Stretch marks are a type of scar that occurs when the skin expands rapidly, such as during pregnancy or adolescence. Many products claim to remove stretch marks, but none is particularly effective, according to a 2014 review published in the "British Journal of Dermatology." Some users of Vicks Vaporub topical ointment claim that it works to heal stretch marks. However, Vicks Vaporub is a medicine indicated to help alleviate cough and cold symptoms -- not for skin treatment.
Effects on the Skin
Vicks Vaporub topical ointment contains a combination of eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, petrolatum, camphor and turpentine oil. These oils may make overly stretched skin feel softer and can reduce a dry appearance that makes stretch marks stand out. The makers of Vicks Vaporub, however, do not claim that its product can actually reduce stretch marks or recommend its use as a treatment for skin conditions or scarring. According to a clinical inquiry published in the "Journal of Family Practice" in 2012, no topical agent has been proven to effectively prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- British Journal of Dermatology: Striae Distensae: A Comprehensive Review and Evidence-Based Evaluation of Prophylaxis and Treatment
- Vicks: Vaporub Topical Ointment
- Journal of Family Practice: Clinical Inquiry: Do Any Topical Agents Help Prevent or Reduce Stretch Marks?
- The Vicks Timeline: A Century of Caring