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Red vs. White Stretch Marks: 6 Things You Need to Know

This post looks at the differences between red vs. white stretch marks and the most effective treatments to reduce and prevent their appearance, including top products that really work.

Stretch marks are very common and can appear in a variety of different places in different colors. These marks are caused by rapid skin expansion – in fact, almost everybody has them.

Perhaps you are wondering why some stretch marks are dark in color, while others are pale and barely noticeable. And more importantly, how can you reduce their appearance or get rid of them entirely?

In this blog post, we’ll look at the differences between red vs. white stretch marks, including 6 things you need to know to reduce their appearance and prevent new stretch marks from forming.

1. Red Stretch Marks Are Newer Stretch Marks

stretch marks on hips

Red stretch marks, also known as striae rubra, are early stretch marks, or the acute stage of stretch marks. These are more noticeable than white stretch marks because of their darker coloring.

These stretch marks are red due to inflammation and changes in blood vessels, thereby highlighting blood vessels. Additionally, these stretch marks can sometimes be raised and itchy.

They respond to healing more swiftly than their paler counterparts because they are still so new.

2. White Stretch Marks Are Older Stretch Marks

stretch marks on butt

White stretch marks, also referred to as striae alba, are pale and barely noticeable. They are typically classified as old stretch marks, and have a pale look because they’ve lost blood vessels.

Note: With this type of stretch mark, your skin may have a more wrinkled appearance.

White stretch marks are products of untreated red stretch marks. However, the process of changing from red to white can take several years. These are the most stubborn stretch marks to treat because they are essentially scars in the skin.

3. Old Stretch Marks Can Turn Red Again

tummy stretch marks

It is important to note that older, white stretch marks can start to turn red again. However, this only happens when your skin starts to stretch for various reasons.

For example, if you gain or lose weight or become pregnant, your old stretch marks may start to turn red. If this happens, it’s essential to start treating them as soon as possible to minimize their appearance.

4. It’s Not Possible to Completely Remove Stretch Marks

stretch marks on hips

One thing you need to know is that stretch marks are a type of scar. This means that it is impossible to completely remove them.

So, if you see a product on the market promising to eliminate all the stretch marks from your body, just know it is purely marketing, and unlikely to be true.

The best that can be done is to reduce their appearance with the right treatments. Thankfully, we have effective products to help you with this.

5. The Earlier You Treat Stretch Marks, The Better

stretch marks on arms

The key to effective stretch mark treatment is starting therapy as early as possible. Treating stretch marks while they are in the early red phase will give you the best results, compared to treating them when they are in the white phase.

As the scars become older, the blood vessels become narrower, making it harder to stimulate collagen. Some of the best at-home treatments are most effective when performed during the red stretch mark phase.

These treatments, which can be used effectively, include:

For older stretch marks, professional treatments are often needed. These include professional microneedling or laser treatments.

6. Preventing Stretch Marks is The Best Strategy

stretch marks diagram

As the old adage goes, “prevention is better than cure,” so it goes without saying that preventing the development of stretch marks is the best way to deal with these annoying scars.

Preventing new ones, or preventing existing stretch marks from worsening, is a good strategy. The following are some of the top tips for preventing stretch marks:

  • Control your weight – Sudden weight gain is one of the leading culprits of stretch marks. If you can, ensure that you maintain a healthy weight consistently.
  • Drink plenty of water – This will keep your skin hydrated to enhance the plump appearance of your skin and reduce the development of scars associated with stretch marks.
  • Keep your skin hydrated – Apart from water intake, hydrate your skin with topical products, such as creams with ingredients that keep your skin well-hydrated. This will reduce the development of stretch marks.
  • Eat a balanced diet – A skin-friendly diet will promote the regeneration of your skin and prevent the scarring of your body.

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Our Top Products to Reduce the Look of Stretch Marks

Now that you know the difference between red and white stretch marks, let’s talk about the best products to treat them. As we’ve said before, the earlier you treat your stretch marks, the better. Most importantly, prevention is the best strategy.

Here are our top product picks to help you reduce and prevent the appearance of stretch marks:

Tone & Glow Body Brush

Body Brush

This premium natural bristle body brush helps reduce the look of stretch marks by exfoliating the skin, stimulating circulation, and allowing stretch mark-reducing creams and oils to be absorbed more effectively.

Shop the Tone & Glow Body Brush here.

Cheeky Cups Body Contouring Kit

Cheeky Cups

Based on ancient cupping techniques, Cheeky Cups work like a deep tissue “reverse massage” to stimulate circulation and soften the look and feel of stretch marks, scars, and cellulite.

Shop the Cheeky Cups Body Contouring Kit here.

Contour Sleek Cellulite Firming Body Oil

Contour Sleek

This hydrating body oil contains numerous key ingredients that improve the look of stretch marks, most notably gotu kola. Gotu kola is one of the best natural ingredients for reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.

Shop Contour Sleek Cellulite Firming Body Oil here.

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Aqua (Water), Pueraria Mirifica Extract, Propylene Glycol, Propanediol, Polysorbate 20, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Acetyl Hexapeptide-38, Hydroxyethycellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance


Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Propanediol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Panthenol, Macelignan, Lepidium Meyenii Root Extract, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance