Stretch marks appear on parts of your body that expand rapidly when you gain weight. Pregnancy and puberty are common times to acquire these bands or stripes of glossy red skin on your abdomen, thighs, flanks and buttocks. Over time, they may fade to a silvery or whitish hue, but maintain a different texture than the rest of your skin. Although creams and home remedies claim they’ll erase these marks, completely getting rid of stretch marks on any area of the body — including the butt — is nearly impossible.

Time Fades All

New stretch marks may stand out, but their appearance usually diminishes over time. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that they may even disappear completely once the cause of the skin stretching goes away. The degree they fade depends on genetics and the color of your skin. In surveys conducted by Stanford and Harvard Universities, about 48 percent of women with parents who have stretch marks and 80 percent of women of color report their marks linger. It may take several years for the stretch marks on your backside to become less noticeable, too.

Smooth Them Out

Little scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of treating stretch marks with lotions and creams. If you choose to apply them, do so when your stretch marks are still reddish or purple. These lotions won’t rid you of the marks, but may smooth out the skin on your butt so the stretch marks don’t stand out. Avoid expensive creams and go for plain cocoa butter. Only one cream containing centella asiatica extract, alpha tocopherol and collagen-elastin hydrolysates has shown promise in helping prevent stretch marks, according to studies published in the “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.” This cream worked for prevention only in those who had previously acquired stretch marks.

Mask Them

Self-tanning lotion or body makeup can help cover up stretch marks’ discoloration, but won’t smooth out stretch mark’s scar-like texture. Avoid trying to suntan away the stretch marks on your buttocks. The striations won’t tan at all, making the contrast between your tanned skin and the color of the stretch marks even more drastic. If you’re concerned about showing your stretch marks in your bathing suit, choose a style that offers lots of coverage on the backside.

Prevention First

While you may not be able to make the stretch marks you have on your buttocks completely disappear, you can prevent new ones from forming. Avoid rapid weight gain by exercising regularly and following a healthy, portion-controlled diet. Even after you have stretch marks, exercises that firm up your backside can help that skin look firmer and more taut. Exercise won’t get rid of the stretch marks on your butt, but it can help make you look your best.