Stretch marks are a very common skin occurrence, and while they’re stubborn, there are options to diminish them.
Stretch marks, or striae, form most frequently when we have growth spurts, when we gain a certain amount of weight, or during pregnancy. They occur mostly where fat is stored (around the stomach, arms, legs, thighs, and breasts), but they can happen all over the body. The marks form when the dermis is stretched; the necessary collagen and elastin formation isn’t able to keep up with the pace of the body’s growth. The dermal and epidermal tissues tear, resulting in scar-like marks where the skin has been stretched and torn.
Trying to prevent the appearance of stretch marks in the first place is one way to at least reduce or avoid this negative effect of body mass gain. Since the problem has to do with skin elasticity, keeping your skin moisturized is one way to help prevent marks from developing. Massages can keep your skin supple and soft to endure any stretching that might happen. Your specific condition will help you know where to focus extra attention.
Exfoliation can also be important for skin elasticity. Removing dead layers of skin and other kinds of buildup keeps pores open, able to breathe, and better moisturized since water and products can penetrate clean, clear skin. Buildup of dead cells, sebum, and everyday dirt can dry out your skin, making it more susceptible to tearing when there is growth.
If you can’t prevent them, getting a skin treatment for stretch marks is a way to at least reduce their appearance. Since stretch marks are caused deep in the skin tissue, topical products can’t usually reach the dermis to solve the problem. One exception, though, are retinoid products. They are vitamin A based, which helps minimize the appearance of scars by encouraging collagen remodeling in the scarred area of the tissue. A retinoid works best when the stretches are new and not yet settled.
This exfoliation treatment can help minimize the appearance of scars like stretch marks. By buffing the skin to remove dead tissue buildup and encourage skin repair and new growth, microdermabrasion can help repair the dermis and effectively reduce the appearance of the stretch marks.
Stretch marks can be diminished with a laser, which is an effective treatment for many skin corrective procedures like getting a tattoo removed and acne scar removal. Laser treatments can target the stretch marks to stimulate growth of collagen and elastin in the area. This helps our cell growth and immune systems repair the damage. While the marks most likely won’t completely disappear, they can be reduced in appearance by up to 50%, if not more depending on how long the marks have been there.
Since this scarring issue is below the epidermis, it will take several sessions of whichever treatment is right for you. However, after the first treatment, you may already start to see some progress as the marks start to blur and fade.
A dermatologist will be able to safely use the appropriate treatment in the right dosage to help clear up your stretch marks. Make an appointment today with one of our experts to find out what the right solution is for you!