Stretch marks, also known as striae, are set-in streaks that appear on the buttocks, hips, breasts, or abdomen. These marks are common in women, especially when pregnant or following a massive change in body shape. While stretch marks are not known to be harmful to health or cause discomfort, the appearance of these marks is unappealing to some people and they wish to have them removed. 

Stretch marks usually fade away on their own without treatment. However, sometimes the scars may take a while to disappear. In some cases, it doesn’t disappear at all. Stretch marks do not have a consistent appearance and vary from person to person. These variations may depend on the skin type, the cause of the mark, the affected body part, and the duration of how long the stretch marks have been in the patient’s body.

Causes of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks appear when the skin undergoes a massive change and stretches. The severity of the stretch mark will depend on various factors, such as the degree of stress on your skin and genetics. Additionally, the level of cortisol hormone may also play a part as the hormone weakens elastic fibers in the skin. 

Risk Factors

Collagen involves the protein that allows the skin to stretch. If the skin lacks enough collagen production, stretch marks may start to manifest around the body. While anyone can develop stretch marks, some factors elevate the likelihood of their development; these factors include: 

  • Rapid growth in adolescence
  • Using corticosteroids
  • Pregnancy, especially at an early age
  • Heredity
  • Rapidly losing or gaining weight
  • Genetic disorders such as Marfan Syndrome or Cushing Syndrome
  • The use of Anabolic Steroids
  • Breast Enlargement Surgery

How Do I Get Rid of Stretch Marks?

Various options, from medical treatments to home remedies, are available to help eliminate stretch marks.

Medical Treatments

  • Cosmetic surgery

This includes surgeries such as tummy tuck which may remove the skin with stretch marks. The procedure tightens the abdominal muscles while removing the excess tissue and skin. You can check out Marin Aesthetics to learn more about tummy tuck.   

  • Excimer Laser Therapy

Commonly used to treat Psoriasis and Eczema, Excimer therapy can also treat stretch marks. The procedure involves exposing the affected area to Ultraviolet B Light. The treatment typically lasts from 10 to 15 minutes. The number of visits may depend on the severity of the stretch mark undergoing the procedure.

  • Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy

For patients who are looking for a much safer yet effective approach, Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy is a viable solution for stretch mark treatment. The procedure involves converting light into heat and producing a painless laser blast on the affected area. The light energy from laser therapy calms the blood vessels, which results in the disappearance of stretch marks. 

  • Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is an aggressive cosmetic procedure that involves using fine crystals to remove the outermost layer of the skin. The treatment is proven to remove a handful of skin conditions, including stretch marks. 

  • Fractional CO2 Laser Therapy

Fractional CO2 Laser Therapy is a relatively new treatment that helps smooth out old and white marks on the skin. The process involves sending pixilated energy downward the skin at a microscopic level. Through this method, the targeted area absorbs chromophore water to generate heat and destroy the affected area.

  • Chemical Peel

One of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world is probably chemical peels. This treatment is excellent for improving the skin’s texture and removing all kinds of damage, including scarring, acne, and stretch marks. Two of the most effective types of chemical peels to treat are TCA skin peels or Glycolic skin peels. Both are proven to work in diminishing and completely removing any signs of stretch marks.  

  • Home Remedies
  • Tretinoin creams 
  • Centella Asiatica
  • Collagen boosters
  • Self-tanner and body makeup
  • Vitamin E, shea butter, and cocoa butter
  • Bitter almond oil

Say Goodbye to Stretch Marks 

While stretch marks are considered to be natural and a sign of progress for many, The choice to have them removed for self-improvement is entirely up to the patient. Recent advancements in the field of cosmetic surgery paved the way for patients to avail of quick and easy solutions for stretch marks. Consult a board-certified surgeon now to see which procedure is the best fit for you.