Most of the time, you don’t think about them.
But then you’re getting ready to jump in the pool or head to the lake, and you realize that you’re tired of your stretch marks. You want to get rid of them, or at least minimize their appearance, but you don’t want to have surgery.
Never fear — other options are available! Here’s a rundown from the team at Skin Med Spa, where they see patients frequently for stretch mark treatment.
Stretch marks are a form of scarring that usually occur when your skin stretches or shrinks too quickly. This results in discolored lines that are slightly sunken under the level of your skin. They start out as a red or purple color, but gradually fade to a silver/white color.
Your skin is naturally elastic, but if it stretches too rapidly, it can’t react fast enough, and the middle layer of skin (the dermis) tears. The skin will eventually heal, and as it does, it forms a scar.
The most common time to get stretch marks is when a woman is pregnant. Adolescents also often get them during puberty when they hit a growth spurt and shoot up in height. You’ll often see them in the abdominal area, the lower back, thighs, and upper arms.
Stretch marks aren’t painful, but they do cause a cosmetic blemish that many people want to remove, and up to 90% of people have them
Stretch marks are difficult to treat and even more difficult to completely remove. They will eventually fade, but they will likely never disappear completely. You may see over-the-counter creams and lotions that claim to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but most are ineffective. One substance that may be somewhat effective is retinol, which comes from vitamin A, but a retinol cream requires at least six months of use before you’ll notice any results.
One of the best treatment options is laser skin resurfacing, a noninvasive treatment that helps you regain your smooth skin. At Skin Med Spa, we have many laser resurfacing devices that are effective at removing stretch marks. One example is the Lumenis® Photofractional™ laser stimulates collagen growth, which helps produce new, healthy skin. Other collagen-stimulating devices include the Opus Plasma, Virtue RF, and the Cool Peel CO2 laser. Our Practitioners can help determine which device is best suited for your needs.
Dermabrasion, a treatment in which your provider uses a specialized instrument to scrape away your stretch marks, is also an option. Your skin takes a couple of weeks to heal, and full results will be a few months away.
Microneedling stimulates the growth of collagen and new elastin fibers to create firmer skin as well. Microneedling can be used in combination with Platelet-Rich Plasma or Exosomes, two forms of stem cells, to help enhance results and speed up healing.
If you’re ready to finally do something about your stretch marks, the experienced providers Barbara and Michael at Skin Med Spa are ready to help. To schedule an appointment, you can call our office or fill out our online appointment request form. (Oh, and say goodbye to your stretch marks!)