There are three ways a person can approach the process of stretch-mark removal: the application of natural remedies, surgical procedures and laser treatments. Stretch marks, or striae, initially feature a red or purple hue, which fades. They typically form when the middle layer of the skin is stretched past its point of tolerance. This causes the connective fibers in the skin to break, leading to a disruption in collagen production.
The natural approach to stretch-mark removal entails dietary changes and exercise, in addition to the use of creams and lotions, such as cocoa and shea butter. Although they are less expensive and more readily available when compared to the other two options, natural remedies are not an effective removal method for people who have old stretch-mark scars.
The laser treatment employs the excimer laser, which evens out the color of the scars through the stimulation of melanin development. The excimer laser uses a high-energy ultraviolet light to disintegrate scar tissue through the disruption of molecular bonds.
The surgical procedure is the only method that permanently removes stretch-mark scars. It does so by tightening the abdominal muscles and discarding the excess skin. As of 2014, there are no surgical procedures that remove stretch marks on body parts other than the abdomen.