What are stretch marks? Stretch marks, also known as “Striae” are a result of stretching of the skin. When the skin stretches beyond a certain limit it causes tearing of the dermis, resulting in what we call stretch marks. It may be white, red, or purple in color and may appear on the areas of breast, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, upper arms etc. These marks may fade over time but may not disappear completely.
It is common after pregnancy, although other factors such as weight changes, hormonal disbalance, and medication effects may also lead to the same. Deficiency of certain nutrients, genetic factors, natural growth in adolescent boys & girls or a sudden change in physical & environmental factors may also develop stretch marks. Moreover, diseases like Cushing’s syndrome and adrenal gland may also lead to this condition.
Stretch marks may differ in appearance depending on the causes associated with the scarring and the skin type. Generally, the following signs may depict a stretch mark: –
- lines in the skin
- multiple steaks of either pink, red or purple around the abdomen area and upper arms.
- streaks growing on the skin due to genetic factors.
Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks
Laser treatment is one of the most effective popular technique accepted by the majority of people to get rid of their stretch marks. The following are the laser therapies used:
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Laser): It uses a powerful laser beam that removes the damaged skin with the heat coming from the laser beams. Further, it stimulates new collagen. It works well for young and new stretch marks as compared to the older ones. It helps in altering the skin color on the darker tones.
- Fractional CO2 Laser:- This is a comparatively more effective treatment. It uses fractional laser light which directly targets the stretch marks. The skin area absorbs the light energy and facilitates production of new collagen as it triggers the fibroblasts. It makes the skin area firm, lighter in color, tight and resilient. It can show great effects in just 3-4 sessions. Along with healthy results, it also ensures non-occurrence of the marks. You must always undergo the treatment in the guidance of expert cosmetic gynecologist
Laser Treatment vs Conventional Treatments
Laser treatments are getting more acceptance than the conventional treatments which include radio-frequency therapies, chemical peels, topical creams & gels etc. However, laser treatments are found to be more effective due to the following reasons: –
- Quick and improvement visible in a few sessions
- Non-surgical, thus non-invasive and painless treatment
- The patient can resume working after the session
- Approved by FDA in 2002
- Sessions are comfortable and easy
- minimal to no side-effects
- Quality for money
- Effects sustain longer
Following a few habits and a good lifestyle can help you prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. Some remarkable tips are:
- A healthy diet with more fiber
- Including exercise in your daily routine
- Using body lotions and topical creams
- Ingredients such as cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil or glycol acid may help for existing marks
Stretch marks should not be ignored as it may turn chronic with time. Having a no-marks skin will boost your overall confidence and make you feel comfortable in your skin.