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You are here:Home > Skin Care Advice > Stretch Marks > The Low-Down on Stretch Mark Cream and Treatments: Do They Really Work?

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 life."

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:

Laser surgery

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.

Surgical Skin Resection

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 stretch marks.


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!


Buying Tips:

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 'carrier'?


  • 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 cream?


  • 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