www.ilonashine.comLet’s start this blog on the personal note. I have stretch marks. But I’m not alone, about 90% of women (and some men) have stretch marks on some part of their bodies whether it be their arms, thighs, butt, boobs or the stomach.

Stretch marks are visible off-color lines on your skin caused by pregnancy, quick change in weight, genetics, stress and some medications (corticosteroids). They form in the middle layer of your skin when your tissue is stretched beyond it’s ability to snapback. The collagen in your skin gets weak, collagen isn’t produced as usual, and scars called stretch marks are born. On fair-skin women, stretch marks are usually pink or red. If you’re darker, stretch marks are mostly lighter than your skin tone.

There is no 100% sure-fire way to get rid of stretch marks. However, some treatments have been known to fade or even them out for some women. With everyone’s body being different and the various causes of stretch marks, it’s hard to recommend an across-the-board treatment, but here are a few suggestions:

Take your vitamins and moisturize. You should be doing this anyway, but upping the amount of Vitamin C in your diet to 500 mg and keeping your skin moisturized might help reduce the appearance of the marks. Try shea butter(Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action 8.45 oz), cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil (Weleda: Pregnancy Body Oil for Stretch Marks, 3.4 oz)or a combination of both (Bio-oil 4.2oz), they will give you a natural glow too!

Topical route. If you’re not pregnant, you can try using a prescription Tretinoin cream. It’s a very special form of vitamin A. It’s powerful, and you have to use it for about 12 weeks to see results. There are various options out there, so talk to your dermatologist to find the right one for you. Or you can try something with glycolic acid. Products with either of these ingredients will help collagen growth, improve skin elasticity and help even out stretch mark lines.But be avoid sun exposure because these products can cause your skin to burn more easily.

There’s always surgery. This may require a few sessions, and probably isn’t covered by insurance since it’s cosmetic, but if you’re willing to foot the bill, you can try dermabrasion, chemical peels or laser surgery.

Of course like anything, it’s better to start treating stretch marks once you see them. The more comfortable they get on your skin, the harder they are to get rid of. If you know another way to get rid of stretch marks please share below.