Can Stretch Marks Go Away Naturally?

Women and men can both develop stretch marks when their skin expands rapidly, such as during weight gain, pregnancy or puberty. At first, the striations appear red, brown and glossy, with a texture distinct from your normal skin. Over time, though, stretch marks fade to a less-noticable, whitish-colored scar. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that stretch marks sometimes disappear entirely when the cause of skin stretching goes away.

Stretch marks can be unsightly. (Image: andrei_md/iStock/Getty Images)

Help Them Fade

Creams and lotions that promise to get rid of your stretch marks are generally ineffective. A 2009 issue of "Dermatologic Surgery" published a review of multiple studies on stretch-mark treatments and found none to be consistently effective. A study published in the "Journal of Family Practice" in 2012 also confirmed that no topical product can prevent or reduce stretch marks, including natural options such as cocoa butter and olive oil. This same study did confirm that products containing a combination of centella asiatica extract, vitamin E and collagen hydrolysates may help women who have a history of developing stretch marks prevent future ones. Stretch marks may fade over time on their own, but research doesn't show that any natural treatment helps them fade more quickly.

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