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How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks

Discover NIVEA expert advice on how to get rid of stretch marks

How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks

Learn about stretch marks' causes, prevention and treatment

Stretch marks - lines or streaks across the skin - are very common and affect 90% of the population, both men and women.

Apart from sometimes being a bit itchy, stretch marks are harmless and totally natural. They are your body’s map of the journey you've been on together, whether it’s carrying a baby, growing and developing as a teenager or practising sports. Stretch marks come in all shapes and sizes and shades and depths. 

Do stretch marks go away? Similar to scars, they can be either permanent or fade over time. While there’s nothing wrong with having stretch marks, if they are bothering you, there are treatments that can help minimise them and soothe the affected areas.

What do stretch marks look like?

In order to learn how to get rid of stretch marks, we need to know the shapes they come in. 

Stretch marks are as varied as the individuals they appear on. They may appear as narrow bands across the skin or pitted, rippled marks or as purple slashes or silvery threads. They can be pink, red, brown, black, silver or purple and usually start off darker before fading. What they look like will largely depend on what caused the stretch marks, how long you've had them, the colour of your skin, your skin type and where they appear on your body.

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Stretch marks are most common where your body stores fat, on the belly, chest, bottom or hips, although they can appear anywhere on the body. Stretch marks on the thighs, lower back, or the backs of your arms are also common. 


The most common causes - but by no means the only ones - of stretch marks are sudden growth or quick weight gain. While anyone can develop stretch marks, there are some factors that are more likely to cause them including:

1. Pregnancy

Stretch marks in pregnancy usually appear on the tummy as it grows to accommodate the baby you are carrying. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can also affect your skin and make you more likely to get stretch marks. Stretch marks on thighs are common in pregnancy, and they also often appear on the breasts. 

When do stretch marks typically appear? What they look like and when they appear will be different for every woman. Often the first sign of stretch marks in pregnancy is feeling itchy where the skin has become thinner. The marks may gradually fade and become less visible after the baby is born. 

How long does it take for stretch marks to fade? It depends on your skin type but usually between 6 to 12 months, but the stretch marks are unlikely to go away completely - a beautiful reminder of how amazing your body and the new life it nurtured.

2. Puberty

Growth spurts during teenage years can cause the skin to stretch and tear leaving stretch marks behind that are likely to live with you well past your adolescence. Teen girls may notice them on their breasts, thighs, hips, or buttocks while adolescent boys are more likely to develop them on their lower backs or hips. 

3. Losing or gaining weight quickly

Stretch marks are related to sudden weight gain or loss, as any rapid changes to the body will leave their mark - and that’s absolutely ok!

4. Genetic disorders

Rare genetic disorders such as Cushing's syndrome can cause stretch marks. Cushing’s syndrome is a condition caused by having too much of a hormone called cortisol in your body. It can be serious if it's not treated. Make sure to speak to your doctor if you suspect you might have it.

5. Other factors

Women are more susceptible to stretch marks than men. It is estimated between 50% to 90% of women have them. But men can get them too, especially as a result of weight gain or loss, whether as a result of added muscle or fat. 
You are more likely to have stretch marks if your family has them. So, if your mother got stretch marks on her thighs when she was pregnant with you, there's a good chance you will.  

Do stretch marks go away?

Is stretch marks removal possible?

Now we know what stretch marks are and what causes them, the next question is, how to prevent stretch marks from appearing?
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Let’s be clear, unfortunately, you can’t get rid of stretch marks completely, however, should you wish, stretch marks can be significantly reduced.

Having a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting regular exercise and systematic body care will leave your skin moisturised, and elastic, preparing it for possible changes caused by quick weight gain or loss, even during pregnancy.  


Stretch marks removal:

There are ways to reduce stretch marks more effectively by using treatments done by dermatologists:

  • light or laser treatments
  • microdermabrasion, which removes a thin layer of skin
  • use of prescribed retinol solution or cream (Do not use if pregnant) 

Stretch marks prevention:

Nourishing body lotions will hydrate the stretch marks, which can help particularly if they are new and may be inflamed and itchy.  
Natural oils in particular can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks on thighs and other areas, while creams and gels deliver excellent hydration and firming powers that absorb quickly, making them ideal for daytime use.

NIVEA Q10 Firming Body Lotion has a light, fast absorbing formula that works to firm and moisturise the affected area helping to even out the skin tone. 


If you have dry skin, try NIVEA Q10 Rich Firming Body Lotion with vitamin C. It noticeably firms the skin and improves elasticity in 10 days keeping your skin nourished for up to 48H.                                    

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