Stretch marks may be caused by pregnancy, intensive hormonal activity or rapid weight gain. There are a few treatment options available to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but these cannot be completely removed, unless the affected skin is removed. Lasers, lotions or plastic surgery are the main options for patients with stretch marks.
Presently, only plastic surgery can remove the stretch marks. The surgery involves removing the skin affected by stretch marks. The stretch marks are more commonly seen on areas such as the stomach, buttocks, thighs or upper arms. Plastic surgeries such as thigh lifts, arm surgeries or tummy tucks can remove the skin affected by stretch marks.
However, these plastic surgeries may cause scars and these may also be unaesthetic. However, the plastic surgeon can arrange so that these scars will be located in less visible areas. In addition to removing the stretch marks, these plastic surgery procedures will also remove excess skin and fat.
Laser treatment may be applied for red or white stretch marks. The stretch marks are red when they start to develop and in time, they become white. There are numerous laser treatments for stretch marks. The most popular treatment for red stretch marks include the pulsed dye laser, but skin resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel repair can also be used and give successful results.
The white stretch marks can be reduced with fractional laser therapy, such as Fraxel or Affirm. The treatments focus on reducing the appearance of the stretch marks and reduce the inflammation. The laser beams will also stimulate the collagen inside the skin, which is responsible for the skin’s regeneration and maintain its elasticity.
Elastin will also be secreted as a consequence of laser treatments, and this substance improves the texture and look of the skin. The laser treatments used will have minimal downtime (i.e. up to 5 days) and may have some temporary side effects such as swelling, redness, skin flakiness or hyperpigmentation.
Stretch Mark Lotions
There are numerous stretch marks creams and lotions that can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These skin products may be effective to reduce the appearance of red stretch marks, but may not help greatly with white stretch marks.
These skin creams and lotions may contain the coenzyme Q10, elastin or other collagen stimulants. The creams may improve the texture and elasticity of the skin and can also reduce the visibility of red stretch marks. However, not all commercial products have the promised results. Testing these products is recommended prior to starting a treatment.
The treatment with skin products to reduce stretch marks can take a few months, and the creams should be applied on a regular basis (i.e. at least once per day) to be effective. These creams and lotions are best if used preventatively. If the patient is pregnant or is constantly gaining weight, she can prevent the occurrence of stretch marks by using creams or lotions that contain alpha-hydroxy acids or retinoid solutions.