Stretch marks: Why we get them and how to treat them effectively
16 Jan 2021
Stretch marks. Most people have them – yep, women and men – and if not, it might only be a matter of time. While they’re perfectly natural, not everybody appreciates them. Many would love to improve the look of them or just prevent them from occurring in the first place. Thing is, the majority of treatments out there promise the world and can’t deliver. So, what can you do improve the look of stretch marks? As it turns out, quite a bit, but first you’ve got to understand them.
Stretch marks 101
Puberty. Pregnancy. Big gains in the gym. There are lots of reasons why our skin would need to stretch and grow. Thing is, when this happens at a rapid pace, it simply can’t keep up. This causes your skin’s collagen and elastin – the things that give it it’s “stretch” – to rip and tear on a micro-level. This creates a scar that runs all the way through your skin, much like a ribbon of sinew in a piece of steak, and only a small part of it is visible on the surface.
While many will tell you prevention is better than cure, stretch marks are pretty difficult to prevent. Many women will swear that rubbing cocoa butter on their bellies when they were pregnant helped to stop the formation of stretch marks. Alas, they probably wouldn’t have got them in the first place. This is because your skin’s collagen and elastin content, as well as its integrity, is largely dictated by your genes.
A real solution for stretch marks
As we said, it’s not always possible to prevent stretch marks but there are many real solutions that can help you diminish their appearance. For example, skin needling, something that’s brilliant to help fade the look of scars, can tackle stretch marks too!
A skin needling treatment uses micro-needles to creates hundreds of tiny puncture-like wounds in your skin. This very controlled type of trauma inspires a wound-healing response in the skin. This means the creation of fresh, new collagen and elastin that repairs the damaged tissue in the dermis. The result is an often dramatic softening of the stretch mark. Still, to get results, you’d need to repeat the treatment several times as the effects are cumulative. Most people start to see results after 3 treatments and feel like they’ve made a very worthwhile improvement after 6.
Yet more ways to improve stretch marks
While skin needling treatments are the gold standard for stretch marks, don’t underestimate the power of carboxytherapy. It’s especially effective if the stretch mark is still red or purple and has yet to turn a silvery-white colour.
Carboxytherapy also involve a few needle pricks, but this is to inject carbon dioxide gas (CO2) just beneath the surface of the skin. It dramatically boosts circulation in the area, in a way that encourages the growth of fresh new collagen. If you’re dealing with a new “fresh” stretch mark, you’ll notice a big improvement within just 6 treatments.
For the record, skin needling and carboxytherapy aren’t your only in-office solutions when it comes to tackling stretch marks. Collagen-stimulating laser treatments like Laser Genesis and mesotherapy using growth factors can also deliver great results.
The bottom line
Ultimately, if you’ve got stretch marks you’d to improve the look of, don’t waste your time with oils and butters. They’ll do a great job of moisturising your skin, but aren’t going to affect the deep-seated “scar” that forms the stretch mark. Rather make an appointment to see a highly-skilled aesthetic therapist or doctor at a specialised clinic who can assess your skin’s condition and suggest the best treatment for the job. At the end of the day, stretch marks are perfectly natural, but there are lots of ways to improve their appearance so you can learn to love your skin once more.