There is no way to completely
remove stretch marks, but it is possible to reduce the appearance of them over time. Stretch marks most often occur during pregnancy, when the skin stretches tightly over the body, which is quickly growing. They are most common on the belly, but can also appear on the thighs and breasts.
1. Over-The-Counter Creams:
You want to specifically look for creams or lotions that contain herbal oils and extracts, as these are designed to regenerate the skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. A couple of creams also contain mild acids, which are designed to strip away the top layer of skin, where the stretch mark scarring is. You can expect to pay between a couple dollars or up to a couple hundred of dollars, depending on the nature of the product. These creams aren't a "quick fix," but with continued use they are designed to minimize the overall appearance of stretch marks over time.
2. Sunless Tanning Products:
These products won't work to heal or diminish the appearance of stretch marks, but they do help by covering them up. This technique can work even on stretch marks that are several years old. These products are designed to last several weeks, and won't wash off in the shower. This technique actually works better on older stretch marks, as newer marks are less likely to absorb the lotion well.
3. Diet & Exercise:
Did you know that something as simple as keeping yourself well hydrated can make a huge difference in decreasing the appearance of stretch marks? When you are hydrated, the elasticity of your skin is increased and you are significantly less likely to develop stretch marks in the first place. Additionally, eating foods like carrots, spinach, fresh fruit, meat, poultry, and eggs, can give your skin an extra boost of Vitamins A & C, Zinc, and Protein, which can help to minimize the appearance of stretch marks as well as hyperpigmentation.
4. Prescription Medications:
There are strong prescription medications available, such as Tretinoin, which can reduce appearance of stretch marks (but they are not without risk). Tretinoin is a topical treatment, available in a liquid, gel, or cream consistency. The medication works by causing irritation to the skin which allows new skin cells to regenerate more rapidly than they would normally. It's important to note that it can take up to six months of daily use before a patient will see results using Tretinoin, this time-consuming treatment is definitely not for everyone.
5. Dermatology Treatments: