Stretch Marks

Unsightly Stretch Marks

Twenty-one-year-old Caroline is a mother of two. Her pregnancies have left her with unsightly stretch marks on her abdomen and sides, and she wants to get back her pre-pregnancy smooth skin. 


Stretch marks, or striea, are linear dermal tears or scars that occur when the skin is subjected to progressive stretching. “It’s a true injury, it’s a true scar,” dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer says.

Treatments are determined by the color and intensity of the scarring. Ethnicity and skin type also plays a part in how the marks are treated, and laser treatments may not be the best option for everyone. “Stretch marks may not be a life-threatening event, but you have to be careful in the approach,” Dr. Lancer says. “If the approach isn’t right, the scars from treatment are worse than the stretch marks.”

While olive oil and cocoa butter are popular home remedies for stretch marks, Dr. Lancer does not believe they are very effective treatments. He advises using creams with retinoic acid, which will invigorate and bring the skin back to life. Lasers can work in extreme cases.