Red Stretch Marks: 7 Options to Reduce & Prevent

Updated in March 2024

Red stretch marks are easier to treat than white ones, as they are at an earlier stage of development. These are quicker to eliminate and do not require such specific treatment. 

Adopting healthy habits and keeping the skin hydrated can help reduce stretch marks and prevent the appearance of new ones. However, in some cases, it is possible to undergo cosmetic treatments as recommended by a dermatologist to speed up the elimination of stretch marks.

Red stretch marks appear when due to excessive tension on the skin, which breaks the tissue and reduces the production of collagen and elastin in the area. This common during pregnancy, with weight gain or with muscle mass gains.

To reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you should opt for interventions that stimulate blood circulation to the stretch marks. Exfoliating the skin and applying products that contain vitamin C or rosehip oil, for example, can be beneficial. There are also cosmetic procedures available such as microneedling and radiofrequency that can stimulate collagen formation and reorganizing the skin's structure.

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Treatment for red stretch marks

There are some daily care and cosmetic procedures that help to minimize the appearance of red stretch marks and preventing the appearance of new ones. Some interventions include:

1. Moisturizing the skin

Moisturizing the skin is essential for maintaining the integrity of the skin and provide firmness and support. You can use a moisturizing cream or lotion at the site of stretch marks, such as sweet almond oil or shea butter, or use products that have retinoic acid or glycolic acid in their composition, as advised by a dermatologist. 

Furthermore, it is important to ensure overall hydration in the body by consuming plenty of water throughout the day, and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. This can help to prevent the loss of skin elasticity and firmness, which could lead to red stretch marks.

2. Homemade coffee scrub

Homemade scrubs made with coffee grounds are an excellent option for improving skin integrity and minimizing red stretch marks. Coffee has antioxidant, emollient and moisturizing properties, which provide the skin with a softer touch. This scrub can also increase local circulation, which helps to eliminate stretch marks.


  • 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • 1 spoon of filtered water


Mix the coffee grounds with the filtered water until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. Then, apply it to the area you want to exfoliate, using gentle, circular movements for 3 minutes. Then rinse off with warm water until all residue is removed. Dry the skin with a soft towel, being sure to pat dry instead of rubbing. You can replace the water with 1 tablespoon of honey or 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil. 

3. Stretch mark creams

Stretch mark creams have moisturizing, healing and regenerating properties that promote the formation of collagen and elastin fibers. They can help to reorganize these fibers, reduce their size, and improve the appearance of stretch marks while preventing new ones from forming.

Some examples of creams that can be used to combat red stretch marks are:

  • Retinoic acid: increases circulation in the stretch mark region, improves the quality of collagen and stimulates its production. Retinoic acid can be found in varying concentrations, from 0.01% to 5%, therefore it is essential to consult a dermatologist to advise your ideal dose
  • Vitamin C: stimulates the formation of collagen, which gives firmness and tone to the skin. This cream can leave the skin more uniform. It also contains antioxidant action, which protects cells against aging. 
  • Rosehip oil: rich in fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, as well as vitamin A and C, which have a regenerating effect and help maintain the integrity of the skin. Concentrations can vary from 2% to 10%, when combined in the composition of some creams or lotions, although it can also be found pure, with 100% concentration. Read more about rosehip oil and the benefits it can provide.

Products used to eliminate stretch marks can be found in their stand-alone form, such as rosehip oil and sweet almond oil, or added as ingredients in other some creams and lotions, such as vitamin C, retinoic acid, or vitamin E. .

4. Radio frequency

Radiofrequency is a technique that raises the temperature of the region to be treated. This stimulates collagen production, supports the skin and helps to eliminate stretch marks. This procedure is carried out in a cosmetic clinic by a qualified professional.

5. Vacuum therapy

Vacuum therapy suctions the skin, causing blood to be directed more intensely to the stretch mark area. This improves circulation and increases oxygenation in the area.

6. Crystal peeling

Crystal peeling is a mechanical exfoliation method in which the most superficial layers of the skin are removed. It improves local circulation and leaves the stretch mark with a more uniform appearance.

7. Microneedling

This is a minimally invasive treatment, that can be performed using an active ingredient, such as vitamin C or collagen. It can stimulate collagen production in the region to not only combat active red stretch marks, but also prevent fibrosis and the appearance of new stretch marks.

The number of sessions and the type of procedure chosen may vary depending on the number of stretch marks and the area where they are. An assessment by a dermatologist or cosmetic specialist is essential before beginning any treatment.

Cosmetic treatments to remove red stretch marks should be recommended by a dermatologist or a qualified cosmetic professional. This will guarantee the most appropriate treatment can be recommended, as it can depend on the number of stretch marks, the location where they are present and the sensitivity of the person's skin.

Preventing stretch marks

Red stretch marks are easier to remove than white stretch marks, as they still have local circulation which can make treatment easier. However, when not treated early, expected results may be more difficult to achieve.

If you notice any new stretch marks, or if you are looking to prevent new ones, you can:

  • Exfoliate your skin once a week
  • Apply moisturizing cream or lotion daily
  • Drink plenty of water to help hydrate your skin
  • Avoid very hot baths, as they dry out the skin and can worsen stretch marks

When stretch marks are large and are appear in high quantities, it is possible that there is sagging and fragility of the skin in the area., This is you are advised to consult a dermatologist for assessment so that the most appropriate treatment can be indicated.