Stretch marks are the result of damage that occurs to the skin when it is stretched due to rapid growth, pregnancy or weight gain. Teenagers often suffer but so do bodybuilders who put on muscle bulk during exercise regimes. The rapid stretching causes the middle layer of the skin known as the dermis to tear, and deeper skin layers show through. Stretch marks are therefore like scars in the middle layer of your skin. Initially stretch marks appear red due to blood vessels under the dermis becoming visible. Over time, the red appearance reduces and the marks become a silvery colour.
Stretch marks often appear more visible when weight is lost as the fatty tissue in the skin often makes the problem less visible. Around 80% of women develop stretch marks in pregnancy, the appearance often can improve naturally over time.
Some people are more susceptible than others to stretch marks. They occur in both women and men of all races and skin types. Steroid therapy, and a family history of stretch marks increases your risk. Some people never develop any stretch marks, despite being exposed to excessive skin stretching. Those who do suffer can understandably feel self-conscious about their bodies, which can lead to anxiety and low of self-esteem. Swimming and exposing the skin whilst on holiday can be awkward too.
Stretch marks are difficult to treat, no one treatment can cure and get rid of them but they can be improved so the visible appearance is reduced.
At Cheshire Lasers we use the following treatments to improve the appearance of stretch marks:
- RioBlush CarboxyTherapy
- RRS Mesotherapy
- Retinol, Retin A, Tretinoin or Vitamin A Derivative topical products.
IPL Red vein reduction can also be used to treat the redness.
Different people respond to different treatments, for severe stretch marks a combination of treatments is the best option.
Other treatments that may also help stretch marks include:
Pulsed dye laser treatment is one type of laser treatment available. It can be used at an early stage, while your stretch marks are still red or purple.
Cosmetic camouflage (make-up) is available over-the-counter at pharmacies. It can be used for small areas of skin affected by stretch marks. Some types are waterproof and can last two to three days.
Cosmetic surgery for stretch marks is expensive and rarely recommended.
Mesotherapy treats stretch marks with a cocktail of ingredients that occur naturally in the body in order to promote healing and rejuvenation of the skin. The main ingredients are fibroblast growth factors, which heals and repairs the skin, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamin C and flavonoids which help the skin to rejuvenate.
These ingredients are already present in the body and so further injection just stimulates their actions as opposed to introducing foreign chemicals. One of the most important ingredients used is Silica. This is a mineral that naturally works in the body to correct tissue problems, including scar tissue and help strengthen its collagen fibres.
Treatments are generally recommended every 2 weeks, a course of six treatments are generally required.
There is no skin preparation required for stretch mark treatment.
The objective with skin needling is to induce tiny pinprick injuries to the skin.These intentional ‘injuries’ induce thousands of tiny, controlled wound-healing responses. The bleeding induced brings various cellular actions including stimulating fibroblast activity and activating skin growth factors. This is the same response the skin makes to an injury and instigates the formation of new skin, collagen production and tissue remodeling.
To have a real effect on stretch marks the microneedle or roller would need to have needles of between 1.5 mm to 2.5mm long to penetrate into the scar tissue of the stretch mark! This is much longer than a home use roller which are typically 0.2mm to 0.5mm long.
A local anaesthetic cream is required for this treatment as needles of more than 0.3mm / 0.5mm long will reach the nerve endings in the skin and are therefore painful!
This collagen formation helps to smooth and fill in a stretch mark.
Several treatments would be needed depending upon the age and depth of the stretch marks.
How many Microneedling treatments will I need ?
Treatments are generally recommended every 6 weeks, a course of three or more treatments are generally required.
Carboxytherapy involves superficially injecting tiny amounts of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) directly into the stretch mark with a tiny needle. The injected medical CO2 gas makes your skin ‘think’ there is an oxygen deficit and it responds by increasing blood flow to the skin and regeneration of tiny blood vessels in the skin. This will with time allow more oxygen and nutrients to reach the skin, which leads to improved elasticity, skin regeneration and tissue remodeling.
Carboxy is most effective on newer stretch marks which are still red. These are treated once a week for two to three weeks. Old stretch marks need 5 to 10 treatments at three weekly intervals.
Tretinoin and Vitamin A Derivatives
Tretinoin is often called by its brand name Retin-A. It is a prescription only treatment which should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. It can cause side effects such as redness and peeling.
Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol can be used as they cause less side effects and a prescription is not needed, however they need to be used in high enough doses to have an effect.
Tretinoin can get through the upper layer of skin and rebuild collagen, which explains how it improves stretch marks for some people. Its benefits appear to be strongest when used on new stretch marks, so early treatment is recommended. Once the marks have faded to white or silver, tretinoin may not be beneficial.
The ZO’s Oraser Body Emulsion Plus is the best body product available without a prescription. With ingredients like retinol, ceramides and emollients, it prevents moisture loss and allows your skin to regain its youthful appearance, texture and tone. Plus, the formulation contains an antioxidant-rich complex with lactic acid to soften rough patches. The Body Emulsion Plus works to perfectly exfoliate, hydrate and nourish for revived and smoother looking skin.
only £1200 saving you £600
Subject to availability, with Dr Priyanka Vaidya
|Stretch Marks before treatment||After 8 Rioblush CarboxyTherapy Treatments.|