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How To Remove Stretch Marks After Weight Loss

Updated January 11, 2021

Woman working out on treadmill

It’s an amazing feeling to look at the scale and see the numbers drop. But even after you lose weight, sometimes you are left with unwanted after-effects. Often, after you’ve reached your goal weight, you notice that you still have the stretch marks that remind you of when you carried those extra pounds. So, how can you remove stretch marks after weight loss?

The first step is to understand what stretch marks are. Stretch marks begin deep within the lower layers of your skin. When your body rapidly grows — from puberty, weight gain, bodybuilding, etc — skin is stretched beyond its usual capacity. This extra strain causes tears in the middle layers of skin, which appear as red or purple stretch marks on your body. These “tiger stripes” can emerge anywhere on the surface of your skin, but are most commonly seen on the thighs, upper arms, buttocks, breasts, hips, and stomach. Over time, these tears will scar, turning them from their harsh red color to a more faded silver or white.

The color of your stretch marks determines their recency and, in turn, how easy they will be to treat. Once you lose weight, the excess strain that you were putting on your skin is eliminated. If your stretch marks are still red and have not yet had a chance to scar, then you have a better chance at treating their appearance. Stretch marks that are silver, however, may have a more difficult time fading.

When it comes to treating and removing stretch marks after weight loss, you have a few options. The most popular and cost-effective option is a stretch mark cream. Creams help to lessen the appearance of stretch marks over time by plumping up your skin and increasing collagen production. A more expensive alternative is laser treatments. The lasers will also improve the appearance of these marks by removing layers of skin surrounding stretch marks. The last and most expensive option is surgery. An abdominoplasty will remove the section of skin where the stretch marks are, getting rid of stretch marks on the lower stomach entirely. This surgery, however, will not help with stretch marks anywhere else on the body.