Does Olive Oil Work for Stretch Marks?
I have read that olive applied on a consistent basis can help eliminate the appearance of stretch marks. Is this true? If not, what treatment(s) do you recommend?
Stretch marks, or striae distensae, are dermal lesions that form during periods of rapid weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, or during adolescent growth spurts when the skin is stretched beyond its natural capacity. Although there is a wide variety of topical products available that claim to improve the appearance of stretch marks, there is little proof that any are effective.
Popular natural remedies for stretch marks such as olive oil, lemon juice, aloe vera gel, rosehip oil, coffee grounds or brown sugar exfoliators may leave your skin feeling smooth and smelling good, but will unlikely improve the appearance of your stretch marks.
Claims that natural products prevent or get rid of stubborn stretch marks have no clinical basis, as is evident in this dermatological study. The study did show, however, that Trofolastin stretch mark cream, Alphastria cream, and tretinoin -- which is derived from vitamin A -- may stimulate some visible improvement.
Other treatments proven successful in some candidates include Erbium and Fraxel lasers, and microneedling. Stretch marks are best treated by these methods when they are still relatively fresh, and red. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to see which option is right for you.
Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil and almond oil are among the many natural skin care products purported to improve the appearance of stretch marks. Massaging the product in circular motions into the affected area on a daily basis will indeed help promote blood circulation and moisturize the skin, but home remedies can’t reduce stretch marks or minimize their appearance.
Stretch marks are harmless but often represent a source of concern or distress to the many women who have them. Up to 90% of pregnant women will develop pregnancy stretch marks across their belly. The only definitive way to remove these stretch marks is through a tummy tuck, which excises loose, stretch-marked skin.
However, even following surgery there’s no guarantee that all the marks will be removed. Other less invasive treatments you may wish to consider include vitamin A creams, CO2 fractional laser for older stretch marks, radiofrequency treatments, or PRP treatments. Just remember that results can vary significantly between individuals.