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What Really Works for Stretch Mark Removal?

Posted on July 18, 2014 by - Laser Therapies, Stretch Mark Removal

There’s no denying the fact that stretch marks are the bane of a lot of people’s existence. For most men and women, stretch marks are a major source of embarrassment which in turn hinders them from enjoying life to the fullest — from meeting new friends at a pool party or wearing tank tops to make themselves look more attractive.

Here at our San Diego cosmetic surgery practice, it’s not uncommon for women who just gave birth or for individuals who just lose a significant amount of weight to seek cosmetic solutions for the appearance of stretch marks. Every so often, these patients have tried almost everything out there (mostly topical creams) to make their stretch marks fully disappear but to no avail.

Understanding Why Stretch Marks Appear

Generally, the skin has 3 layers: epidermis (the outermost covering), dermis (underneath the epidermis), and the hypodermis (where majority of the body fat is stored). When the dermis is stretched for a long period of time such as during pregnancy or being overweight, a breakdown of collagen fibers in the skin occurs alongside inflammation. Due to the inflammatory process, the blood vessels in the area will dilate, giving way to the typical red or purple color of stretch marks. Once the skin shrinks back (after childbirth or massive weight loss), the inflammation subsides which in turn makes the stretch mark appear white.

In addition, there are also experts suggesting that stretch marks may be a result of hormonal shifts during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. This could explain why people who are currently taking corticosteroids (when the body is stimulated to produce extra cortisone) or having issues with their adrenal glands also experience stretch marks at one point. Lastly, genetics is also thought to influence the appearance of stretch marks.

Do Stretch Marks Fully Disappear?

Bright red stretch marks that have only developed for a few weeks are completely reversible. However, it’s not uncommon for patients to seek stretch mark treatment once months to years after its development which makes the stretch mark difficult to remove with creams or lotions that promise complete removal.

So what really works for stretch marks?

As of the moment, there is no known topical cream, whether sold via over-the-counter or through prescriptions,  that has been proven to work effectively for stretch marks. The good news is that there are clinical procedures such as laser treatments (intense pulse light device, V-beam laser) that work really well in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

If you’d like to learn more about stretch mark removal in San Diego, we encourage  you to get in touch with us for a personal consultation. Get in touch with us by calling 858-633-7546 or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to your visit!