Stretch marks are an outward sign of changes within your skin. Men and women can get them, but they are most notable during pregnancy. Stretch marks do not have any affect on your health and well-being. We just don’t like to look at them! Stretch marks can occur anywhere in the body where large amounts of fat are stored; stomach, thighs, arms, breasts and buttocks. Simply stated, stretch marks form when the skin is stretched too quickly as in pregnancy or rapid weight gain. Collagen and elastin fibers, which support elasticity cannot keep up with rapidly expanding skin. The skin is stretched to the point it tears. Stretch marks may start out as reddish, purple marks that fade with time, to a more silvery tone, but they are still noticeable.
Can stretch marks be treated?
Yes, they can. I recommend several topicals to help minimize stretch marks. Vitamin C and A (retinol) can be used along with peptides to stimulate new collagen; glycolic acid works to exfoliate. It’s important to use professional grade products, because over the counter formulations just aren’t strong enough to get good results. These products are all available on my website, but I suggest contacting my staff for guidance prior to purchase. If you are pregnant, special precautions need to be taken. Vitamin A is not appropriate, and you need to consult with your physician before using any topicals.
The laser revolution
We are seeing positive results with laser treatments. In my office, we use theLumenis UltraPulse Encore laser to reduce stretch marks. There are different settings on the laser, I recommend Deep FX for the best results.
Fractional CO2 laser microbeams target the deep dermal layers of the skin. This deep heating causes collagen to break down and re-heal. Downtime is minimal, and we are seeing great results in 1 to 3 sessions.
Stretch marks are a fact of life
At some point in all our lives, most of us will develop stretch marks. Women tend to notice them more, especially during and after pregnancy. The topicals I mentioned help reduce them, and so does the laser treatment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us with your questions.