Brief Outline of Stretch Marks
By definition they are red and white streaks that appear on the skin. While they seem to be affecting the top most layer of the skin, stretch marks stem from dermis where collagen synthesis takes place. Stretch marks in women seem to be a part of bodily changes and development specifically growth spurts and hormonal disparities – pregnancy, gaining weight, adolescence, breast-feeding. While these can be an acceptable normal thing for many, these abnormal streaks seen on the skin may not be very aesthetic to some eyes.
Stretch Marks and the Dermis Skin Layer
As mentioned, the root problem of stretch marks is the dermis layer of the skin. The dermis is a very sensitive part of the skin. It contains some of the flexible tissues in the body, but when these tissues are stretched, the skin breaks and scars begin to form. Stated from one source, getting stretch marks are signs of distress and can be caused by sudden changes of weight. They are more commonly found in thighs, butt, abdomen and arms.
Stretch Mark Removal Methods
There are many known methods of treatment of removal of these scars. Most of them are available as over-the-counter creams, oils and lotions. While these can help them fade away, stretch marks are very hard to disperse especially the white ones. Among the most effective ways of stretch removal surgeries are laser surgery, chemical peels and abdominoplasty.
Overview of Laser Surgery
Laser surgery is a type of cosmetic procedure to get rid of unwanted stretch marks, or at any rate lessen their appearances. The success of laser surgery is subject to the severity of the lesions and the body part affected. This stretch mark removal surgery works by penetrating down to the dermis tissue to promote the healing process. Laser therapy, by far, is the most effective stretch mark removal surgery however there are two types.
Pulsed Dye Laser – referred to as Vascular Laser
This type of treatment has the ability to reduce at least the initial redness, but it is advisable to have this done when the stretch marks are still quite new, meaning that they have not yet turned silver in color. There are some things to know about this type of surgery.
- First and foremost it is not by any means effective for women who have a darker color skin. Similar to the process involved in laser hair removal the advantages are greater when there is a significant disparity between the actual scar and the skin pigmentation.
- Secondly, it is not a treatment that can be carried out in just one session. You will need to have between 3 – 6 sessions for it to be effect.
- Thirdly, this alternatively is not the cheapest option available to remove stretch marks. Each treatment can cost approximately $400 upwards, but this is obviously dependent upon where you are planning to have the treatment. If you are planning to undergo this treatment, it is a good idea to speak to several places to find out exactly how much each session will cost before you make a commitment.
Fractional Laser Treatment – More Popularly known as Laser Resurfacing.
This option for treatment is for the slightly older stretch marks that have been there for some time and have turned silver in color but are not yet indented. This type of treatment is focused mainly on small areas of the skin/stretch marks. When the treatment is in progress, the laser is directed towards the edge of the scars thereby smoothing over the skins surface. A few things you need to know about this procedure.
There is the potential for side effects with this form of laser procedure.
- The first is potential scarring and the second is Hyperpigmentation. The pigmentation is similar to that of sunburn when we have not applied sun tan cream to our bodies whilst sunbathing.
- This treatment is extensively more costly than that of vascular laser in that each individual treatment can cost approximately $1,000.
There are however, other cheaper alternatives that can be quite effective for getting rid of skin scars
This has been quite a popular treatment across the US for quite some years. The utilization of chemical peels is one other way of stretch mark removal. It basically involves the destruction of the epidermis and dermis to which in turn ensures more collagen production. Thereby, a new layer of skin develops after the process of chemical peeling giving way to a smoother skin.
Overview on Abdominoplasty
Popularly known as a “tummy tuck”, Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic removal for stretch marks on the abdomen. During the procedure, the skin affected by the most striae is cut away and the remaining skin edges are stitched back together.
Having reviewed a few of the procedures, for anyone suffering with stretch marks on their body can really be quite frustrating. For many women, in particular, there is a certain acceptance of the presence of these skin streaks, although it is one harsh reality. The truth of the matter is that it is extremely tough to prevent these red and white streaks from occurring on your skin. If you have plenty of money, stretch mark removal surgeries are probably your first thought. For many however, they just don’t have that kind of money just waiting to be spent.
All is not lost! Following these simple guidelines may help to reduce the signs and symptoms.
- Drinking plenty of water for re-hydration of the skin.
- Eating the right foods and keeping proper nutrition.
- Applying lotion and creams, more particularly the ones intended for stretch marks.
- Undertake regular exercise.
- Moisturize your skin every day.
- Use products that contain Cocoa Butter, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
- Manage and uphold a healthy weight.
- Don’t fly head long into a heavy exercise regimen, do it gradually. Abrupt weight loss causes stretch marks too!