Stretch marks are a common problem. But unfortunately they’re inevitable for a lot of us. They can occur for several reasons whether it’s after pregnancy, weight gain, or muscle building.

It’s common to find women, irrespective of their age, looking for solutions to these stretch marks. Typically they appear as long lines which show up in different colors depending on the skin tone. Most stretch marks can be found on the breasts, arms, thighs, buttocks and even the abdomen which limits you from wearing certain types of clothing.

Fortunately, there are a number of solutions available. They can’t really be removed once you have them (they’re scarring after all) but they can be made less obvious. Making stretch marks lighter and helping the affected area resemble normal skin should make them much less noticeable. In a way this is as good as removing them and is by far the best approach. Here are three of the best methods to lighten the marks.

1. Exfoliation of the Skin

Exfoliation simply means the removal of dead skin cells using a substance or material which is rough on the skin. When it’s used on the skin dead cells should be removed. This is perfect for use on the the area with stretch marks because the less dead cells the lighter your skin.

The exfoliation substance can even be made using homemade ingredients such as sugar mixed with water or oil to make it gritty. You can also buy any store brand exfoliating scrub which may be more effective.

In addition, microdermabrasion is also another but more extreme form of exfoliation. When the crystals land on the skin, they exfoliate its top layer thus stimulating the growth of skin cells. They both work in similar ways and have the added advantage of helping other products like creams penetrate the stretch marks.

2. Using Topical Creams

Skin creams have been known to lighten stretch marks if used consistently but the result is usually different depending on the person using them. However, creams such as tretinoin which are usually prescribed by dermatologists are much more effective because they lighten the stretch marks through the rebuilding of collagen which is found in the skin. Tretinoin, whose major ingredient is vitamin A should be used to lighten stretch marks that have not been on the skin for more than six weeks for satisfactory results.

3. Laser Treatments

The use of laser surgery to make stretch marks appear lighter is usually a last resort for many people. It’s an effective high tech option, but requires more than one session for the results to be seen. Laser therapy is the best option for individuals who have had stretch marks for a while and have now decided to get rid of them. This treatment comes at a cost. It’s the most expensive non surgical treatment.

Hopefully these methods can help reduce the marks without the need for serious treatment. Surgical treatments like a tummy tuck are available. However they are risky, time-consuming and it takes many weeks to recover. And we’re sure we don’t need to tell you how expensive cosmetic surgery is!

Note – You can make the marks less visible with a spray on tan. Read our article on it here.

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