Guide on How to Prevent and Get Rid of Stretch Marks

This guide was written to help you better understand a common body concern. The questions: "What is the cause of stretchmarks?" and "How you can prevent stretchmarks?" are answered and homoepathic remedies (such as using olive oil) are given as well.

Image Credit: bandita, Flickr
Image Credit: bandita, Flickr

Top Tips For Preventing Stretch Marks

 

  • Keep skin hydrated
  • Keep skin moisturized
  • Eat right
  • Maintain constant weight, gain or lose slowly

Stretch marks are caused when skin expands in response to sudden weight gain. While skin does stretch to a certain extent, at some point - which is going to vary from person to person - when it is stretched to it's limit the inner layer of skin actually tears. In addition, there can be loss of collagen and elastin in the skin. This underlying layer of skin shows through the upper layers and looks streaked.

At first stretch marks appear as pink or purple lines. These are the result of damaged capillaries. Over time they look white. Stretch marks are the scars of the torn inner layer of skin. Stretch marks are most common on thighs, abdomen, hips, breasts and upper arms. Once stretch marks appear they are extremely difficult to get rid of.

Stretch marks often result from weightlifting or drastic weight loss, as often experience after gastric bypass or lapband surgery. Almost all pregnant women are at risk to develop stretch marks.

Stretch marks are permanent, but there are stretch mark treatments that can be used to prevent stretch marks or minimize their appearance.

Just for Kids - Teenagers can also develop stretch marks from weight loss or just rapid growth during puberty. TeensHealth put together a nice webpage that speaks directly to the special concerns of teens struggling with stretch marks.

MedicineNet.com - This site features several articles about stretch marks. All the articles are reviewed by a medical doctor. Topics include weightlifting and pregnancy as causes as well as a glossary of terms associated with stretch marks.

Will You Get Stretch Marks? - Medical News Today gives us this article listing the factors associated with pregnant women getting stretch marks. Some things are under our control, while others are not.

Click Here for More Pregnancy Resources

If you do develop stretch marks, try to maintain a sense of humor!


Stretch Mark Myths

According to AllAboutStretchMarks.com, these are the top ten myths regarding stretch marks.

  1. Only pregnant women get stretch marks.
  2. Only women get stretch marks.
  3. Stretch marks go away once you lose the weight.
  4. You can't prevent stretch marks.
  5. Only plastic surgery can treat stretch marks.
  6. Once you get stretch marks, you just have to live with them.
  7. Stretch marks aren't worth the time to treat.
  8. Stretch marks are expensive to treat.
  9. Teenagers and children don't get stretch marks.
  10. Insurance will pay for stretch mark treatments.

Prevent Stretch Marks

Creams and Lotions

Many lotions sold to treat stretch marks contain alpha hydoxy acid (AHA). This helps to exfoliate the topmost skin cells so that new skin cells grow in their place. These lotions provide subtle improvement gradually over time. They must be regularly used for a long period of time to get and maintain results. Look for formulations with vitamin AHA, plus vitamins A, C and E to aid in diminishing the appearance of stretch marks.

How to Choose a Stretch Mark Cream - This article at AskBaby.com provides some advice for how to choose a cream to treat stretch marks. For example, look for creams that aren't too greasy to be absorbed quickly into the skin.

 

Diet

Because stretch marks are caused when the skin is damaged, the healthier you can keep skin, the better chances you have at avoiding stretch marks. Eating foods rich in zinc, as well as vitamins A, C, and D, can improve skin's quality to prevent stretch marks. Nuts fish, citrus fruits, dairy products, carrots, and eggs are all skin friendly foods. Keep skin hydrated by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. Soft skin will be more supple and less prone to tearing.

Just for Weightlifters

In addition to the other measures listed here for avoiding stretch marks, body builders should take care not to gain muscle too quickly. Steady muscle growth will allow your skin to stretch slowly, decreasing your chances of developing stretch marks.

Bodybuilder's Info - TeenBodyBuilding.com has a very detailed article with excellent information for bodybuilders of all ages. Stretch marks do not have to be a part of your love of body building.

Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy - The Expectant Mother's Guide gives us a detailed plan to help pregnant women prevent getting stretch marks. They advocate the holistic approach - the more measures you take the better!

WikiHow Stretch Marks - Here's another great resource in the form of a list. This wiki provides a five step program followed by tips to keep skin smooth and stretch mark free.

Covering Stretch Marks

If you need to cover your stretch marks before treatment starts to produce results, you can get stretch mark concealer. This makeup comes in colors for all skin tones. You could use tattoo cover up well. Some people also get good results from self-tanning lotion.

In this news clip a doctor discusses laser treatment for stretch marks.

Get Rid of Stretch Marks

Laser Treatment

While using lasers to treat stretch marks is a new application, they are proven to improve skin texture when used for skin tightening on other areas of the body. Skin is numbed and then tiny holes are created in the skin to reduce the appearance and induce the skin to create new collagen. This treatment for stretch creates significant improvement in tone and texture, as well as an overall younger looking skin.

Check out this news story documenting one women's experience.

TopDocs - This article goes into detail about how laser treatments work and what you expect from laser treatment for stretch marks. There is also the ability to search by state for a doctor who can provide this service.

A physician talks about the procedure and results of abdominoplasty.

 

Dermabrasion

The appearance of skin can be improved and stretch marks made less visible with treatment by dermabrasion. In dermabrasion, the skin is frozen and then and scraped, or sanded with a special instrument. New, smoother skin grows in place of the removed upper layer.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a process where an exfoliating chemical treatment is put on the skin. Like with dermabrasion, the new skin that grows is in better condition than that it replaces.

Surgical Removal

Also know as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty is perhaps the most drastic ways to eliminate stretch marks. The surgery achieves this by removing excess skin in the abdominal area, so if there are stretch marks, they are cut off. Of course, there are other benefits of the tummy tuck. A tummy tuck is the only way to achieve 100% removal of stretch marks.

Ask a Plastic Surgeon - Board certified plastic surgeon Michael Bermant answers questions on this site. Topics covered include treatment for stretch marks (focus on abdominoplasty), specific cases, and causes. There are also links to lots of before and after photos of tummy tuck patients. If you are considering this option, read up!

More Home Remedies For Stretch Marks

All these were found In Internet Forums that did not appear to be associated in any way with creams or medical treatment options.

  • Vitamin E Oil - Apply Vitamin E oil after taking a shower. Do not wipe it off. Apply daily. If you don't shower every day, clean the stretch mark area with a wet cloth and apply. You can cover the area with band-aids or gauze (use medical tape to secure).
  • Coffee - Grind coffee into a powder and mix it with hand lotion. Rub into stretch marks for about 60 seconds and wipe off with a warm towel. Apply twice daily. Results take about two weeks.
  • Olive Oil - For prevention, put olive oil on all areas that could be affected by stretch marks twice a day. (Also works for wrinkle prevention.)
  • Flaxseed Oil - Rub flaxseed oil on stretch marks after showering and again efore bed.

Diva's Skin Care Blog - This skin care professional tested four different stretch mark crème and compares the results. The test included women who had developed stretche marks during pregnancy, as well as because of significant weight loss. There are pictures and recommendations at the end.

All About Stretch Marks - Here is an entire website dedicated to the lowly stretch mark. While this is a great resource, keep in mind that the primary purpose of this website is to sell you the pulsed light stretch mark treatment marketed by this company under the trade name ReLume.

Natural Remedies

If you'd rather not go under the laser or knife, you can diminish the appearance of stretch marks with natural intervention. Here is a list of the best remedies that are out there.

Recipe for Homemade Stretch Mark Body Scrub:

Sugar, Olive oil, Cod liver oil, Vitamin E oil/cream, Aloe Vera gel

Mix together and work gently into skin. Exfoliating rids the skin of dead cells and stimulates blood flow.

Recipe for Homemade Stretch Mark Cream:

1/4 cup Cocoa Butter, 1 Tbsp. wheat germ oil, 1tsp. light sesame seed oil, 1tsp. Apricot kernel oil, 1tsp. Vitamin E oil, 2 tsp. grated beeswax, 1 tsp Vanilla extract (optional)

Mix together all ingredients except vanilla extract. Heat gently until the cocoa butter and beeswax have melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool completely. Store in a clean jar with a tight fitting lid. Massage into your skin.

Homemade Stretch Mark Lotion

1/2 virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup aloe vera gel, contents of 6 capsules of vitamin E, Contents of 4 capsules of vitamin A

Mix all ingredients using a blender and store the mixture in the refrigerator. For best results use daily

*You can also apply the gel of a fresh aloe vera plant directly to skin. Let it dry for several hours or overnight and rinse.

Recipes Source: Felicia Syring for KnowingWhatsBest.com.

Pregnant? Stretchmarks aren't the only thing you'll be dealing with. Click here for great online pregnancy resources.

More by this Author


Comments 39 comments

MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 2 years ago from United States

What is your opinion to use olive oil? Thanks!


CalvinDeyo profile image

CalvinDeyo 4 years ago from Bogra, Bangladesh

There are numerous methods to remove those undesirable scars. Creams, ointments, and various relevant goods are accessible. There are also chemical peels and dermabrasions, which are normally hurting & time requiring. Abdominoplasty will surely eliminate striae, but those procedures are very costly and almost harmful, most people are thinking before doing it.

This is the most informative site : http://www.laser-stretchmarkremoval.net/laser-trea...


jolia 5 years ago

Palmer's Cocoa Butter is afinal deciasion


jenny 5 years ago

i have a lot of stretchmarks.please help me on how to fade them away.


eunice 5 years ago

thanks for the info,i am going to try my right away.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

A Well researched hub and a good topic since it is of keen interest to all :)


lowrider-barbie 6 years ago

I gained 130 lbs with my first pregnancy {total weight i weighed 260lbs}. i had stretch marks from under my arms to my feet. Some went away on there own. Others are getting better and better. I use coffee grinds to exfoliate, then any oil (bio oil,olive oil, flaxseed oil, vitamin e oil,ect) then i wrap my belly with a exercize belt (tight)not to get my bed sheets grease and go to sleep. i now weight 135 lbs, have no loose shin and very faded strech marks... my friends that have tried this have done very well to!!


Sunnyglitter profile image

Sunnyglitter 6 years ago from Cyberspace

I need to try these tips. I have hideous stretch marks now, and I can't figure out why. I had zero during my last pregnancy.


cutienoel 6 years ago

has anyone heard of bio oil? im interested but i want to get some feed back from persons who have used it before


Ann 6 years ago

OMG! I have stretch marks at only 14 years old! Thanks so much for the info!!!!! :)


Hazel 6 years ago

The doctor told me that the only PROVEN method of preventing stretch marks is the sun! ..


teela84 6 years ago

Im 6 months pregnant no strecth marks yet!! but Im scared, so will try the bio oil... Wish me luck!!


Lady pink 6 years ago

I used by bio-oil and it works for me,during pregnancy i developed stretch marks on my breast. Thanks to bio-oil,they are fading away now that you can't tell i ever had them.


Lisa K. 6 years ago

Thanks for the advice! Saw this website about 1 year ago or so used cocca butter and a few other things and tried to circulate my bloodflow around the marks, and my stretch marks faded to half of what they where! They are hardly noticeable now! Thanks so much!!


Chris 6 years ago

I used Shea Butter through both of my pregnancies. Although I'm really pale, and I got really big with my second, my stomach is totally unlined. As for genetics, my mother and both grandmothers have stretch marks. So, in my experience, shea butter works to prevent stretch marks.


Gyspy Writer profile image

Gyspy Writer 6 years ago from Midwest

The mother of a friend told me to rub myself down in camphorated oil. I did. Smelled like a Vicks jar for 9 months. Never got a stretch mark at all on my belly when pregnant. Wish I would have used the oil on my thighs! I don't know if it works to get rid of them, but it sure prevents them.


SoundAdvice profile image

SoundAdvice 6 years ago from Australia

Very informative hub. After I had my first child, all i did to get rid of the stretch marks was a balanced healthy diet, and vitamin E oil. This hub provides a lot more useful choices.

Great work


DoubtingThomas profile image

DoubtingThomas 6 years ago

Good hub, I have been trying to get rid of my stretchmarks for a very long time with no success. I have written a hub on one of the creams for stretchmarks

http://hubpages.com/style/Revitol-Stretch-Mark-Cre...


JohnnieR profile image

JohnnieR 6 years ago

These are no fun, but thankfully there are options for clearing these up, such as lotions or laser treatment. Obviously the lotions are going to be cheaper and less hassle. Try looking for a free trial, that way you're not losing money if it doesn't work. You can get a free trial of elasti-cur at:

http://www.rhodesonline.net/stretchmarks

Don't expect overnight results with these, but you should see a difference a couple weeks in.


mothertobe profile image

mothertobe 6 years ago

Great informative hub! I have stretch marks and have been using Palmers Cocoa Butter...still there though. Think its all mainly down to genetics!


Alhub 7 years ago

Very good hub and great tips to consider,thanks for sharing.


GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

Wow I never knew there were so many ways or remedies to help get rid of stretch marks. I have stretch marks from having children and I used cocoa butter everyday and I would take vitamin E baths, I'm definitely going to try the recipe for the lotion that you have in your article and see how it works.. Thanks


NoStretchMarks profile image

NoStretchMarks 7 years ago from New York

I like this hub. But, I have a small suggestion. When oils and vitamins don't work, there are natural creams that can do a wonderful job to get rig od stretch marks.


Nazo 7 years ago

I think to try these homemade lotions will make much difference.


dawei888 profile image

dawei888 7 years ago

Wonderful hub about stretch marks. Seems a combination of the right vitamins and oils is the way to go. Thanks!


dianna 7 years ago

i read the info about home made remedies....the medical book was written by a Dr. and it is the same info on this sight....very informative


megamass profile image

megamass 8 years ago from Portugal

Great post! Thanks for the information!


JJC13 profile image

JJC13 8 years ago from Liverpool

Stretch marks can prevent women from wearing dresses that flatter them.


betherickson profile image

betherickson 8 years ago from Minnesota

Very good info! Actually I'm quite worried about my stretchmarks! I can get use to this. Thumbs-up!


Celisse 8 years ago

GREAT info here!! I can also swear by Palmer's Cocoa Butter; I used it most of the time while I was carrying my daughter & I ended up w/ practically no stretch marks, except for some REALLY light, barely noticeable ones on my inner thighs. I can vouch for the myth about "teens not getting stretch marks" too. I developed stretch marks on my hips during a growth spurt in high school. I've never been overweight or heavy, even during my pregnancies, just thin/ curvy in the right places. lol. :-)


Jamie Carroll profile image

Jamie Carroll 8 years ago from California

Great hub!


raguett profile image

raguett 8 years ago

great info....I use vitmen K it works well....


FANA profile image

FANA 8 years ago

thank you so so mush for the information.

having streach marks has made me so shy to shed my clothes, i feel ugly.

but im working on it.

thanks oncce again


JKSophie profile image

JKSophie 8 years ago from Philippines

Thanks for the info. They're really helpful. :-)


tommyfocus 8 years ago

Great hub!!!! Thanks for the info!


April 8 years ago

I love my stretchmarks and would never try to get rid of them. they are my badges of motherhood. btw if anyone tells you there is a cream to get rid of stretchmarks they are scamming you! (it's just not possible!)


starrkissed profile image

starrkissed 8 years ago from Arizona

Thank you for this! Very informative. I can vouch for those myths about teens not being able to get stretchmarks. I've had them for a long time due to being over weight. And after losing weight, they're still there, but definitely not as noticeable.


sschilke profile image

sschilke 8 years ago

lela,

My wife used Vitamin E oil and seemed to help considerably.

Great Hub.

sschilke


eugie17 profile image

eugie17 8 years ago from online (everywhere)

Nice work Lela,

Stretch marks are bad thing to keep

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