Stretch marks are typically caused when the skin suddenly expands. Pregnancy and weight gain are common causes of developing stretch marks. This skin problem, however, can be frustrating and embarrassing. Most stretch marks fade naturally over time; however, if the marks haven't faded, treatment may assist with fading the appearance of marks. It's also important to prevent future scarring. People with darker skin tones have an additional challenge. Unfortunately, not all treatments respond well on darker skin. Partnering with your dermatologist to select treatments that respond well to your skin type will assist in getting the best results.
Schedule a consultation with a dermatologist. Dermatologists can offer treatment options that work well on darker tones of skin. She will examine your scars and recommend the best method of treatment based on your situation.
Apply tretinoin cream to the skin. This treatment is effective for scars that are fairly new, according MayoClinic.com. Stretch marks six weeks and newer are usually a good candidate. The cream is applied to the scar site daily until scars start to fade over time.
Consider microdermabrasion treatments. In microdermabrasion, small crystals are blown onto the skin with a vacuum-like device. The friction caused by the crystals causes the top layer of skin to peel off. As the skin heals, new skin will grow. Microdermabrasion is good for surface scars. It can be used on darker skin and both new and old scarring.
Use excimer laser treatments. This is a special type of laser treatment that causes increased melanin production. Stretch marks are lightened and scars become less visible. This treatment can be used on new and older scars. It's also effective on darker skin tones.
Prevent future stretch marks. Avoid future stretch marks by talking with your doctor about preventative treatments. Your doctor can prescribe retinoid, topical steroids and alpha hydroxyl acid creams to assist in avoiding future stretch marks.
Over-the-counter creams sold for stretch marks typically have a minimal affect on getting rid of these impurities, according to KidsHealth.org. Dermatologists can typically offer the most effective treatments for darker skin tones.
Minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen on the scar site. Sun exposure will make the stretch marks more obviously and cause skin damage.