the way these marks look.

Apply Tretinoin Creams

Putting certain creams onto the stretch marks can help new stretch marks that are more dark and defined to become less noticeable. These creams include Retin-A, Avita and other Tretinoin creams. This method works by encouraging collagen growth in the skin. However, these creams sometimes irritate the skin and they are not always recommended for women who are pregnant or still nursing. 

Try Retinoid

You can apply a retinoid cream to your stretch marks, which seems to help the marks fade in color when they are still fairly new. This method works to encourage your skin's production of collagen and quicken the creation of new skin cells. However, you should not use this method if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding.  

Use Gels

Another option you can apply to your skin is a gel that contains hyaluronic acid and extract of onion. You should use this on your skin when the stretch marks are still pretty new and darker in color. This treatment helped the lines fade in a research study, according to WebMD. 

Receive Microdermabrasion

Try a microdermabrasion session from a health professional to see if your marks will fade. This method works on stretch marks that have been around for a while. It works by using crystals that buff the skin to take away a layer of skin cells. This process encourages your body to create a new layer of skin.

Try Laser Treatments

Having laser therapy applied to your stretch marks is another way to reduce their appearance. There are different types of technology that a health professional can use based on factors like your skin's characteristics and how old your stretch marks are. This method works by encouraging your body to build collagen, melanin or elastin in the skin.  

None of these methods will completely remove the stretch marks, but they can help to minimize the appearance of them. There are also other options that claim to help reduce the look of stretch marks on the skin. These methods include applying olive oil, gotu kola extract, cocoa butter, vitamin E or other natural solutions. However, Mayoclinic.org explains that these treatments have not been shown to work, while the lasers, microdermabrasion and certain topical creams have shown results. 

The type of method you use to reduce stretch marks can depend on certain factors. For example, the Tretinoin creams do not help old stretch marks, so you would need to use this option when your marks have just developed. It is best to talk to a health professional to figure out which treatment method is the right one for your situation. 

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Topics: Stretch Marks