There are several things that can cause stretch marks to develop, including pregnancy, weight lifting, genetics, medical issues and weight loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, stretch marks are harmless and fade as time moves forward, but for now they may be a cause of embarrassment and stress. While there is no way to make stretch marks disappear completely, several things can be done to reduce their appearance.
Use creams containing tretinoin on new stretch marks. Brand names for such creams include Renova and Retin-A. The cream will work most effectively on stretch marks that are less than eight weeks old, according to Mayo Clinic. It works by rebuilding the body’s collagen and works best on red stretch marks. This cream should not be used if you are pregnant.
Make an appointment for some laser therapy. Laser therapy uses a dye and pulsating action to remodel the skin just under your skin’s surface, by encouraging the regrowth of elastin and collagen. While it will not make the stretch marks completely disappear, the remodeled skin will more closely match the rest of the skin in color and texture.
Have fractional photothermolysis treatments done. The treatment works by damaging the skin just under the surface of the stretch mark. As your body heals the damage, it also heals the stretch mark skin layer. Though it will not heal it completely, it can soften the markings, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Recolor your skin by having an excimer laser applied. This treatment does not promote collagen but instead targets repigmentation of the skin by the stimulation of the production of melanin. This option is often used for older stretch marks.
Ask your doctor about providing microdermabrasion to treat your stretch marks. This hand-held machine blows crystals onto the skin with such force that they gently polish of the stretch mark skin through abrasion. The method takes off the top skin layer and allows for healing and regrowth of new skin.