Stretch Marks, which are called as striae in medical language are lines or streaks on the skin. They can be pink, purple or white in colour depending on their age. They occur when the skin is suddenly stretched and are extremely common.
Causes of stretch marks
- Pregnancy: Most pregnant women develop stretch marks by the end of their pregnancy. The physical stretching of the skin due to growing belly, along with hormonal factors lead to pregnancy stretch marks.
- Weight gain: Stretch marks sometimes occur due to substantial weight gain.
- Adolescents may notice stretch marks during growth spurts.
- Medication use: Corticosteroid creams, lotions and pills, and chronic use of oral or systemic steroids can cause stretch marks.
- Conditions or diseases: Cushing’s syndrome and adrenal gland diseases can cause widespread stretch marks, as can Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and other hereditary (genetic) disorders.
The most common areas affected include: Abdomen, Breast, Hips, Flanks, Buttocks and Thighs
Stretch marks are not physically dangerous but can cause problems with self-image and anxiety. For some people, stretch marks are a significant cosmetic concern that can affect day-to-day living.
Treatments for Stretch Marks
All stretch mark reduction treatments are nonsurgical without any risk or side effects. It requires multiple sessions which are completed in around 30 mins. There is no downtime and you can resume work immediately after the completion of treatment to remove stretch marks.
Most common treatments for stretch marks include:
Pulsed dye laser therapy
Used at wavelengths of light that are non wounding (non ablative), this type of laser therapy remodels underlying skin (dermis) by stimulating the growth of collagen and elastin. Pulsed dye laser therapy works best when stretch marks are new, but it may still be effective on older stretch marks. This type of treatment may alter skin color on darker skin tones.
Fractional CO2 laser
Fractional CO2 Laser is a revolutionary laser treatment that can fully remove your stretch marks and produce new, healthy skin. This treatment works best when the stretch marks are still red. With fractional CO2 laser treatment your stretch marks will be completely removed within 3-4 sessions. The recovery is almost immediate as no down time is required.
Combining two laser treatments
You can improve your results by combining another form of laser after fractional laser like pulsed dye laser to get rid of the red pigment or whatever else your skin might need. Instead, it depends on what’s going on with your skin.
Microdermabrasion for stretch marks
In this treatment your skin is gently abraded or polishes by spraying micro crystals on your skin. These crystals are sprayed on the skin with the help of a handheld device. Then, a vacuum tube removes the crystals and skin cells. With the help of microdermabrasion topmost layer of skin is gently removed, which may result in new skin growth that is more elastic. The skin heals only in 24 hours. This therapy is an option for older stretch marks. You will need to repeat the procedure several times to see good results.
Skin needling is also known as micro-needling therapy or collagen induction therapy. In this procedure with a help of micro needling device like dermaroller controlled skin injury is created. Due to this neovascularization and neocollagenesis appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is greatly reduced. This process of healing and collagen formation continues for 40 days after needling so the procedure can be repeated after that. Using derma rollers too often does not give any better results.
Tummy tuck for stretch marks on lower abdomen
Tummy tuck also known as abdominoplasty is the most effective procedure for stretch marks on lower abdomen with saggy skin. Tummy tuck tightens the abdominal muscles and removes excess skin under the naval region. It can remove all stretch marks and saggy skin in the lower abdominal region.
Laser stretch mark removal cost:
The cost for removal of stretch marks depends upon the treatment that is suitable for you and the area that needs to be treated.