Stretch marks refer to unsightly strips of wrinkly skin that appear on abdomen, hips or buttocks after sudden weight fluctuations, such as during pregnancy, adolescence or rapid weight gain. 90 percent of the women end up with tiger strips around their abdomen after pregnancy. However, there are numerous options available to help mommies get rid of these unsightly marks.

Before you try to get rid of stretch marks, it is very important to determine what exactly is causing the stretch marks in the first place. Stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy, but there are numerous other factors as well that contribute in the appearance of these unsightly lines on a person’s skin. These include:

  • Hormonal changes, especially during puberty
  • Rapid weight gain or weight loss
  • Unusual increase in muscle mass, particularly in the arms and legs
  • Prolonged use of steroids and corticosteroids use, and
  • Hereditary disorders, such as Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos

Whatever the reason may be behind the appearance of stretch marks on your body, the good news is that there are effective treatment options available to help you get rid of these unsightly marks and enjoy silky, smooth, clear skin that you once had. Treatment options include topical creams (both prescribed and over the counter), oral medications (mostly supplements), Chemical Peeling, Laser therapy and surgical procedures.

Topical options:

Relatively new stretch marks can be effectively treated using topical creams and serums with retinoic acid as an active ingredient. However, you may need a prescription to purchase products containing retinoic acid. Using herbal moisturizers daily on stretch marks may also significantly improve the appearance of stretch marks. Moisturizing the affected areas daily will improve your skin’s elasticity and suppleness, thereby loosening the skin and improving the appearance of stretch marks.

Note: Do not use products containing thuja occidentalis if you are expecting or breastfeeding a baby.

Oral Medications:

Vitamin C plays a vital role in keeping your skin smooth and supple. Dermatologists believe that taking 500 mg Vitamin C tablet daily can help reduce the appearance of unsightly stretch marks. For maximum results, try using Vitamin C supplement with a topical glycolic acid.

Glycolic Acid Peel

Glycolic acid is safe to use on stretch marks. It will not only exfoliate the damaged top layer of the skin to reveal fresh, smooth skin underneath, but will also increase your body’s natural collagen production, making your skin supple and elastic. It is safe for pregnant and nursing mothers. However, you need to take extra care of the skin that you are treating with glycolic acid. Unaided sun exposure could cause skin pigmentation.

Laser therapy:

Fresh stretch marks can be effectively treated with Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL). However, if you have stubborn old stretch marks, your doctor will recommend you Fractional CO2 Laser treatment, a more advanced skin resurfacing technique. You may need multiple sessions of Fractional CO2 treatment for complete elimination of ugly stretch marks.

Surgical procedure:

If nothing works, surgery is the only certain way to help you get rid of unsightly pregnancy marks. Go for Abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck, to get the affected skin surgically removed.