Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there a way to get rid of stretch marks?"
Is there really a way to get rid of stretch marks? I'm a 34 year old mother of two, and I've heard a lot from both sides of the debate on this issue. If there is a good way (and I hope there is) what is it? Is it safe?
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are a form of scarring caused by the rapid stretching of the skin. They are often formed during puberty, pregnancy, and times of rapid weight gain and can be very frustrating. Genetics plays a role so if your mother has stretch marks there is a good chance you will get them as well. They are very common, affecting as many as 90% of women. Stretch marks are initially dark red or even purple and will slowly fade to white, light blue, or silver over time. However, they often leave deep indentations which are hard to treat. Unfortunately, as of today, there is no good treatment for stretch marks. There is various research being done of new lasers and creams but nothing to date is approved and proven to cure stretch marks. A "tummy tuck" is an extreme cure that would remove the stretch marks by actually removing the involved skin with the underlying fat. Besides this extreme measure, other advertised cures have very little evidence to show they actually work. It is best to save your money as many advertised creams are very expensive and do not work. The best method is prevention to avoid new stretch marks. Avoid rapid changes in weight and keep skin well moisturized. As always, heck with your dermatologist or primary care provider to evaluate your specific skin condition.
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