7 Dermatologist-Approved Tricks for Getting Rid of Stretch Marks
A top dermatologist (and new mom herself) shares some at-home tips and tricks for fighting back against those pesky tiger stripes.
Are stretch marks treatable?
The best treatment for stretch marks is prevention. If you’re pregnant, use a stretch mark prevention cream throughout your pregnancy. Once you notice them, the damage is already done. If you start too late, we’ll give it to you straight: “Stretch marks are incredibly difficult to treat without deep-stimulating devices like lasers and microneedling,” shares Rachel Nazarian, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City. “At-home treatments may lessen the appearance slightly, especially during the early inflammatory phase, where stretch marks are redder and more noticeable.” Just so you feel better, even celebrities worry about stretch marks.
Anti-inflammatory work best
“The best technique to decrease the redness with early stretch marks is to use topical anti-inflammatory ingredients,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Anti-inflammatory ingredients can be found in many natural products that can easily found at home or at the local grocery store.” Read on to learn the most common and effective ways to get rid of stretch marks. (Did you know that anti-inflammatory ingredients may also help heal bruises?)
Regular and long-term use of your treatment is a must for getting rid of stretch marks, says Dr. Nazarian. “The key is to be consistent with use and to manage expectations about improvement. Improvement will be subtle and gradual,” she shares.
Coconut oil for stretch marks
Besides making you feel like you’re at the beach, coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help lighten and fade stretch marks. “Although it tends to be solid at room temperature, gentle rubbing between your palms offers enough heat to turn it into a liquid, and makes it easy to apply to affected areas of the body,” Dr. Nazarian adds. “Apply daily for at least three months.” Here are more natural treatments for everyday problems.
Almond oil for stretch marks
See a pattern here? “Massaging almond oil daily was found to help with prevention of stretch marks in pregnancy, likely due to the high concentration of vitamin E,” says Dr. Nazarian. And it’s super easy to find at your local health food or grocery store. Check out some other fun uses for products you probably have in your fridge.
Vitamin C for stretch marks
“Vitamin C has been shown in part to improve stretch marks in a clinical study when applied daily for 12 weeks,” shares Dr. Nazarian. “Eating foods rich in vitamin C may help improve the appearance of stretch marks—and they’re quite easy to find; look for fruits such as strawberries and mangoes.” Don’t fall for these vitamin myths, which could be putting your health in danger.
Aloe vera for stretch marks
Aloe vera is super moisturizing, protects the skin from the elements, and may help lighten stretch marks. Aloe vera is also known for helping to heal wounds so even if it doesn’t help in miraculously getting rid of stretch marks, at least your skin will be super healthy. Find out more uses for aloe vera that you might not know.
Over-the-counter creams and lotions for stretch marks
Brands like Mederma and Burt’s Bees offer over-the-counter treatments packed with many of the ingredients previously mentioned to aid in getting rid of stretch marks. Mederma is a well-known treatment for reducing the appearance of scars, but they also offer stretch mark therapy, which has been clinically shown to help prevent the appearance of stretch marks. It comes in either a cream or a dry oil. Burt’s Bees Natural Mama Bee Nourishing Oil contains vitamin E, almond oil, and other natural ingredients.