Have you had those moments
when you want to wear a cocktail dress to a party,
but couldn’t do so because the streaks from your underarms have crawled down to visible spots on your arms?
Or have you had those moments when you want to wear your bikini,
but decided not to because you are not ready to show the world those vertical streaks on your tummy?
Well, you are not alone in that situation.
Despite the fact that stretch marks can change the overall look of your skin,
the situation isn’t hopeless at all.
If home remedies weren’t working for you and you have enough budget to try other approaches,
here are some clinical methods to help you treat stretch marks.
But before that, let’s first discuss some essential information you should know about stretch marks.
How do stretch marks look like?
Stretch marks appear as narrow lines or steaks on the skin surface.
They are usually purple or red to start with, and then gradually fade to a silvery white color with time.
Stretch marks are usually long and thin.
They usually affect areas where fat is stored such as the tummy, thighs, buttocks, upper arms, shoulders and breasts.
When do stretch marks occur?
Stretch marks can occur in any of the following instances:
- During Pregnancy
Stretch marks affect about 8 out of 10 women in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Whether or not you will get these steak lines depend on the type of your skin and how elastic it is.
During pregnancy, the body secrets hormones that soften the ligaments in your pelvis so they are more flexible when you give birth.
The problem is that these hormones also soften the fibers in your skin,
making them prone to stretch marks.
As the baby grows, your skin stretches and you may consequently get stretch marks on your thighs, breasts and tummy.
Stretch marks that occur during pregnancy may fade away after childbirth, though they may not disappear completely.
Preventative methods can be significantly handy for pregnancy stretch marks.
Studies indicate that stretch marks can be hereditary.
If your parents had them, you are likely to have them as well.
Though stretch marks can occur in both men and women, they mostly develop in females.
The body grows rapidly during puberty.
Young girls may get stretch marks on their breasts, thighs and hips,
while young boys may get stretch marks on their back and shoulders.
- Excessive Weight Gain
Stretch marks may develop if you gain a lot of weight quickly.
These types of stretch marks may sometimes remain after you lose weight within a short period of time.
Thus, if you want to lose weight, lose it slowly and gradually to prevent your skin from being put under strain.
- Underlying Health Conditions
Stretch mark can be due to rare health conditions, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome.
Marfan syndrome occurs when a faulty gene weakens your body’s skin and connective tissues,
thereby reducing their ability to stretch.
Marfan syndrome can occur on the lower back, hips and shoulders.
Cushing’s syndrome on the other hand occurs when the body produces a hormone called cortisol in large amounts.
The hormone cortisol is believed to cause stretch marks.
Corticosteroids, such as lotions or creams used to treat skin conditions can cause stretch marks if they are used inappropriately.
Just like the hormone cortisol, corticosteroids reduce the amount of collagen in your skin.
Collagen is the protein that enhances the flexibility of the skin.
The less the amount of collagen on the skin, the higher the chances you have of developing stretch marks.
Clinical Methods for Removing Stretch Marks
Topical treatment is far the most popular ways of treating stretch marks today.
This includes stretch mark creams, oils, and lotions.
And among all products, Revitol Stretch Mark Cream is one of the best-selling product on the market today.
The reason for its popularity is that it is known to effectively get rid of stretch marks for anyone, regardless of your gender, skin type, or age.
This cream can reduce the appearance of your stretch marks in a few weeks.
It boosts the production of collagen and elastin in your skin, which enhances a healthy skin growth and increases your skin elasticity.
Click here to read my complete review of Revitol.
With that, here’s how to apply stretch mark cream for best results:
1. Massage the cream in the affected areas until the skin fully absorbs it.
2. The manufacturer of the product recommends that you apply the cream at least two times a day, in the morning and before bed.
3. You can expect results as early as 14 days of daily application.
4. Just like any other product for stretch mark removal, always double check the ingredients for any allergy concerns.
2. Laser Therapy for Stretch Mark Removal
Laser therapy is a non-invasive method of removing stretch marks using a pulses of laser light.
This procedure is safe and removes redness, smoothes stretch marks and gives your skin a gorgeous appearance in just a few treatments.
Laser therapy is an easy, fast and effective treatment that takes about 30 minutes to complete.
It delivers superior, long lasting results.
What happens during a laser stretch mark removal procedure?
During a laser therapy session, your medical provider will use a beam of light to extract layers of skin within the affected area.
The laser machine uses high energy ultra violet light to disrupt the molecular bonds of the skin tissues.
This causes the tissue to disintegrate in a process known as ablation.
After the therapy is complete, the treated area is left to heal and new layers of the skin form.
The stretch marks will disappear in the process and a new healthy skin will grow.
How long does the treated area take to heal?
After the laser therapy, the treated area will appear red and tender.
This is because the layers of scarred skin have been removed and the new skin is growing.
Some people may have some blistering and symptoms of a typical burn injury, though these will disappear after a short period of time.
It takes just a few days for the treated area to heal, though some people may take a few weeks especially those who have undergone a more extensive laser treatment.
What do you expect after the procedure?
Just like other treatment options, the success of the procedure depends on the age and prevalence of the stretch marks in question.
Stretch marks that are older are usually difficult to treat.
You may require up to 10 treatments to get rid of such stretch marks completely.
In some severe cases, even a series of laser therapies may only fade away the stretch marks rather than remove them completely.
What are some of the benefits of choosing laser therapy for stretch mark removal?
One of the major benefits of a laser treatment is that it is highly effective.
Chances are that you will be satisfied with the final results.
Laser therapy is also very safe and has a little potential to cause an injury.
When compared to other surgical procedures, such as tummy tuck, laser therapy is less invasive, has a less recovery time, few complications and is considerably cheaper.
Laser therapy is ideal for any type of skin, including very dark and very light skin.
Your medical provider will let you know whether you are an appropriate candidate for the process.
Just like other clinical methods for stretch mark removal, is not completely free from risks.
Since laser has the ability to ablate your skin, it can result in tissue damage if it is mishandled.
That is why it is recommendable that you choose the best cosmetic dermatologic.
3. Skin Surgery for Stretch Mark Removal
Skin surgery is the most effective technique for those looking to get rid of stretch marks permanently.
Other medical techniques, including natural stretch mark removal techniques and laser stretch mark removal will only fade and lessen the prominence of stretch marks.
Although they cannot remove them permanently, they can diminish the stretch marks to a non-visible degree.
One of the commonly used skin surgeries for stretch mark removal is abdominoplasty also known as tummy tuck.
What exactly is abdominoplasty or tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure in which the excess skin between your belly button and pubic area is removed.
The aim of a tummy tuck is to create a smaller waistline, more flatter and contoured abdomen and remove any stretch marks between your pubic area and belly.
Although, abdominoplasty cannot help you get rid of all stretch marks on the abdomen, it can help you to permanently remove those that are under the belly.
What happens during a tummy tuck surgery for stretch mark removal?
During abdominoplasty, your doctor will make an incision to the lower abdomen (just below the underwear line).
He will then make another incision around the belly bottom.
The incision will remain affixed to the abdominal wall.
Next, the doctor will elevate the abdominal soft tissues to the level of the ribcage, just superficial to the abdominal wall muscles.
This will be extended up to your belly button.
This means that all the stretch marks within this area will be removed as the redundant tissue is resected.
Even though a tummy tuck procedure does not remove the stretch marks above the belly button, it lowers their position and visibility after the redundant tissue is removed.
What kind of results can you expect after the procedure?
Just like other types of plastic surgery, the results of a tummy tuck depend on your unique medical case.
If you want to get a tummy tuck to remove stretch marks, it is important that you choose an experienced doctor to avoid possible complications.
4. Microdermabrasion for Stretch Mark Removal
Microdermabrasion is relatively a new medical procedure of exfoliating the outer layer of the skin.
This medical procedure is non-invasive and chemical free.
It is done using a concentrated spray of crystals and rougher materials that can cause some friction on the skin without peeling it off.
Microdermabrasion can also be done with a specialized gadget, which has a suction mechanism to remove the exfoliated skin right away on the spot.
The technique removes the outer shell of the skin, leaving anything deeper intact.
Apart from reducing stretch marks, microdermabrasion can be done to lessen the appearance of skin discolorations, acne scars, age spots and wrinkles.
Is Microdermabrasion effective for stretch mark removal?
Since microdermabrasion on impacts on the skin cells affected by the stretch mark scarring,
it is not an ideal clinical method for those looking to get rid of their stretch marks permanently.
The treatment only helps to improve the appearance of the outermost layer of the skin.
It helps to fade away stretch marks fast.
Microdermabrasion only offers temporary results.
Repeat treatments are needed to maintain the results.
The treatment can be done between 30 and 60 minutes.
After the treatment, the skin may appear pink, but that will change a few hours after the procedure.
5. Clinical Peels
Chemical peels are generally used on the face for treating wrinkles and age spots,
but they can be used on other areas of the body for stretch mark removal.
During treatment, an acidic solution is applied to the skin by using a sponge, cotton pad, cotton swab or brush
to peel off the top layers of the damaged, dead skin and encourages skin regeneration.
Type and strength of chemicals used for treatment may vary according to your level of stretch mark being treated, but there are three main types that exist today.
Alpha-hydroxy acid – burns off only the topmost layer of skin
Glycolic acid – burns off both the top and middle layers of skin
Phenol – the deepest chemical peel of all, and requires only one treatment for full effectiveness.
You may experience stinging or burning pain during treatment,
and the recovery period depends on your skin type and the strength of the chemicals used.
Multiple treatments may be required for optimal result.
Keep in mind that chemical peel may not remove stretch marks completely;
however, it will significantly fade away stretch marks and result in smoother, healthier, more youthful looking skin.
6. Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy uses infrared light to treat stretch marks.
It will penetrate deep into the skin to enhance cellular activity and increase blood supply to the skin’s surface resulting in regeneration of skin cells.
It also promotes the production of fibroblasts and collagen that aids in the repairing and preventing skin damages.
It also carries several other therapeutic benefits, such as improving the skin’s appearance and structure, treating psoriasis, and pain relief.
What is the procedure?
Infrared light is beamed onto the stretch marks.
The power of beams lessens the severity of the scars caused by stretch marks, smoothening and flattening their appearance.
Multiple sessions may be necessary to see an improvement of 20 to 60%.
One stunning advantage of this treatment is that the results are permanent though you may need some follow-up maintenance treatments.
It also stimulates collagen and elastin production, improving skin regeneration.
You may also notice enhanced blood circulation, reduced inflammation and improved lymphatic drainage.
What should you be aware of before the treatment?
It is recommended that you avoid sunbathing, waxing, tanning beds, chemical peels and/or collagen injections, at least, two weeks before the treatment.
It is best to avoid the use of perfumes, deodorants and other potential irritants in the targeted area both before and after treatment.
You should also avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin and herbal supplements, as it may increase your risk of bleeding.
What kind of devices are there for red light therapy?
There are several devices available on the market that can be used as red light therapy for stretch marks.
7. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma contains highly concentrated amount of signal proteins which consists of platelets, white blood cells, and adult stem cells.
Injection of PRP to the damaged site will help generate the production of collagen and elastin, triggering skin repair.
It is often accompanied with Micro-Needling to support healing and rejuvenation in the underlying dermis as well as treating the surface layer of the skin.
Consistent treatments will allow your skin to to become tauter and smoother.
Like any other surgical procedures, there are risks involved in any of the above clinical methods of stretch mark removal.
Make sure that you contact your doctor before undergoing any of the above medical procedures for stretch mark removal.
Regardless of the treatment method you choose, be sure to ask for before and after photos for other patients who undergone the procedure to see if that is what you really want.