Stretch marks, formally called striae, are marks that appear on the skin after the skin has been stretched. The marks can range in color, length and width. There are many products on the market to help minimize the appearance of stretch marks or to completely remove the marks.
Creams and lotions
There are many creams and lotions available to help tighten the skin and minimize the appearance of stretch marks. There are creams available over the counter in retail stores and pharmacies as well as prescription-strength creams from your medical provider.
Over-the-counter stretch mark creams should contain moisturizing agents such as aloe and cocoa butter. Lotions or creams that state they help with collagen building are also good since collagen aids in skin elasticity. If a dermatologist is consulted, he can write a prescription for Strivectin or Retin-A.
Microdermabrasion can also be used for treating stretch marks and tightening the skin. In this procedure, a machine is placed against the skin that will exfoliate it. It should be done by a licensed practitioner.
Your practitioner will advise on what types of creams or lotions should be stopped before having the procedure. This non-invasive treatment does not usually need anesthesia.
Laser treatments can be used to help with stretch marks. With laser treatments, local or general anesthesia is used. The procedure can last up to 90 minutes. A laser is moved along the stretch marks that vaporizes the outer layer of skin. New collagen is formed in the area treated and this helps with ridding the skin of stretch marks.
Some exercises that tone will also tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks, according to Life Mojo. Toning exercises for the abdomen, arms, thighs, hips and arms are beneficial for stretch mark in these areas. Abdominal crunches can be done to tone the stomach. Lunges can tone the thigh area, while squats help tone the hips, thighs and buttocks.