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Allure

How to Minimize the Appearance of Stretch Marks, according to Dermatologists

By: Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

So, then how can you treat them?

1. Get laser treatment.Zeichner explains that, initially, new stretch marks look very red, so treatments that target and reduce inflammation and skin ruddiness, including in-office lasers like the Vbeam may help to reduce the excessive redness of new striae, at least temporarily. Rice notes that in the world of stretch mark treatments, “the most data” exists with these kinds of laser treatments for helping reduce their appearance.

But there are also other options, Zeichner explains, such as lasers that punch microscopic holes in the skin (like the Fraxel), thus reducing the appearance of stretch marks by taking advantage of the skin’s ability to heal itself and lay down new collagen in the process.

2. Hydrate!Well-moisturized skin is essential, too, Zeichner says. By calming and nourishing the skin, you reduce the redness and inflammation that can exaggerate stretch marks. Which is why we recommend lathering up with an all-over body oil, like industry fave Bio-Oil, which also helps to even skin tone.

3. Use a glove.Dallas, Texas–based aesthetician Joanna Czech tells Allure that she always recommends moisturizing body treatments “as soon as you find out you are pregnant.” One of her favorite application techniques is something you can do yourself at home: that is, applying a moisturizing treatment—La Mer The Body Creme is her top pick; she’s no fool—with nubby massage gloves.

4. Try topical treatments.Another way to minimize the look of stretch marks is with topical treatments that stimulate collagen production, which in turn brings the skin around stretch marks to a more “normal” state—and may work to minimize the appearance of the striae. One tried-and-true method for doing just this, according to Zeichner? Your old friend retinol, which can be applied topically to help spur this regeneration. (We love the Paula’s Choice Resist Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment.)