Stretch marks occur when the skin loses elasticity due to sudden weight loss or gain. They're most commonly found on women who have given birth, people who have undergone dramatic weight loss or in body builders who bulked up quickly. Contrary to what cosmetic companies will tell you, stretch marks are permanent. The best way to deal with them is to help them fade more quickly.
- Exfoliate the skin. Use an exfoliating scrub brush or gloves along with a salt or sugar scrub. Rub the skin gently using small circular motions. You can’t rub out the stretch marks on your skin; you can, however, help the old skin regenerate and force the new skin cells to come up, making the skin look plumper. The new skin will help make the stretch marks seem like they have faded.
- Use cocoa butter lotion. Cocoa butter lotion is excellent at keeping the skin moisturized so that it doesn’t lose its elasticity. Pregnant women use cocoa butter lotion on their bellies, thighs and butt to prevent stretch marks. It is a great before and after lotion so slather it on during pregnancy or while you’re trying to lose weight, and keep at it afterward to help keep your skin supple. Aside from cocoa butter lotion, you can also use shea butter lotion. Some women have also tried olive oil. If you don’t like the greasy or heavy feeling after applying oils and lotions, try using the product at night only. However, for best results, you should apply any moisturizer twice a day.
- Use an over the counter cream. There are many cosmetics companies that sell fade creams for stretch marks. Check product reviews before you buy. You may need to go through a few bottles and tubs, but once you find one that works for you, stick to it. Some best selling ones are Mother’s Intuition Tummy Honey Stretch Mark Fading Cream, Dream Belly Stretch Mark Cream, Peptidril HP Skin Repair Cream and Bella B Tummy Honey Stretch Mark Fade Cream. Prices for these creams and lotions range from $20 to $80. Remember that just because the label says “tummy” doesn’t mean you can’t use it on other parts of your body.
- Use a tanning lotion. Stretch marks appear as red or white spidery lines across the skin. Even out this discoloration by applying a self-tanning lotion to your skin. If you try to tan the natural way, it will only make the stretch marks more prominent, since stretch marks have a tendency to be discolored in comparison to the rest of the skin.
- Remove it surgically. Lasers are the magic cure-all of the skin. Go to a licensed cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist and inquire about laser procedures to lighten your stretch marks. Specifically, ask about Laser Stretch Mark Removal. It can get costly, so beware. This is considered surgery, so consider your options carefully.
- Use non-surgical procedures. Before you attempt to blast away stretch marks, try microdermabrasion, chemical peels, or blue light therapy to speed the fading process.
Prevention is still the best way to deal with stretch marks, so take care of your skin. Newer stretch marks are easier to treat than those you’ve had for several years, so treat it as soon as you see some on your skin. If none of these bring you’re the results you like, you’ll simply have to learn to deal with them.