What Are Stretch Marks and How to Get Rid of Them

What Are Stretch Marks and How to Get Rid of Them

What Are Stretch Marks and How to Get Rid of Them

Stretch marks or stria are streaks, lines, or bands that show up on your body. They have red or purplish marks from the underlying blood vessels that show through. Over time, the color changes to silver or white as the blood vessels heal.

There is usually no pain from stretch marks. However, they do not usually go away. They affect the self-confidence and self-esteem of those who have them. In severe cases, they can also be disfiguring.


What Causes Them?

Stretch marks appear when there is a period of rapid growth in your body. When the middle layer of skin stretches too quickly, it causes the connective tissue or collagen fibers to break. When the skin stops stretching, or the period of rapid growth is over, it leaves wrinkles and lines. These wrinkles and lines result because the part of the skin with them no longer has collagen support.

Periods of rapid growth in the body include pregnancy, weight gain, growth spurts, or an increase in muscle mass. Stretch marks can also be a result of taking high amounts of steroid medication. Steroids weaken collagen in the skin. There are also some conditions like Cushing’s, Marfan, and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes that affect the collagen in the body.


Getting Rid of Stretch Marks

No solution works for everyone, but many find success with some treatments. Remember, it is not possible to get rid of stretch marks, but you can reduce them using these treatments.



The use of Retinol or Retin-A is mainly for acne and anti-aging skincare products. This vitamin A derivative penetrates through to the upper layer of the skin and rebuilds the collagen.

It improves the rate of cell turnover. It also provides effective exfoliation and rebuilding of collagen. This way, it reduces stretch marks. It is, however, not effective when the stretch marks become silver or white.


Laser or Light Therapy

The therapy can increase collagen production over time. It uses intense pulsed light and pulsed dye lasers to improve the appearance of stretch marks. However, you may need up to 20 treatments before you see an improvement.


Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

The therapy uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your blood. The doctor first removes your blood immediately before the procedure to get PRP. They then apply it topically or by injection to your body. The PRP has a high concentration of growth factors that stimulate new collagen production.



It uses radio wave energy to stimulate collagen production. It creates heat that triggers the body to make collagen. This method of heating the dermis without damaging the skin is becoming increasingly popular—especially because of how it tightens and firms the skin.



It is like the treatments using radiofrequency. The procedure uses sound waves that penetrate deep into the skin. They heat it and jumpstart collagen production to give firm and tight skin.

There are several ways to get rid of stretch marks. Others are remedies you can try at home. However, it is always good to have a professional help you.

For more information on stretch marks and getting rid of them, visit Alan Matarasso, MD, at our office in New York, New York. You can also call (212) 249-7500 to book an appointment today.