Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Stretch Marks


How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

You may be wondering if it's possible to get rid of stretch marks. Well, if you're a teen, there's some good news. Most stretch marks that are already making you feel a bit self-conscious should slowly disappear over time. For adults, it's a different matter. Stretch marks will fade over time, but they will not vanish completely. From the start, the best way to combat stretch marks is to avoid rapid weight gain. If you notice some popping up, however, it's a good idea to act as soon as possible. The faster you address the problem, the easier it will be to get rid of them.

Some lotions, creams or other products can cover stretch marks up. To help them fade, choose a cream with a retinoid, such as Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac or Differin. Retinoids work by increasing collagen and elastin production in the skin. Combining glycolic acid, a chemical peel, with retinoids might produce even better results. Pregnant or nursing women, however, shouldn't use products that contain retinoid. Although you may see creams containing peptide advertising the ability to repair stretch marks, there is little evidence to back up that claim [source: Robertson].

For extensive stretch marks, laser treatment a potential option. Different types of lasers work best on distinct types of stretch marks. A dual laser approach may be best to take care of all your marks. You will see results in three to five sessions, but the marks will not go away. They may be too faint for anyone to notice but you, however. If you're wondering how painful the treatment is, just be prepared for some mild bruising and swelling.

If you're worried about surgical procedures or spreading chemicals on your skin, or if you're just looking for an alternative, check out the natural remedies for stretch marks on the next page.