Best stretch mark removal cream?
Do any of the stretch mark creams on the market actually do what they claim to do? There's a lot of them out there and of course they all claim to be great. I'm a little skeptical about how well any of them work. Can you recommend one that you've used before on patients that produced worthwhile results? Or tell me which brands to definitely avoid?
A stretch mark is actually a scar. It is a tear in the dermis that can be seen through the epidermis. NOTHING in the year 2016 is able to remove stretch marks except surgery. During an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) most of the stretch marks that lie at the level of the umbilicus (belly button) and below will be removed along with the skin and fat. All topical products that claim to remove stretch marks are frauds.
Sorry. Stretch marks are forever. Despite the extravagant claims for many products, nothing on the market eliminates or even significantly removes stretch marks. That includes not only creams, salves, emollients, collagen products, and such but also lasers and various light devices of other types. I have the only laser that has been FDA approved to be marketed as a stretch mark reducing device and it has been a great disappointment. I have used it on numerous patients, very aggressively I might add, and have yet to see any objective improvement in the marks. Most treatments recommend that they be started on fresh stretch marks. Some advertising shows impressive results with fresh stretch marks that look a very visible pink/red in the "before" photos and faint silvery marks in the "after" ones taken months later. The truth is that the same result would have been had six months later regardless; it is the nature of all stretch marks to fade with time.
There is one way to remove stretch marks permanently: surgery. A tummy tuck will remove most, if not all, stretch marks from pregnancy and is part of what is popularly known as a "mommy makeover". Furthermore, tightening the abdominal skin will make the remaining stretch marks less conspicuous.
Hope this helps.
R. Bosshardt, MD, FACS