Stretch marks are a common complaint in Aesthetic Medicine, and affect up to 90% of patients that we see at TAHQ.
Stretch marks form in stressed skin areas that are experience continuous stretch forces within the tissue. Essentially, stretch marks are fractures of the skin and the connective tissue. As they heal, scar tissue is deposited (large amounts of collagen and elastin).
Initially as stretch marks form, they are red or purple. As they undergo the healing process over months or years, they become thinner sunken scars that are white or silver-grey.
Stretch marks affect women and men of all ages and races, and they make all patients that I see self-conscious.
The bad news is that you cannot prevent stretch marks.
Factors that contribute to stretch mark development include:
• Cortisone use. This is a very big contributing factor to stretch marks, and leaves some of the worst stretch marks that we see at TAHQ
• Exercise. Excessive exercise, exercises such as weight-lifting, all put stress onto the skin and make stretch marks more likely to develop.
• Weight gain, and sometimes weight loss.
• Growth spurts in adolescents
While stretch marks cannot be completely removed, their appearance can be substantially reduced. Ideally, treat stretch marks are soon as you are able to. This gives a better result. Old stretch marks can also be treated, but they usually take more work and more treatments.
Treatments used for stretch marks at TAHQ include combinations of:
Radio-frequency fractional ablation
Injections of Skin boosters into affected areas
Yours in Health,