Will I Really Have to Live with These Mommy Stripes (Stretch Marks) Forever? (photo)

I had my daughter four years ago and I gained a ton of weight, got to 215lbs and then lost 90lbs and got a mommy makeover. I am 6 weeks post-op. Now I have a flat tummy, perky breasts and long, ugly stretch marks! The marks are fairly white as you can see in the photos; my skin is very pale white too. I was told there is nothing I can do about them because they are a few years old and faded. Is this true? Do I just have to learn to love them? Or is there any hope to make them even a bit better?

Doctor Answers 15

Remaining Stretch Marks after Mommy Makeover

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

   The remaining stretchmarks can be improved very little if any by a lot of different modalities.  None of these have been shown to be very effective.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Stretch Marks Will Remain...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Stretch marks are a major source of frustration for both patients and plastic surgeons.A large variety of treatments are currently available to treat stretch marks, but these are rarely effective.The only option that really seems to work is surgical excision.
In your case, you have undergone abdominoplasty to remove excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles.You appear to have an excellent result.When this procedure is performed, it removes stretch marks below the level of the umbilicus.Unfortunately, this procedure doesn’t impact the stretch marks located above the umbilicus.
At the present time, there’s no treatment option that has the potential to significantly alter your stretch marks.This is a problem that you will have to accept and learn to live with.

Stretch mark cure?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unfortunately, stretch marks can not be eradicated.  There have been a variety of treatments proposed over the years with mild improvement in their appearance.  Some patients choose to get a tattoo, but this is an individual choice, to hide the stret h marks.  You should be very happy with your result and happy knowing the stretch marks represent the beautiful life or lives you delivered.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

You might also like...

Stretch marks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question about your stretch marks after your weight loss and Mommy Makeover. Your idea is right - put things in perspective.

  • you lost almost 100 pounds. Well done!
  • You have healed beautifully from your mommy makeover. Excellent!
  • You have pale stretch marks - more noticeable now your loose tummy skin is gone. They will become less noticeable. Lasers may help, a bit. 
  • When the hard work is done - we are still perfectionists. Enjoy your new shape! 

Stretch marks remain after tummy tuck--what to do.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First of all, congratulations on your weight loss and the great early results of your tummy tuck and breast surgery! Losing that much weight takes an almost superhuman effort accomplished by few. As your scars fade you will be even more happy with your breasts and abdomen--kudos to your surgeon!

As for stretch marks, they are actual dermal structural defects and as such are permanent, and not removable by any technique presently in existence (except by excising some or all of the affected skin, and you've had as much removed as can be).

Many things have been tried to try to improve stretch marks (also called striae). Whenever many things are tried, it soon becomes evident that nothing really works, or we all would use the modality that does! Dermabrasion, superficial laser resurfacing (erbium/YAG usually), chemical peels, dermarolling, pulsed dye laser, RF treatments, and now, fractional lasers are among those things that have been tried, all with very limited success.

Ultimately, you can spend a huge amount of time and research, and eventually a fair amount of money, all in order to achieve minimal results and sometimes scars or regret. Your surgeon is telling you the short version of what I just said:

"There is nothing you can do about them."

Listen to him. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Correction of stretch marks is very difficult

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A stretch mark is due to loss of dermal tissue and elasticity.   Unfortunately this is a permanent problem.  It is possible that you may have some minor improvement with the use of fractionated CO2 laser treatment but in my opinion it may be a waste of time, money and effort.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Fractionated Erbium Laser treatments have been shone to improve stretch marks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It appears that you have had a nice weight loss, and a well preformed tummy tuck. Unfortunately your stretch marks are over your entire abdomen so there is no way to remove them with surgery. Recently it has been reported that Fractionated Erbium Laser Treatment of stretch marks will improve but not remove them. In our office we have had some but limited success. 

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Prominent stretchmarks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


You have a very nice overall outcome. NO outcome is perfect and you need to remember what you started with! 

Having said that, I see this often. The stretchmarks are not as healthy as normal skin. they will often look swollen, firm and sometimes bright pink. It typically takes 3 months for the marks to settle down and look more natural and less "stringy"


As the skin is typically dry after surgery, i would also encourage you to keep some moisturizer on the skin. it will help it in the healing process. 


Hope this helps. 


Bennett Yang, MD
washington dc


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Most of the stretch marks will remain

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Thank you for the question and photos.  Unfortunately the only way to permanently  treat stretch marks is to surgically removed them.  It does not appear that you have enough abdominal skin laxity to include in a revision tummy tuck.  If there is residual laxity the stretch marks may be pulled lower.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Will I Really Have to Live with These Mommy Stripes (Stretch Marks) Forever

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It looks like you will have to be content with the nice result you have had from the TT.  There are no good treatments for stretch marks at this time. There have always been products marketed for this problem, but so far none have been useful. Stay in touch with your surgeon, and ask to be notified if something comes along. Thanks for sharing your question and the photos. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.