Stretch marks are considered as scar which can be unsightly to some people. When the skin stretches or shrinks, stretch marks develop. The most common causes of stretch marks include pregnancy, weight gain or loss, growth spurts in puberty, even muscle gain.
So the million dollar question is, “will they ever go away?” if treated in the early stages (reddish-purplish marks a.k.a striae rubra), there is a higher chance of significant reduction if not total removal. However, for older stretch marks, especially those that are large and whitish in nature (aka striae alba) , the possibility of achieving optimal results get slimmer so it’s important to set realistic expectations if you are considering treatments.
How about topical creams and lotions? while they provide moisturization and to some degree, fading effect on dark marks, they are not proven to help with stretch marks except in cases when the stretch marks are relatively new.
How about aesthetic procedures like laser, radiofrequency microneedling or skin tightening? Because stretch marks are scars by definition, in-clinic procedures such as the aformentioned can help in the repair process by stimulating collagen and elastin formation. Oftentimes, a combination of treatment is necessary to achieve optimal results. Again, when stretch marks are treated early, there is a higher chance of seeing reduction.
So to answer the question, significant reduction is possible when stretch marks are treated early. Total removal remains a challenge so it’s important to go to a provider who will assess you and recommend proper procedures.