For those suffering from visible stretch marks, the news that complete removal is not likely to happen will certainly come as a blow. Although there are dozens of treatments that could potentially reduce the appearance of stretch marks, none of these solutions will permanently remove these scars. This doesn’t mean that you should sit around and accept your fate. After all, reducing scars by 50% or more is much better than doing nothing. And besides, it is possible to reduce stretch marks to such an extent that you’ll never be able to see them again. They will still be there but no one will notice.

When Stretch Marks Attack

There are many reasons why stretch marks can appear; weight gain, pregnancy and hormonal imbalance are all blamed. Then there is the role of genetics. If older generations of your family had this issue, this certainly increases your risk.

You could also get stretch marks from the use of steroids or else you may suffer from an adrenal gland disorder. New stretch marks are likely to be red while older scars will be silver or grey.

Treatments

There are homemade remedies, topical cream, a trio of different laser surgery types and microdermabrasion. The most effective cream is said to be tretinoin cream as it is made from an acidic form of Vitamin A. It needs to be applied directly to the affected area.

Microdermabrasion involves blowing aluminum oxide crystals on to the skin. In terms of surgery, you can choose laser light, excimer lasers and pulsed laser dye. Homemade remedies using ingredients such as cocoa butter are also popular though the effect of such cures is up for debate. 

Results

The main reason why tretinion cream is so highly regarded when it comes to stretch mark removal is because various studies have shown it to be very effective. A 1996 study conducted by Dr. Sewon Kang is often cited as proof that the cream works. 80% of the women that took part in Dr. Kang’s experiment saw an improvement in their skin with the average length reduced by 14% and the average width reduced by almost 10%.

These were exciting results and tretinoin cream has benefited from this study ever since. Pulsed laser dye therapy has probably been the most successful laser surgery treatment for stretch marks but it only works on new scars. Microdermabrasion reveals healthier skin underneath by slowly removing the older top layer of skin. This treatment also encourages the production of collagen and elastin. However, there is no single treatment that has been conclusively proven to work. As we speak, constant research is taking place and we hope to one day get to the bottom of the stretch mark removal mystery.