How to make stretch marks fade

Written by stacie connerty
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Stretch marks (or striae) are the scarring of the skin and can be reduced over time but will never disappear completely unless you visit a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Stretch marks are caused when the skin is rapidly stretched and occurs with growth spurts, weight gain and pregnancy. Follow these steps to learn how to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks and cause them to fade over time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shea butter
  • Oil: vitamin E, baby or olive oil
  • Product with peptides
  • Mederma
  • Retin-A

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    Making Your Stretch Marks Fade

  1. 1

    Try Shea butter. Shea butter moisturises your skin and definitely minimises the appearance of stretch while also working to prevent any future stretch marks. While it does take several weeks to see any results, remember to use it faithfully at least twice a daily to keep stretch marks and stretch mark appearance to a minimum.

  2. 2

    Try vitamin E oil, baby oil or even olive oil. Put generous amount of oil on your skin daily. For most effective use, rub on your skin directly following a shower. Moisturising your skin after a shower works to trap moisture closest to your skin and is highly recommended.

  3. 3

    Use a product that has peptides, which stimulates collagen production in your skin. There are many over-the-counter products available that will work and contain this ingredient. They include StriVectin-SD, Kinerase C6 and Olay Regenerist. Any of these products should be applied at least twice per day.

  4. 4

    Try Mederma, another over-the-counter cream that is used to minimise scars. Mederma is pretty expensive but there are some comparable products which are less expensive. The key ingredient is Cepalin which will both soften and smooth scars but it must be applied approximately four times per day for no less than eight weeks to see any results.

  5. 5

    Get a prescription. If none of the above methods has worked, or you are still unsatisfied, with the appearance of your stretch marks, then consider getting a prescription from a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe Retin-A. Although there are side effects such as skin irritation, drying and intolerance to sunlight, Retin-A has been proved successful in fading stretch marks.

Tips and warnings

  • While this does not make stretch marks fade, they can be covered up by religiously using self tanner. This is not true for tanning beds or the sun however because scars do not tan. Sunless tanner will work and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
  • Always make certain to drink a lot of water to hydrate your skin and to plump the cells thereby reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
  • It is also important to be patient. Stretch marks will always fade over time. Ninety per cent of all women get stretch marks during pregnancy.
  • Exfoliate your skin often. This removes dead skin cells and increases circulation.
  • Make certain to get enough of the vitamins C, E and A.
  • Stretch marks can never be completely removed without plastic surgery or the help of a dermatologist so be careful of falling for those advertisements that make bogus promises.
  • Every person's body is different. Stretch marks can fade in a matter of months for some and it can take years for others.

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