The Low-Down on Stretch Mark Cream and Treatments: Do They Really Work?
Stretch mark cream: Your friends, your mom, even your doctor
all say the same thing: "Accept your stretch marks -- they are signs of
Well, that's a nice philosophy. But if you would rather live without those
souvenirs from your pregnancy, you need information about the wide range of
stretch mark creams and treatments out there and which ones work.
First of all, you should know that nothing is guaranteed to completely get rid
of stretch marks. But there are ways to reduce their appearance, some better
than others. Let's look at the pros and cons of each:
Once the great hope for stretch mark removal, laser surgery
results are mixed and inconclusive. In fact, according to Jerome Klein, a New
York City plastic surgeon, laser surgery can in some cases cause more scarring
or pigment changes. Plus, it's expensive and must be performed by a doctor.
This involves surgically cutting out the stretch marks. Some
MDs say it's the only treatment capable of actually removing the marks, but
it's a costly and lengthy procedure. And, like any other surgery, there is
discomfort and risk. It is not recommended for all patients and is not covered
by health insurance.
It uses fine crystals to abrade the skin surface and
stimulate collagen production. It has been somewhat successful in reducing the
appearance of stretch marks but it requires numerous treatments, must be done
by a qualified doctor, and is expensive.
Stretch Mark Creams
Many products fall into this
category, some the modern equivalent of snake oil, some capable of producing
fast and noticeable improvements:
a. Tretinoin, sold as Retin-A, can help reduce new, dark
stretch marks but won't work on older, faded ones. And it shouldn't be used if
breastfeeding, which rules it out for many new mothers.
b. Cocoa butter and other over-the-counter skin creams will
make your skin soft but can't reach deeply enough below the surface to repair
c. Stretch mark creams come in many different formulations.
The most effective ones contain special ingredients such as elastin, collagen,
emu oil and liposomes, which can help penetrate the skin's layers and work on
the damaged skin. Some of these creams work on both old and new stretch marks,
with results visible from a few weeks to a few months after beginning
treatment. They are safer and easier to use and far less expensive than most
other stretch mark treatment options. The challenge is finding the right cream!
If you're considering
purchasing a cream for stretch marks, look for these features before buying:
- Check for active ingredients like collagen, elastin,
aloe vera gel, vitamin E and glycolic acid. Also, does the product contain
"high" amounts of these ingredients? (some creams only have
enough of an ingredient to 'legally' be able to say that their cream
contains the ingredient)
- Does the product have a good "delivery"
system such as emu oil, liposomes or some other type of effective
- Rule out stretch mark creams that contain water, which
dilutes the product.
- Does the company have a professional website with
access to their contact information such as their address and phone
number? (be leery of websites that do not provide their contact information)
- Does the company have real user testimonials about the
- Most importantly, what kind of guarantee does the
company offer for the cream? (be leery of companies that offer you the
"moon" - - - especially if they do not have a "strong"
money back guarantee)
Heather R. is contributing editor with Spa Sentiments, the creators of Stretch
Renew™, a unique cream that helps repair stretch marks and prevent new ones
from forming. Safe and fast acting, it comes with a 120-day money back
guarantee. To learn more about Stretch Renew™, click here: Stretch Renew Stretch Mark Cream