A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our. Stretch marks, also known as striae, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off- color hue. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. Stretch marks occur when a person's skin stretches too quickly, which can be due to puberty, pregnancy or weight gain. They can appear.
Current treatments are particularly limited in their ability to deliver long-lasting improvements for all skin types. Stretch marks often fade over time and become unnoticeable. For women who develop stretch marks in pregnancy, these usually become less noticeable around 6 to 12 months after giving birth.
Makeup can be used to conceal stretch marks on more exposed areas of the body while they are more pronounced. There is no high-quality evidence that applying lotions, creams, or oils to the skin can help the appearance of stretch marks. Topical treatments are preparations containing active ingredients that are applied to the surface of the skin. Several studies have compared the effects of topical treatments to preparations containing no active ingredients, or to the effects of receiving no treatment at all.
These investigations found no statistically significant difference between the groups, suggesting that currently available treatment options do not enhance or speed up the healing process of stretch marks. Stretch marks cannot always be prevented. However, the following steps may help to reduce the risk:. They pose no long-term health risks, and treatment is normally intended to improve the self-image of the person with stretch marks. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Fri 5 January Visit our Dermatology category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Dermatology.
All references are available in the References tab. Fractional nonablative nm laser treatment of striae distensae in Fitzpatrick skin types II to IV: Clinical and histological results [Abstract]. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 31 4 , No evidence for topical preparations in preventing stretch marks in pregnancy [Abstract]. British Journal of General Practice, 63 , Incidence and risk factors for striae gravidarum [Abstract].
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 73 4 , What are stretch marks? MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media.
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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Stretch marks on arm Some men and women are prone to develop stretch marks on the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Stretch marks in pregnancy Stretch marks are common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester.
Widespread stretch marks Stretch marks can cover large areas of the body, but it happens rarely. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References Korgavkar K, et al. Stretch marks during pregnancy: A review of topical prevention. British Journal of Dermatology. Cunningham FG, et al. The McGraw-Hill Companies; Al-Himdani S, et al.
A comprehensive review and evidence-based evaluation of prophylaxis and treatment. Lebwohl MG, et al. Treatment of Skin Disease: Picard D, et al. Incidence and risk factors for striae gravidarum. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Hussain HA, et al. Stretch marks and treatment efficacies. Hexsel D, et al. Superficial dermabrasion versus topical tretinoin on early striae distensae: A randomized, pilot study.
Tanning cannot get rid of stretch marks. While tanning can make stretch marks more noticeable, a self-tanner can camouflage stretch marks — both early and mature ones. A self-tanner cannot get of rid of stretch marks. Prescription medicine you apply to your skin: In studies, two ingredients seem to offer some relief:. In two large studies, applying hyaluronic acid to early stretch marks made the stretch marks less noticeable.
Tretinoin is a retinoid, which may also make early stretch marks less noticeable. In one study, people who applied this prescription cream every night for 24 weeks had less noticeable stretch marks.
Other studies have found similar results. Procedures that dermatologists perform: Dermatologists use the following procedures to make stretch marks less noticeable, but none of these can get rid of stretch marks:. To give you the best results, your dermatologist may use more than one procedure. For example, your dermatologist may treat you with radiofrequency and a pulse dye laser.
With all procedures, side effects are possible. In the skilled hands of a board-certified dermatologist, side effects tend to be minor and temporary. The redness and swelling tend to disappear in a few hours or days.
In studies, neither almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, nor vitamin E prevented stretch marks. Other ingredients may work.
If you have stretch marks, you probably wish they'd go away. These grooves or lines in your skin aren't harmful to your health, but they aren't. Stretch marks happen when skin changes shape rapidly due to growth or weight gain. Both men and women can get them. While it's a type of scarring that rarely. Stretch marks typically appear as bands of parallel lines on your skin. These lines are a different color and texture than your normal skin, and.