How Australian Model Elyse Knowles Banished Her Stretch Marks

Early this month, Australian swimsuit model Elyse Knowles took to her website’s blog to tell the story about her battle with stretch marks and how she has significantly reduced the appearance of her stretch marks with laser therapy. Knowles tells the story of how she developed stretch marks as a teenager during puberty; as her body grew swiftly, stretch marks formed on her buttocks in response.

While the stretch marks did not prevent the model from a high-profile swimsuit modeling career, she made the decision recently to have them removed with laser treatment at a local clinic in Australia. Knowles takes the time to mention that she feels there is nothing wrong with stretch marks and comments that she knows many other models that have them as well, but even so she admits feeling somewhat insecure about her stretch marks—even though she knows that they’re normal.

Knowles received three treatments over the course of six months and posted pictures on her website to show the before and after results. While she admits in the comments that the stretch marks she had were very deep and did not go away completely, she says that her skin looks significantly better and that the visibility of the stretch marks diminished quite a bit.

What Is Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy is the process of using pulsating lasers to stimulate production of collagen and elastin and encourage new skin growth. When stretch marks form, it is because skin does not have enough elasticity to handle rapid changes in the shape of the body. In Knowles’ case, these rapid body changes were caused by puberty, but other common causes include weight gain, quick muscle development, and pregnancy.

Collagen and elastin development that occurs as a result of laser therapy encourage skin to repair itself by encouraging new skin growth in areas damaged by stretch marks. Stretch marks occur in the middle layer of skin—known as the dermis—so the best way to get rid of them or reduce their visibility is through use of a stretch mark removal cream or treatment—like laser therapy or a chemical peel—that encourages new skin to grow over top of the damaged layer of skin with visible stretch marks.

A number of different lasers can be used as part of laser therapy that work better for different types of stretch marks. For example, for deep red stretch marks, lasers can reduce the color and inflammation of those damaged skin areas. For white stretch marks, a Fraxel® laser may be more effective. The Fraxel® laser works by damaging skin in order to stimulate regrowth around areas where stretch marks have formed. According to Knowles, the procedure is only mildly painful—no worse than getting a wax.

Doctors Nearby and Treatment Costs

To find doctors in your area that can perform laser therapy to minimize the appearance of or get rid of your stretch marks—and to get a quote on the cost of the treatment—use our stretch mark treatment cost calculator.

Now You Can Tattoo Your Stretch Marks Away

A Brazilian tattoo artist has been getting a lot of attention lately for his work in diminishing the appearance of his client’s stretch marks. Rodolpho Torres uses a blending effect when tattooing away stretch marks to make skin appear to be more evenly toned. While tattoos won’t eliminate the uneven feel of stretch-marked skin, its power to diminish the appearance of stretch marks is evident from the images Torres posts to his Instagram account.

Unfortunately, if you’re not currently living in Brazil or planning a visit there anytime soon, this doesn’t do you much good. But if the process continues to garner attention, you may see more tattoo artists attempt to reproduce the process around the world.

If you’re interested in reducing the appearance of your stretch marks but aren’t interested in tattooing them away or don’t know a talented tattoo artist like Torres, there are other ways to diminish their appearance.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment for stretch marks is the process of using lasers to damage the skin over and around stretch marks in order to stimulate skin regrowth in those areas. Laser treatments can be performed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists and is one of the more effective treatment options for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. However, multiple treatment sessions may be necessary before results are visible, and the process can be very expensive—as much as $10,000.


Microdermabrasion is less expensive than laser treatment, but it is also less effective. Microdermabrasion is the process of exfoliating skin to improve its appearance. Because microdermabrasion removes dead skin cells and encourages skin regeneration, it can have some effect of reducing the visibility of stretch marks. However, microdermabrasion is incapable of affecting the middle layer of skin where stretch marks form, so the process is not effective for getting rid of stretch marks completely.

Chemical Peels

A deep chemical peel is the process of applying a chemical solvent to skin in order to damage skin and promote skin regeneration over areas with stretch marks. Deep chemical peels can have an effect on the middle layer of skin, making it more effective for reducing the appearance of stretch marks than microdermabrasion. However, a deep chemical peel will leave skin raw, red, and sore for several weeks—or longer—after treatment, and costs for the procedure can be as much as $6,000.

Stretch Mark Cream

A cost-effective approach to reducing the appearance of stretch marks is using a stretch mark removal cream. Stretch mark removal creams do not require you to seek medical treatment or visit a tattoo artist for results; it’s possible to improve the appearance and evenness of skin simply by applying a removal cream once or twice a day.

If you’re interested in improving the appearance of your stretch marks but not ready to go all-in for tattoos or high-costs treatments, using a stretch mark removal cream may be a good initial approach to getting rid of your stretch marks for good. Explore our catalog of stretch marks prevention and removal products.

5 Ways to Get Stretch Marks to Fade

Stretch marks can be destructive to your self-image. No matter how much weight you lose or how much muscle you gain, you feel bad about your appearance because of your stretch marks. You may have hoped initially that your stretch marks would go away over time, but they didn’t.

Fortunately, you can improve your self-esteem and get your body the way you want by having your stretch marks treated. The following treatments can help fade stretch marks so they’re less visible.


Microdermabrasion uses a special tool to thoroughly exfoliate skin, removing dead skin cells and damaged skin and encouraging skin regrowth and regeneration.

  • Benefits: Microdermabrasion costs less than some of the other stretch mark treatments.
  • Disadvantages: Microdermabrasion only impacts the topmost layer of skin, not the middle layer of skin where stretch marks form. By improving the look of the outer layer of skin, microdermabrasion can make stretch marks less visible, but it will not get rid of stretch marks entirely.

Deep Chemical Peel

A deep chemical peel is a process where a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon applies a chemical treatment to areas affected by stretch marks in order to burn away damaged skin and encourage skin regrowth.

  • Benefits: Deep chemical peels are capable of impacting the middle layer of skin where stretch marks form, so it has a better chance of significantly improving the appearance of stretch marks.
  • Disadvantages: It takes a long time for skin to heal after a deep chemical peel, and while you’re recovering from the treatment, your treated areas will be unsightly and will eventually scab before healing fully. Deep chemical peels are also expensive, costing as much as $6,000.


Microneedling uses a special tool covered in fine needles to damage skin and encourage regrowth and regeneration. The process has effects similar to microdermabrasion, but because needles can penetrate deeper than surface exfoliation, microneedling can be more effective in fading stretch marks.

  • Benefits: Microneedling can penetrate skin down to the dermis where stretch marks form, so it has a decent chance of encouraging skin regeneration in damaged areas and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
  • Disadvantages: For microneedling to be effective, several treatments are needed. To improve the appearance of stretch marks, five or more treatments will likely be required, resulting in 4-6 months of treatments and potentially more than $3,000 in costs.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment uses a focused laser to damage skin affected with stretch marks and encourage skin regrowth and regeneration.

  • Benefits: Laser treatment can be effective in fading or removing stretch marks, and it requires less recovery time than a deep chemical peel.
  • Disadvantages: For laser treatment to be effective, months of recurring treatments will be required, and costs incurred can run between $5,000 and $10,000.

Stretch Mark Creams

Stretch mark creams increase your production of collagen and other natural skin-regenerating elements, causing skin to regenerate and heal without damaging skin.

  • Benefits: Stretch mark creams are the least expensive treatment option for effectively fading stretch marks and can be purchased over the counter—no doctor trips are required.
  • Disadvantages: Stretch mark creams must be applied frequently and regularly in order to achieve maximum fading effects.

Why Natural Treatments for Stretch Marks Don’t Work

If you perform a search online for ways to remove stretch marks naturally, you’ll find a number of articles suggesting dozens of ways that you can get rid of your stretch marks using things you probably have in your house right now. These articles claim that rubbing things like castor oil, sugar, aloe vera, or lemon juice onto your skin regularly will get rid of your stretch marks for good.

The problem is that these methods don’t work. If they did, there would be a lot fewer women in the world who feel self-conscious in a bikini after having a baby. Stretch marks can’t be gotten rid of using common household items, and they don’t go away on their own. To get rid of stretch marks, you have to have your stretch marks treated.

Why Don’t Natural Methods Work?

Your skin is composed of three layers. The topmost layer of your skin is called the epidermis, and it is the layer of skin that you can touch and feel. The middle layer of skin is known as the dermis; it is the layer beneath the epidermis. The bottommost layer of skin is called the hypodermis.

When applying natural treatments to your skin, you are only treating the epidermis. However, stretch marks are actually scars in the dermis. This is why stretch mark scars don’t look like other types of scars you get from skin injuries. In order for a treatment to have an effect on stretch marks, it must be able to penetrate the epidermis and affect the dermis.

So Are Stretch Marks a Life Sentence?

No. Just because natural methods of treating stretch marks don’t work, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to live with your stretch marks forever. There are many lotions and creams available that can significantly reduce the appearance of your stretch marks or get rid of them for good. Like the natural treatments, these products are simply applied regularly to the areas of your body afflicted with stretch marks. With regular application, you will be much more likely to see improvement in your stretch marks than you would using a natural treatment method.

What Other Treatment Options Are Available?

Other common methods of stretch mark removal include deep chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatment, and tummy tuck surgery. Some of these treatments are more effective than others; while laser treatment is an effective method of removing stretch marks, chemical peels and microdermabrasion may simply reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Disadvantages of alternative stretch mark treatments include costs and risks. Laser treatment can require months of recurring treatments to get rid of stretch marks and can cost between $5,000 and $10,000. Deep chemical peels can leave your skin red and raw for weeks after treatment. A tummy tuck is a serious surgery and carries all of the risks of any surgical procedure.

If you’re interested in finding out the potential costs of alternative stretch mark treatments, use our cost calculator to get an idea of how much you may need to spend to get rid of your stretch marks for good.