Treatment for Stretch Marks
What are stretch marks?Stretch marks (or “striae”) are caused when extreme changes in the shape of your body result in tearing of the lower layers of your skin. Skin is composed of multiple layers. The topmost layer of your skin is called the epidermis. Beneath the epidermis is the layer of skin known as the dermis. It is in the dermis where stretch marks form. Because the tearing that creates stretch marks occurs in the dermis, it does not bleed or scab like an external would, but the damage is visible in the form of stretch marks. Over time, the tears heal and form scars. This is why stretch marks appear initially as some hue of red but will fade and become white over time.
Who is Most at Risk?Although anyone can develop stretch marks at any point in their life (men and women), certain lifestyle events are more likely to result in developing them and are higher risk. These are:
- Pregnancy – More than half of all women get stretch marks while pregnant.
- Weight lifting and body building – Because rapid muscle development can lead to stretch mark scarring.
- Dieting and Weight Gain/Loss – When the body expands rapidly due to weight gain, skin must stretch to compensate for the body’s growth
Treating Your Stretch MarksWhen stretch marks are red, lasers can be highly effective at reducing the redness and stopping some of the inflammation. Lasers such as the V Beam work by reducing the redness in the stretch marks and by improving some of the inflammation causing the stretch marks in the first place.For stretch marks that are white, or if texture is more of an issue, your choices are:
- Fraxel® fractional laser therapy. This laser makes small “injuries” in the skin where the stretch marks are (about the diameter of a hair shaft) leaving normal, untreated skin in between. The untreated skin creates a response in the body that helps heal the treated area quickly, replacing it with new, healthy skin.
- The eTwo™ laser which uses radio frequency and combines gentle effective resurfacing with improved textured plus skin tightening, all with less downtime.
What causes acne scars?When acne breakouts penetrate the skin deeply, they damage the skin and the tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage.
During the healing process, the body produces collagen — a substance that gives the skin support. If the body produces too little or too much collagen, you will see a scar.
The type of scar depends on how much collagen your body makes.
Depressed acne scars: If the body produces too little collagen, depressions or pits form as the skin heals.
Raised acne scars: Sometimes the body produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin and underlying tissue. When this happens, a person develops a raised acne scar. This type of acne scar is more common in people who have skin of color like African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
As we age, acne scars often become more noticeable because our skin loses collagen. The key to effective treatment is to select the best one for each scar type. For example, a patient who has some deep scars may benefit from getting a filler, which adds volume to the skin. This may be followed by laser treatments.
Even when we do our best to prevent acne scars, some people scar. There are many treatment options, which can significantly diminish depressed and raised acne scars.
Treatments include laser treatments, minor skin surgeries, chemical peels, and fillers. These treatments can diminish acne scars that cause depressions in the skin and also safely reduce raised acne scars. Dr Reyes has been performing these treatments with great success for many years, helping clients feel better and more confident again.
- Read more about Fraxel® Dual Laser and eTwo™ Lasers for Acne Scars and Stretch Marks
Acne Scars Before Laser Treatment
Acne Scars After Laser Treatment