How to Remove stretch Marks
Let’s see together what stretch marks are and if it is possible to remove them.
Notes on stretch marks
- They are the result of stretching of the skin which can be more or less rapid.
- Weight gain during adolescence or pregnancy is an example.
- But they can also be present with obesity or during the use of corticosteroids.
- Stretch marks represent an alteration at the dermal level, just below the epidermis.
- They are often compared to scars in which the epidermis is also involved in the lesion.
- In the case of stretch marks, the epidermis, although thin, is intact.
- Histological studies of stretch marks show a reduced presence of the elastic fibers and collagen that make the dermis appear atrophic. A dermis therefore weaker and unable to sustain important tensions.
Do they have a gender preference?
- Although men are also affected, they are more frequent in women.
- They can start already with the weight gains that sometimes characterize adolescence.
- Or, very commonly, during a pregnancy.
- Since some women are not affected, it follows that at the base it is likely that there is also some form of genetic predisposition, not better defined at the moment.
- However, they are also found in men, in particular in some situations: steroid hormonal alterations (resulting from diseases or induced by the use of drugs) or as a result of skin strains generated by significant weight gain.
Where they appear
The areas where they are most frequently found are for women:
- The abdomen and breasts are typically related to pregnancy.
- Thighs, buttocks, and arms especially during adolescence
For men :
- Chest and shoulders more often in obesity situations.
- Hips and back, especially in the lower part, are typical areas of adolescence.
At what age do they appear?
- The age varies according to when the stressful conditions for the predisposed skin occur.
- Therefore they can begin to show up during adolescence.
- Or later, between the ages of 20 and 40, as in the case of a pregnancy.
- Or if there is a significant increase in body volume, due to adipose accumulation or significant increases in muscle mass (typically bodybuilders being treated with steroid hormones).
Can stretch marks be removed?
In the current state of knowledge, there is no medical treatment that can be said to be able to remove stretch marks completely. However, there are therapeutic approaches or preventive measures that can limit their formation or reduce their visibility.
Often based on retinoic, ascorbic, and glycolic acids, they are effective in the initial phase of the formation of stretch marks, managing to limit their extension. They do not affect those already formed instead.
Various studies show how the fractional non-ablative laser acts mainly on the dermis, favoring and stimulating the reproduction of collagen and elastin, as well as the epidermal thickness. At the moment it seems to be the single treatment that can give the most evident improvements although not able to eliminate the visibility of the stretch mark.
Peeling e dermabrasion
They are also used for this purpose. Their function is to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers. However, both do not appear to be as effective as the laser.
Surgical excision of the involved area
This is a very aggressive approach as it would leave visible scars. Therefore not to be recommended in general, with one exception.
The only real effective application of this approach is found in abdominoplasty following pregnancies that have caused stretch marks in the lower abdomen, below the navel. In this case, the stretch marks would be completely (or almost) localized on the skin which is removed in any case. This is the only situation in which cosmetic surgery allows you to remove stretch marks when limited to a specific area of the body.
- Established the predisposition to form stretch marks on which, to date, we can do little, there is always a way to optimize what is their potential by nourishing the skin with a diet rich in protective and antioxidant principles capable of slowing down the demolition of fibers elastic and collagen.
- A diet is therefore rich in vitamins A, C, and E, minerals such as zinc, and antioxidants of which vegetables are rich as well as adequate hydration.
- Avoid weakening skin tone and elasticity with smoking and excessive sun exposure
- Moisturizing creams capable of providing the principles just mentioned are also of important help if applied every day.
Stretch marks can be a real nightmare for those affected.
It is important to help your skin by playing in advance. Having said that, however, aesthetic medicine is not yet able to remove them completely. Although significant improvements are achievable. The laser at the moment seems to be the one capable of giving the most consistent results.
To discuss your case and the most suitable solutions for you, contact us, and we will be able to help you.