Stretch Marks or Striae are indented discolored streaks on skin that can appear anywhere on the body, namely the abdomen, flanks, back, hips, buttocks, thighs, arms, underarms, and breasts. They are usually pink, purple or red in the beginning, but their coloring usually become lighter and grayer as time passes, although the usually do not completely fade away.
Stretch Marks are essentially scars formed in the dermis of the skin. Dermis is the middle layer of the skin which is primarily formed of connective tissue and it is rich in collagen, elastin, and other components of extra-cellular matrix that support the skin tightness and make it resilient against being stretched and torn apart. Stretch Marks are caused when the skin undergoes too much stretching during a relatively short period of time, resulting in microscopic tears in the dermis, which are subsequently “repaired” by the scar tissue, leaving behind the visible streaks.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
The conditions causing Stretch Marks are commonly seen in pregnancy as the body (and the skin) is trying to quickly adapt to the growing size of the uterus particularly during the final months of pregnancy, but Stretch Marks can occur in anyone and in the absence of pregnancy. Any conditions associated with rapid stretching of the skin – for example, rapid changes in weight – as well as hormonal changes and genetic factors all can result in Stretch Marks or make them worse. It is important to remember that a healthy and firm skin with adequate collagen and elastin support network is often able to demonstrate more resistance against the stretching forces, and hence it can be less prone to develop Stretch Marks. Protecting the skin from environmental damage and improving its health by various rejuvenating treatments can be effective preventive measures.
How Can Stretch Marks Be Treated?
Since the underlying cause of the Stretch Marks lies in the inner layers of the skins and the scar tissues formed there, Stretch Marks can be difficult to treat and remove by conventional methods and skin creams acting on the surface alone. Fortunately, special laser treatments can be very effective in improving the Stretch Marks. Your doctors at Amoderm can provide an effective combination of treatments including Laser Skin Resurfacing, CO2 Fractional Laser and topical creams to stimulate new collagen production and improve the scar tissues at the site of Stretch Marks in addition to improving the color of the skin at the affected sites.
Amoderm offers a complete treatment package for Stretch Mark removal which starts by application of a specifically-formulated prep cream for a few days prior to the laser treatment which prepares the skin for maximum effectiveness of laser treatment. During the treatment sessions, your experienced doctors at Amoderm apply special medical lasers on the Stretch Marks to resurface the skin, improve the color, and stimulate formation of new collagen as part of the healing process which ultimately improves the Stretch Marks. For some patients especially those with excessive fat tissues underneath the skin or those with cellulite, your doctor at Amoderm may also combine radiofrequency and magnetic pulse therapy for additional skin tightening and better results.
Although complete removal of the stretch marks remains a challenge, a series of laser treatments can largely reduce red and white Stretch Marks and improve the texture of the affected skin area, making the Stretch Marks barely noticeable. The best results are usually achieved with a series of 3 sessions of laser treatments, following application of the prescribed creams as instructed by your doctor at Amoderm.