Stretchmarks. They are a common complaint that we hear about from patients who come in for a consultation at Beverly hills Plastic Surgery Group, from both men and women alike. So what causes them, and how can they best be addressed?
The medical term for stretch marks is called “striae”. Stretch marks typically appear after rapid weight gain or loss. Stretch marks are most common for women during pregnancy, and both men and women in the teen years. This is when growth spurts and levels of steroid hormones are increased which cause considerable changes throughout the body. Stretch marks can also be caused by obesity and weight lifting, or rapidly increased muscle gain. Genetic factors seem to play a role for susceptibility of stretch marks, but the basic cause of stretch marks is unknown.
How can I prevent stretch marks?
Avoiding rapid weight gain or loss is just a start. For women who are pregnant, or those (both men and women) experiencing hormone changes in the teen years, should moisturize their skin. Skin becomes more elastic and easier to stretch, with less injury to the skin’s collagen fibers, when it’s well hydrated.
How to get rid of stretch marks?
The appearance of stretch marks depends on the color of your skin; they can start out pink, reddish brown, brown, or dark brown, and fade over time to a more silvery color. Once stretch marks have appeared, it’s essential to treat them as early as possible. Research has focused exclusively on the early stages of stretch marks, when they are still red or purple and most readily respond to treatment, such as lasers and topical treatments such as: Glycolic acid, Vitamin C, Peptide-containing products, and Retinoids.
Laser treatment: Lasers promote production of healthy, new collagen, which has been damaged when stretch marks appear. For red and purple marks, a vascular laser, such as a “V-Beam laser” might work best to target swollen and inflamed blood vessels and helps with skin cell and collagen production. On average, treatments require three to six sessions at an average cost of $450 per session. Thought vascular lasers won’t treat the superficial ski, it may take away the stretch marks’ redness.
Another laser that may help minimize older and deeper stretch marks is a fractionated laser, (Co2 Fractionated Laser) which targets grid-like patterns, (“fractions”) of the skin, which can potentially make stretch marks less distinct.
Can I cut them out with Surgery?
Yes! Most certainly! Especially for those (both men and women) who have stretch marks located on their abdomen. An Abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a “Tummy Tuck”, can help to cut away lose and damaged skin located on the abdomen. Perhaps not ALL stretch marks located on the abdomen can be cut out, this is all dependent on how far up the stretch marks reach on the abdomen, and how much skin can be cut away. Same can be said when performing a surgical Arm Lift, Thigh Lift, Breast Lift, Lower Body Lift. Typically, patients are most satisfied by these treatment above any other, (such as topical treatments and lasers) because the stretch marks in these areas are physically removed, rather than just lightened or less visible-AND the contour of these areas are usually dramatically improved .
Though there might not be an EXACT and ABSOLUTE resolution for removing or repairing stretch marks entirely, with the collaboration of Beauty, Science, and Medicine, we are sure to see advancements in the near future!
To see what can be done to best treat your stretch marks, call us today for your personalized consultation!!! Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group: 310.853.5147