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Kerry, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  35 years in Nursing: OB/GYN, Peds, Oncology, hospice, Ortho, Neuro, Addiction, Recovery, Geriatrics,
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strech marks - please help!

Customer Question

in the last month my breasts got covered with new sr\trech marks! is there any thing that can be done to treat or improve this problem??
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Kerry replied 11 years ago.


Imagine a balloon that's been blown up and then deflated. No matter how much you blow it up again, it's already lost much of its original elasticity and will never look quite the same. Stretch marks are similar, in that they don't ever go away entirely. The key, however, is finding ways to reduce their appearance. The earlier you begin treating stretch marks - when they are red or reddish brown - the more likely you are to diminish their appearance. Once these marks begin to flatten and fade they become less obvious and are more difficult to treat.

If caught in the early stages, stretch marks can be minimised with over-the-counter moisturising creams. Vitamin E oil, which assists in general skin healing and condition, can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Vitamin A is also a good emollient, but it's not as effective as prescription Tretinoin, or Retin-A, which attaches itself to receptors on the skin cells and helps exfoliate the skin and form healthy new cells. Though these creams are effective in moisturising the outer skin layer, they can't always penetrate deep into the dermis where stretch marks occur. They also can't completely change a pre-existing skin condition, which is why they work best on stretch marks that are just forming.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHAs are derived from certain plants, many of which are fruits, and so are sometimes called 'fruit acids'. AHA creams are said to help with stretch marks because they moisturise the outer layer of skin, making it more pliable. These products increase cell regeneration by 'burning off' the outer layer of skin cells. By removing the top layer of cells, healthier ones rise to the surface, improving skin texture and colour, and allowing moisturisers to be absorbed so the skin remains supple. While penetrating the skin's surface, the water-binding properties of AHAs increase the skin's flexibility and assist in stretch mark reduction. Though your skin may feel dry and flaky at first from the dead cells being sloughed away, after a few weeks, AHAs may make your skin feel and appear smoother - and visibly reduce stretch marks. If you stop using AHAs, the skin will return to its normal state since cell regeneration is no longer taking place.

Tretinoin, or Retin-A, helps to loosen the keratin in the outer layer of skin and remove dead cells. Although derived from vitamin A, Tretinoin cream is much more effective than the naturally occurring vitamin because it thins the outer layer of skin in order to penetrate the dermis where stretch marks occur, and it increases collagen production. The result is a 'plumping up effect', which helps improve the appearance and texture of skin, and can diminish the appearance of stretch marks. Your doctor will advise you on the correct amount to use, but be aware that stronger dosages, although more effective, may cause stinging, swelling and redness, and potentially a sensitivity to sunlight. Skin thickening is another possible side effect of using this kind of cream, as collagen production is increased. Tretinoin is most effective in stretch mark treatment when used early.

Tretinoin is not recommended for use in pregnancy or while nursing. Also, those taking Retin-A are advised not to take any Vitamin A supplements at the same time, as this can increase adverse effects.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery is currently being developed for the treatment of stretch marks. This treatment doesn't remove stretch marks - it simply makes them fade. The laser responds to dark colours only, so in the early stages when stretch marks are dark red or brown, treatment will be most effective. Faded, flesh-coloured marks probably won't respond well to laser treatment because they are light in colour. A series of treatments might be required for visible results.


The Endermologie machine, developed in France over a decade ago, uses rollers and gentle suctioning to deeply massage stretch-marked areas, increasing the circulation by up to 200 per cent. At the same time, toxins and abnormal water build-up are expelled as connective fibres are stretched. The exfoliation in conjunction with the stretching of the fibres can be helpful in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Expect to wear a body stocking as a technician runs the suctioning rollers over your body, concentrating on the affected areas. Each session lasts half an hour, but to see results, a series of treatments is recommended.,,181478_183143,00.html

I hope that helps!


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Kerry's Post: Thank you for your reply. I have read on the web that some cellulite treatments can help strech marks as well and the number one treatment was "body sculp". Have you ever hear about that product? thank you
Expert:  Kerry replied 11 years ago.


Since most of the experts agree that stretch marks cannot be irradicated completely, but can fade over time, I would be very cautious before spending money on something. In fact, I just might consult a dermatologist. They would know first and foremost the best products out there. Perhaps another specialist can help you too, if they know a tried and true method.

Here is body sculp's full ingredient list:

Full ingredients list:
Water, Propylene Glycol, Avocado Oil, Acrylamides Copolymer, Algae extract, Pullulan, Aminophylline, Menthol, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.

Propylene glycol is a derivative of natural gas. It is commonly used in a variety of consumer products and food products, including deodorants, pharmaceuticals, moisturizing lotions, and fat-free ice cream and sour cream products. Propylene glycol helps form the base for deodorants and anti-perspirant.

Avocado oil is renowned for its healing, anti-bacterial, and anti-wrinkle properties. The high content of lecithin and phytosterols, facilitates its spreadability. It stimulates the collagen metabolism, increasing the proportion of soluble collagen in the dermis, retarding visible signs of ageing and remarkably softening the skin. Research from UCLA Center for Human Nutrition in California indicates that avocados have the highest Vitamin E content compared to kiwifruit, nectarines, grapes, and peaches. Vitamin E is known to be powerful antioxidant 'mopping up' free radicals and helping to decelerate the signs of ageing, therefore avocado oil is Natures' very special antioxidant.

acrylamides copolymer: I cannot find any specific information on this except that it appears to be an ingredient in several skin care products.

The algae extract is used for its water binding and antioxidants functionally. It is readily water-soluble.

pullulan. Produced by black yeast, pullulan is a glucan gum that contains polysaccharides, which makes it a good water-binding agent, thickening agent, and antioxidant.

Aminophylline, a prescription bronchodilator (opens lung passageways), gained notoriety as an ingredient in cellulite creams as a result of a study published in Obesity Research (November 1995, Supplemental pages 561S–568S). However, the validity of this now dated research was called into question because one of the authors was marketing an aminophylline cream being sold at the time, and thus was not what you would call an objective investigator. Also, the number of participants in the study was small and most were also dieting and exercising at the same time they were applying the aminophylline cream (Source: Annals of Pharmacotherapy, March 1996, pages 292–293).

Doubt about aminophylline's value was also revealed by a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (September 1999, pages 1110–1114), which described a double-blind study that compared the effectiveness of three different treatments for cellulite on three different groups of women. One investigated the twice-daily application of aminophylline cream compared with a placebo; another the twice-weekly treatment using endermologie (a machine rolled over the surface of skin claiming to get rid of cellulite) on one leg and nothing on the other; and a third used endermologie on both sides along with the same cream regimen as the first group. "No statistical difference existed in measurements between legs for any of the treatment groups.... [Even] The best subjective assessment, by the patients themselves, revealed that only 3 of 35 aminophylline-treated legs and 10 of 35 [e]ndermologie-treated legs [felt] their cellulite appearance improved." So, aminophylline appears not to be the answer for cellulite, though it still shows up in some cellulite creams.

The rest of the ingredients are for fragrance and preservatives.

I won't presume to know if this product will help you, but wanted to provide you with some information so you can make your own decision.

I wish you the best!


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