Can Stretch Marks Be Eliminated?

If you're conscious of your stretch marks and are embarrassed by them, you probably always ask yourself if they can be eliminated. Read on to discover it!
Can Stretch Marks Be Eliminated?

Last update: 03 January, 2019

Excessive stretching of the skin can result in the appearance of spots, lines, or stripes, usually pink or purple in color. These are known as stretch marks.

When stretch marks appear for the first time, they start with an intense color. Then, they fade over time. Nonetheless, their texture and characteristics don’t fade on their own.

In addition, they appear frequently on muscles, buttocks, arms (generally around the armpits), abdomen, and breasts.

Keep in mind that stretch marks are inoffensive and don’t require medical attention. However, if they make you self-conscious, you probably always ask yourself if there are ways to eliminate them. Continue reading to find out!

Causes of stretch marks

Before trying to remove them, the first step is to determine what is causing them:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Rapid weight gain or weight loss.
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids.
  • Growth spurts, especially during the teenage years.
  • Increase in muscular mass, especially in your arms and legs.
  • Genetic disorders, like Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
  • Prolonged use of steroids.

Treatment for stretch marks

Tretinoin cream

Let’s take a look at the ways in which you can treat them. Relatively new ones can be treated with tretinoin cream that may help rebuild collagen and can help keep your skin healthy.

But this cream can only be used in the first six weeks after they have developed. If you’re pregnant, don’t use this option because the effects of topical tretinoin on the fetus are still unknown.

Stretch marks on a woman's legs.

Pulse laser therapy

Pulse laser therapy encourages collagen and elastin growth and can help stretch marks texturize when they’re still relatively new.

These high intensity light pulsing treatments don’t affect the most external layers of the skins, but rather cause intentional and controlled damage to the chromophores located in the dermis.


Microdermabrasion revives the skin gently by blasting it with small crystals and makes a copy for safety. This only affects the outermost layer of the skin and promotes the growth of new skin.

Excimer lasers

Excimer lasers promote the development of melanin in stretch marks and help balance out the color. A type of therapy that works for old and new stretch marks is a chemical exfoliation with glycolic acid.

First, the doctor will clean the area that will be treated and then apply a chemical solution that will intentionally damage the skin, which promotes its regeneration.

Other topical creams

There are also various creams, like cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamin E, that you can apply at home. The creams will keep your skin lubricated and can also accelerate color fading. Some people say that they get the best results from these, while others see little or no change.

Other common topical treatments include castor oil, olive oil, fruit acids, seaweed wraps, and other medicinal plants.

Besides resorting to these remedies, you can even come very close to removing them completely with surgery. Unfortunately, nothing will completely remove stretch marks.

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  • Ud-Din, S., McGeorge, D., & Bayat, A. (2016). Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): Prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
  • Wollina, U., & Goldman, A. (2017). Management of stretch marks (with a focus on striae rubrae). Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery.