Creams, oils to permanently remove stretch marks

Stretch marks on the thighPhoto by Karolina Grabowska

Stretch marks as narrow bands of scar tissue that develop when the skin is stretched or shrinks quickly, as defined by The American Academy of Dermatology. The abrupt changes damage collagen and elastin in the skin, and upon healing, this scar tissue appears. It is one of the most common skin blemishes affecting all genders and skin types. Though it does not cause physical harm to the body, many people prefer to remove them entirely if they do arise.

One of the driving factors in finding a cure for stretch marks is the stigma and shame it causes. Though many women wear their stretch marks proudly, many find it hard to find the courage. Some women even shared their struggles dealing with their stretch marks journey. The article Stretch marks and societal stigma highlights the emotional challenges women with stretch marks face.

Types of treatments that help with stretch marks

One treatment will work across the board for everyone. Many people try several times before finding the product or a combination of products that works for them. The American Academy of Dermatology separated the types of stretch marks into four groups.

Stretch mark creams, ointment, and gels

Researchers have tested OTC creams, ointments, and gels used for stretch marks. They concluded that the most effective treatment should be:

  • Use on early stretch marks.
  • Massaged into the stretch marks.
  • Apply daily for numerous weeks.

Home remedies

Researchers found that massaging cocoa butter, olive oil, vitamin E, and almond oil weren't effective treatments for stretch marks.


Their conclusion was that self-tanner does not remove stretch marks but nearly camouflages them.

Prescriptions medications

The two most effective prescription treatments for stretch marks were hyaluronic acid and tretinoin. Research showed that persons who applied tretinoin in the early stage for 24 weeks had less noticeable stretch marks. Hyaluronic acid had a similar effect.

Procedure by dermatologists

Dermatological procedures that lighten the appearance of stretch marks but don't remove them are; chemical peels, laser therapy, ultrasound, microdermabrasion, and radiofrequency.

Beauty articles most effective stretch mark treatments.
Retinol helps with stretch marks.Jess @ Harper Sunday/Unsplash

1. Retinol creams

One of the most common treatments mentioned on beauty websites is retinol creams. Paula's Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment and The Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% are commonly mentioned topical treatments for stretch marks. Retinol helps to stimulate collagen production in the skin. If used early, it helps to fade the appearance of stretch marks. However, this product is not suitable for pregnant women.

2. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Bio-oil is the most recommended body oil used for stretch marks. Popular websites like Byrdie, Cosmopolitan, momlovesbest, and Goodhouskeeping listed this oil as the 'Best overall stretch mark treatment. Each website concluded from their investigations that persons who used bio-oil had significant improvement in their stretch marks. Bio-oil is a combination of Purcellin, Chamomile, Sunflower, and Lavender oils, as well as vitamins A and E. The fatty acids help to hydrate the skin and treat stretch marks.

3. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Cream for Stretch Marks

Momlovebest rated this stretch mark cream as the Best Massage Stretch Mark cream. This cream contains Vitamin E, lutein, and argan oil, which help remove stretch marks. While collagen and elastin which improves the skin's elasticity and prevent stretch marks. They did note was this cream works best as a preventative treatment.

4. Laser treatment for stretch marks

The Le Reve Skincare and Laser Center provides a service to permanently remove stretch marks. Their laser therapy stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the sub-dermal layer of the skin beneath the existing scar tissue. The treatment makes the new skin the same tone and texture as the stretch marks. Over time the pinkish and reddish appearance of the scars fades away.

According to their article, the treatment takes approximately 30 minutes as long as only one part of the body is done at a time. Fortunately, This treatment is not painful to the surrounding tissue.

The Dermatology & MOH Surgery Institute introduces The Cynosure ICON laser system which develops collagen. Treatment results in smoother, firmer, and more resilient skin.

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DISCLAIMER: The author of this article is NOT skincare or health professional. The opinions shared are inferences based on the facts researched. All facts presented were researched and extracted from haircare and health sources. All sources are supported by skincare and health professionals.

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I am a Healthcare major with a minor in biology. For the last 2 years, I have been blogging on Medium and Vocal Media sharing health tips. Besides my volunteer work, blogging is another way to get information our to the public, especially health.

Hackensack, NJ

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