How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

Xinyi Soh | 11 May 2020

Let’s just be clear – stretch marks are totally normal. Over 50 per cent of women have stretch marks, and you should never feel ashamed of them. And thanks to celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Kayla Itsines and Kourtney Kardashian, we’re finally learning to love them.

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks 
Photo by Garon Piceli from Pexels

But while we all know that it’s important to love our body, sometimes stretch marks can really bother us and get in the way of our self-confidence. While you can’t necessarily avoid them, there are some things you can do to help minimise the damage. So, if you’re thinking of getting rid of your stretch marks, here’s everything you need to know. 


What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are basically the result of skin being pulled by rapid growth or stretching. "Stretch marks are a very common concern that is a breakdown of collagen fibres or scar tissue resulting from stretching of the skin. This generally occurs during puberty, weight fluctuations or growth spurts,” says Dr Sean Arendse, cosmetic physician and Medical Director of Flawless Rejuvenation Skin Clinics. 

Stretch marks (also known as striae distensae or striae gravidarum) are usually white in appearance, but can also be pink, red or purple in the early stages of formation (which is basically your blood vessels being seen through your skin). They can appear on multiple areas of the body; “The breasts, hips, thighs and stomach are generally affected, however, stretch marks can be seen on the arms, stomach and calves,” says Dr Arendse.


What causes stretch marks?

Pretty much everyone is susceptible to stretch marks, but there are several different factors that can contribute to their formation. Some of the most common causes include rapidly gaining or losing weight, sudden growth spurts and pregnancy. Dr Arendse says there is also a genetic link to stretch marks – so if your mother or sister has them, you are more likely to get them to.


How do you get rid of stretch marks?

The amount of home remedies and a myriad of lotions and potions on the market for stretch marks is *literally* mind-boggling – often it can be hard to know what’s a gimmick and what’s the real deal.

Before spending your hard-earned pennies on stretch mark treatments, know that it is possible for some stretch marks to fade over time, and Dr Arendse says that keeping a stable and consistent, healthy weight will help reduce their appearance.


Here are four non-surgical treatments that may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks:

#1 / Topical cosmeceuticals 

If you’re looking for the best kind of skincare treatment to use, Dr Arendse suggests applying vitamin A (retinoids such as tretinoin)to the affected area. For best results, you should apply vitamin A to stretch marks that are less than a few months old. “Vitamin A is an effective topical product to aid in regenerating collagen and reducing the appearance of stretch marks,” he says. However, pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding need to check with their doctor about other treatment options, as retinol cannot be used during pregnancy.

#2 / Laser skin resurfacing

For the right candidate, laser therapy can help improve the appearance of stretch marks. Two types of lasers can be used for this treatment: ablative and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers basically work by removing the upper layer of the skin to help generate new, smooth skin underneath. Non-ablative lasers (such as Fraxel) don’t destroy the upper layers, but instead, target the underlying skin to promote collagen growth from the inside out. While these procedures won’t necessarily get rid of stretch marks completely, they can help minimise their appearance.

#3 / Radiofrequency

“Venus VivaTM skin resurfacing treatments utilise Nano Fractional Radio Frequency technology to aid in skin rejuvenation, reversing the signs of skin ageing and damage,” says Dr Arendse. Want to know how it works? “Tiny electrode pins precisely deliver heat through to the skin’s surface via the dermis. These tiny micro-dermal wounds activate the body’s natural healing response, repairing the signs of skin damage, scarring, enlarged pores, texture, lines and wrinkles visible on the surface of the skin.”

#4 / Skin needling 

Professional in-clinic skin needling treatments can also help address the appearance of stretch marks, as well as target textural changes (it can help produce new collagen and elastin in skin cells), and minor scarring. Dr Arendse recommends DermaPen as it “encourages skin rejuvenation and collagen production”.


As always, before undergoing any type of treatment, we’d suggest teeing up an appointment with a dermatologist or skin specialist first. “A consultation with a dermal clinician or doctor is recommended prior to deciding the best treatment. We recommend coming in sooner when the stretch marks are still pink. The longer the tissue is left, the harder it can be to reduce the appearance,” says Dr Arendse. 

By Erin Docherty
This article first appeared in Beauty Crew.
Our Panel of Doctor's Services
DR Celine Leong, Astique Clinic
Acne Treatment Programme, $349
PPx Pore-Cleansing ACNE Treatment™ (PPX) is an advanced technology that combines a gentle vacuum with therapeutic broadband light, to help rid skin of acne-causing impurities, leaving your skin cleaner and clearer. It is combined with laser treatments, chemical peels and blue LED light treatment to bring about more effective results and healthier, clearer, more youthful-looking skin.
Pigment Laser, $350
At ASTIQUE, we use the Medlite from HOYA ConBio®, the latest in Q-switched laser technology. The Medlite has been studied in many clinical trials and is approved by the FDA for the successful treatment of pigmentation disorders.
Pore Toning Laser, $350
The Cooltouch CT3 plus laser is the “gold standard” non-ablative laser for wrinkle and stretch mark reduction as well as acne and acne scar treatment, and is suitable for all who are seeking a non-invasive anti-aging treatment to improve their skin and appearance.
350 Orchard Road, #08-00 Shaw House, Singapore 238868
Dr Ivan Tan, Nu.Reflections Medical Aesthetics
Pigment Laser, from $250 onwards
This highly versatile treatment is used to treat a variety of pigmentary disorders such as freckles and sun spots, melasma and aged spots. This treatment can also help on enlarged pores and gives the skin an overall rejuvenated appearance.
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser, from $600 onwards
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser is one of the most effective treatments for skin resurfacing, to treat wrinkles and fine lines, photo damaged skin and acne scars.
123 Penang Road, Office tower #05-12 Regency House (next to old Cockpit Hotel), Singapore 238465
Dr. Elias Tam Tak Chuen, EHA Clinic
Laser Hair removal, Call to Enquire
The price varies according to the area treated and starts at $214 for the upper lip area for one session. Laser hair removal using Soprano XLi is a safe hair removal treatment for even those with tanned or dark skin tone.
Skin rejuvenation laser, from $428 onwards
Laser for skin rejuvenation or pigmentation using Q-Switch - starts at $428 for one session
1 Scotts Road, #15-01 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208