How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks and Prevent Them
Stretch marks are scars that develop from the tearing of the dermis. When skin expands at a faster-than-normal pace and cortisone, a hormone, is produced in the system, then striae called stretch marks can appear as a result. That is because the cortisone affects the skin’s elasticity and suppleness. As a result, when the skin expands and is not protected against a stretch mark, the scarring is formed.
New Stretch Marks – How to Treat Them
Stretch marks, when new, or purplish, reddish or pinkish in color, can be treated immediately with a cream, such as Retin-A. This type of cream is also used on facial scars and lines to reduce their appearance. You can also resort to laser therapy if you so choose as pulsed dye therapy promotes the growth of elastin and collagen, both which are reduced when stretch marks are present. Like Retin-A, use this type of therapy on newly formed scarring. Laser therapy is not always recommended for people with darker skins as it can cause discoloration.
A Laser Treatment Worth Considering
If you want to reduce the possibility of skin damage then, you might think about opting for fractional photothermolysis. This type of laser treatment is used to promote the growth of elastin and collagen, both which are present in skin that is protected from tearing and stretch marks. Darker-skinned individuals may experience discoloration if the laser is used. The concept of fractional photothermolysis is therefore similar to pulsed dye therapy but entails smaller skin areas. As a result, the laser lowers the risk of damage to the skin.
Use Microdermabrasion on Older Stretch Marks
If you need to remove stretch marks that are older, then it is a good idea to turn to microdermabrasion. The therapy involves using tiny crystals to reveal the new skin hiding beneath the stretch marks.
Taking Care of Discoloration
If discoloration is a problem, an excimer laser is use to stimulate the production of melanin in the skin and to ensure that the stretch marks match the skin’s color. Prescription medicines and medical procedures are not guaranteed to get rid of stretch marks and they can be pricey. That is why it is wiser to use topical applications or non-invasive therapies.
When fractional photothermolysis is used, it only targets a selected area that is damaged. The laser uses tiny-dot or pixel-like treatments of light, leaving the surrounding skin zones intact. Therefore, only a fractional amount of damage occurs form the heat of the laser light. As a result, the skin heals faster than when a more comprehensive area is treated. The untreated area also helps to fill in the damaged skin area with new cells.
The laser technology is applied with either non-ablative laser skin rejuvenation or ablative laser resurfacing, using varying wavelengths. This type of fractional approach in ablative and non-ablative therapies can be done without the usual downtime or side effects. Improvement in the appearance of stretch marks is usually seen in about 3 months’ time as this type of treatment promotes collagen remodeling and tightening of the skin.
The success of the treatment is dependent on the impact of sun exposure, ageing or gravity over time. This kind of laser treatment approach can be used on stretch marks, melasma, pigmented type lesions, such as age spots or freckles, acne scars, and for general resurfacing.
Creams with AHAs
While laser surgery serves to make striae less noticeable, creams containing AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids) help reduce the marks to a substantial degree. While creams containing AHAs do not prevent the marks, they do make them much less visible.
It is also helpful to massage the skin daily with a cream or lotion to improve the circulation and encourage the appearance of new tissue. Eat healthy foods as well to improve the overall look of the skin. Foods that contain vitamin C, E, and A are all good for smoothing and improving the look of the skin. Vitamin C is especially helpful in preventing or decreasing the look of stretch marks.
To prevent the striae, it is also helpful to maintain a weight that is healthy and not to go on fad diets. You need to eat nutritionally and maintain your weight to prevent the formation of cortisone as well. The secretion of the hormone, glucocorticoid, is one of the main reasons that stretch marks appear during pregnancy. The hormone prevents elastin and collagen fibroblasts in the skin from forming, thereby causing the skin to lose its support.
Therefore, a therapy that either remodels the collagen in the skin or promotes the production of elastin and collagen can assist in the prevention and formation of stretch mark scars. Just make sure that any topical application, if you are pregnant, can be used. Do not use Retin-A if you are pregnant and wait to have laser procedures performed after the birth of your child.