What Are Conventional Medical Treatments For Stretch Marks?
Research has, for the most part, not confirmed any evidence that 0.1% tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid) creams designed to prevent stretch marks actually work.
Some have found that the appearance of stretch marks can be improved by laser treatments, fractional laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, tummy tucks, 20% glycolic acid and 10% L-ascorbic acid with zinc sulfate and tyrosine and prescription retinoids. However, prescription retinoids cause malformations in fetuses in animals, so their safety during pregnancy is questionable. And, as with all major surgery there is the risk of death.
What Are Alternative Treatments For Stretch Marks?
Over the ages, many remedies have been traditionally used to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. For example, the ancient Greeks and Romans used olive oil. The Ethiopians and Somalians used Frankincense essential oil. Others have found applying castor oil useful. Other approaches include: taking thiosinaminum (a homeopathic medicine made from mustard seed oil); applying seaweed wraps, glycolic or fruit acids to the skin; and various homeopathic creams.
Research on the effectiveness of such treatments, where available, has shown mixed results.
Of course, essential oils traditionally have also been used for stretch marks. See the Useful Essential Oils tab for details.