Cindy Crawford Has Stretch Marks Too

Beauty Cred on 30 Jun 2008 at 12:00am

In case you thought the "pretty people" don't suffer from the same skin maladies as you and me, yes--that's Cindy Crawford. And yes, that's her post-baby belly--see the close-up if you doubt it.

Yes, Cindy Crawford has baby belly

Stretch marks and baby flab happen. Especially if you're in that over 40 range. How to deal with them is a hot topic in the RealSelf forums now that summer's here and we're all going a bit more bare.

So what are stretch marks?

Well, the name "stretch mark" is misleading. Memphis Plastic Surgeon Dr. Peter A. Aldea explains:

These are not marks but full-thickness skin cracks. As the skin is rapidly stretched by obesity or pregnancy the skin actually crack. Initially, the fault lines are filled by blood vessels and immature scar tissue but with time as the blood vessels go away they are replaced by silvery scar tissue.

Separating fact from fiction:

Stretch marks are cracks in the layers of skin beneath the epidermis - that's a fact - but can we cure them?

There are plenty of creams and serums on the market boasting the ability to heal stretch marks through the use of various ingredients (i.e. collagen, vitamin C, vitamin E, Aloe vera etc). Unfortunately, these claims are fictional. Since stretch marks occur beneath the skin's surface, no cream, ointment, salve or serum can penetrate deep enough to affect them.

Is it possible to improve the appearance of stretch marks?

Yes. While topical treatments can't do the job, there are several other options that can.

  • Carboxytherapy $700 - Carbon Dioxide injections can be used to minimize stretch marks and cellulite. Carboxytherapy works by increasing blood flow and collagen production, resulting in a more even skin appearance, however, it cannot make stretch marks disappear completely.

  • Laser Therapy $2,200 - Laser therapy such as Fraxel works by vaporizing superficial, damaged skin cells, increasing collagen production and minimizing skin discoloration. Laser Therapy can reduce (but not remove) the appearance of stretch marks and has a Worth It rating of 54%.
  • Surgical Excision $8,400-$18,700 - The only treatment that can completely remove stretch marks is also the most invasive: to surgically remove the affected skin. Surgical methods include Tummy Tucks (92% Worth It) and Body Lifts (91% Worth It).