Pregnancy is a memorable experience for women but stretch marks are one reminder that you don’t want! As you know, the sudden weight gain and numerous other factors combine to stretch your skin dramatically during pregnancy. However, it’s important to note that there are genetic factors at play too. For example, if your mother had stretch marks, you’re probably going to suffer from them as well. Another thing to remember is that stretch marks are not created equal and look completely different from person to person and normally depend on the color of your skin. They could start out pink and fade to a silver color over time for example.

Fast Treatment Is Crucial

If you want the best possible results when removing stretch marks, you have to get them when they are still purple or red and likely to respond to different treatments. Stretch marks that become more ingrained into the skin are extremely difficult to remove. Moisturizing on a regular basis is essential. Look to rub some form of cream containing cocoa butter or shea butter on affected skin at least three times a day.

The Treatments

  • Wheat Germ Oil: This is a home remedy and while scientific studies on it are fuzzy, there are some studies that suggest it can be useful on relatively new stretch marks.
  • Vitamin C: Approximately 1.5 grams of Vitamin C spread over three doses a day could help increase collagen production thus reducing the effect of new stretch marks.
  • Products Containing Peptide: These are marketed far and wide as stretch mark repair creams. Despite the millions of dollars spent on such products that have strong advertising campaigns, there is a lack of compelling evidence in their favor.
  • Glycolic Acid: This is yet another treatment that is said to improve the rate of production of collagen. Your best bet is to have high doses administered professionally by a licensed dermatologist. This isn’t cheap however: Expect 3-4 visits before results are noticeable and at $100 a session, there are less expensive ways to reduce stretch marks.
  • Retinoids: Medical research has shown that retinoids are very effective when it comes to increasing elastic and collagen production in the initial stages of stretch marks. This is not a good treatment for pregnant women however. The list of popular retinoids includes Tazorac, Differin and Renova.
  • Laser Surgery: This really should be a last resort due to the expense and invasive nature of the treatment. The reason why lasers are said to be effective is because they promote the synthesis of new and healthy collagen. It’s not unusual for sessions to cost $400-$500 and you may need several sessions before seeing real results. In the end, you are only likely to see a 30% improvement on the appearance of stretch marks using laser surgery. When you consider that thousands of dollars could be spent in this pursuit, you have to question the value for money offered by laser treatment.

  In the end, stretch marks can be visibly reduced without having to spend a fortune. You are better off trying out the various creams on the market that increase the rate of collagen production instead of surgery.