When it comes to removing stretch marks, the information available today is often conflicting. Every company seems to claim that their method is the best way of removing or decreasing the appearance of these embarrassing lines with little consensus as to what treatment really does work the best. If you find yourself frustrated by the research you have been trying to do on this topic, read on for some real information.

Laser Treatment

Dermatologists report that laser treatment is the best stretch mark treatment available with research apparently confirming this claim. A new laser treatment option, known as fractional laser resurfacing, has had relatively impressive results in research trials with 65% of study participants reporting being extremely satisfied with their results.

This therapy required 6 weekly sessions and current market prices would put the total cost of this treatment at anywhere from $4000 to $9000, a high price to pay for a cosmetic procedure. In addition, fractional laser resurfacing also requires expensive regular follow-ups.

 

Stretch Mark Cream

Few reliable studies exist confirming the benefits of any one specific stretch mark cream. However, the best creams on the market utilize research conducted on specific ingredients that have been shown to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, such as:

  • Vitamin E
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Squalene Oil
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Aloe Vera
  • Vitamin D

Even the best stretch mark creams may not be able to safely combine all of the best ingredients together in just one product. Since all ingredients interact with each other in different ways, it would probably be unsafe to try to combine all of the ingredients. With that in mind, look for a product that contains a number of these effective ingredients but be aware that you are unlikely to find a cream containing them all.

Lifestyle Changes for Prevention

To prevent stretch marks from occurring on your body, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make to increase the health of your skin.

  • Exercise regularly. This includes both aerobic and strength-training exercises. Vary your exercise routine to prevent boredom.
  • Take a daily multivitamin.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow throughout your body, including blood that is supposed to flow to your skin cells.
  • Limit alcohol. Alcohol is partially secreted through the skin and since it is poison to your body, it affects the skin cells as well.
  • Drink plenty of water. By hydrating your body, you also hydrate your skin, helping it to retain elasticity.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables. By giving your body the appropriate fuel, you allow it to work at optimum capacity.
  • Use a stretch mark cream as directed (at least once daily), especially in areas where stretch marks are more likely to occur. This helps to maintain your skin’s ability to stretch, thus preventing stretch marks.

If money is no object, then laser treatment is definitely the way to go when it comes to stretch mark removal. If however, you are like 99% of consumers, you have to live within a limited budget and can't afford surgery. If this is you, look for a highly rated stretch mark removal cream or lotion that fits your lifestyle and budget. With all of the products available on the market today, you are sure to find one perfect for you.