Though stretch marks are very normal, many people can feel self-conscious about them after experiencing rapid gain or pregnancy. Ranging from small white lines to large purple tears, stretch marks come in many different forms which require different types of treatment. In today’s blog, we look at stretch mark removal treatment for both old and new stretch marks.
Stretch mark removal: Common questions
What is a stretch mark?
Stretch marks are long, narrow lines that appear on the skin. They start a purple or pink colour and gradually fade to a light pink or white line over time. Darker stretch marks can be easier to fade than old stretch marks but stretch mark improvement is possible for both types.
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks can appear during puberty for a few reasons, with the most common being growth spurts or rapid weight gain. These usually occur around the buttocks, stomach, breasts, hips, and upper arms, and can occur in both females and males – though girls have a significantly higher chance of developing them.
It’s reported over 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch marks on their breasts or stomach, as they both grow rapidly in size in a short span of time. This will commonly appear in the third trimester of pregnancy, as the surge of hormones can soften the skin. Pregnancy stretch marks can even cause tears as the skin is stretched quickly.
Weight gain is also another common cause for stretch marks and can occur in whatever part of the body a person stores most fat. Though this differs from person to person, the most common places for stretch marks caused by weight gain is the stomach, hips, thighs, and chest.
How to treat stretch marks
There are a few treatments for stretch marks you can do to lessen the appearance of stretch marks, including:
Stretch mark treatment: Retin – A (Tretinoin)
As Retin – A stimulates collagen production, it’s a good product to lessen the visibility of stretch marks. It works by exfoliating the first layer of skin, which may make the skin look slightly red or dry. Out of all the treatments, Retin – A can take up to 24 weeks to work and requires frequent use. It’s also best used for new stretch marks as it won’t have much effect on old, white marks.
Stretch mark treatment: Fractional laser
Fractional laser treatments are perfect for white stretch marks, as they typically don’t respond well to other forms of treatment. This treatment involves the laser penetrating deeply into the skin, which triggers a regenerative effect. It can also stimulate pigment cells to encourage the stretch marks to blend more evenly with the rest of your skin tone.
Stretch mark treatment: Microneedling
Microneedling is considered the holy grail for skin problems, as it can combat everything from acne marks and stretch marks to fine lines and large pores. This is because the injury to skin stimulates collagen induction and skin regeneration, which helps stretch marks to fade faster. This type of stretch mark treatment is also preferred for dark skin, as a laser can’t be used.
How to treat stretch marks: Surgery
If you have excess skin that’s covered in stretch marks, which is common after rapid weight loss or after a pregnancy, removing the affected can give it a firmer look. This usually occurs in the stomach area, which often takes the brunt of rapid weight gain and loss. Of course, surgery comes with its own set of scars, so this type of stretch mark removal is only recommended when the skin issue is severely saggy.
Interested to find out more?
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog on ‘How to treat stretch marks.’ If you’d like to discuss stretch mark removal with a skin specialist, contact our cosmetic clinic Brisbane team today by calling 07 3391 5710, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online form and we’ll be in touch shortly.