Stretch marks are the unfortunate side effect of skin becoming stretched out by pregnancy, weight gain and loss, or rapid increase in muscle mass. In essence, they are a form of scarring. The actual mark is a result of loss of collagen in the deeper tissue layers, almost like a tear in fabric.
Stretch marks usually start out pink to purple, then become lighter than the surrounding tissue as they mature. In the past, the only option for stretch mark removal was rubbing gallons of cocoa butter on the marks. That gave some really nicely moisturized skin, but did little to help stretch marks. If you google stretch mark removal, there is a lot of information on home remedies, creams, butters, lotions and potions. Unfortunately, none of these remedies has ever had a scientific study to prove they are effective.
Today, there are much more effective options backed by medical studies.
Dermaroller and the Dermapen. These devices stimulate new collagen formation by making very small holes in the scar to break up the tissue and remodel collagen. The tiny holes can also be used as channels to stimulate growth using platelet rich plasma (PRP). PRP comes from your own blood and signals the body when it needs to heal. PRP is incredibly helpful for scars and stretch marks. Click here to learn more about PRP and DermaPen.
Laser stretch mark removal. Lasers represent the pinnacle of technology and are one of the best modalities for improving the appearance of stretch marks. Lasers help stretch marks by collagen remodeling and also can remove the darker pigment seen in early stretch marks. Usually 2-3 sessions of laser are needed to achieve maximum results. Depending upon the area to be treated, it takes about 15-20 minutes for each session. I use the latest laser technology for stretch mark removal including the Cynosure PicoSure and Lumenis Ultrapulse lasers.
You don’t have to live with stretch marks. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, call (804) 775-4559 or shoot us an email.
Dr Travis L Shaw is a double board certified facial plastic/ENT surgeon serving Richmond, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach and Fredericksburg, Va.
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