Stretch marks are irregular lines or texture developed on the skin. Typically skin has been stretched or distended. It is a type of scarring common during or after pregnancy, sudden or extreme weight gain or loss, and rapid growth in adolescents.
The most common areas where stretch marks occur include the stomach, thighs, hips, buttocks, breasts, upper arms, and lower back.
What to notice before stretch marks appear, the skin is pink and thin. Skin may also feel irritated or itchy. They initially develop as wrinkly, raised streaks that can be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown or dark brown. The streaks fade and flatten over time.
Laser Treatments for Stretch Marks
The appearance of stretch marks can be improved with laser treatments. Two types of lasers improve the appearance of stretch marks. Ablative lasers destroy the upper layer of skin and non-ablative lasers target the underlying areas of the skin’s surface without destroying the upper layer.
Laser treatments remain the most effective non-surgical stretch mark treatment option.
The ICON 1540 Fractional Laser is the only FDA-approved laser for the treatment of stretch marks. It is reported that patients see a 20 to 60 percent improvement in the appearance of stretch marks after a few sessions.
This fractional laser delivers pulses of energy into your skin triggering cells to release all the chemicals they need to create new collagen in the area. This allows the body’s natural healing process to take over which improves the overall appearance of stretch marks.
Some stretch marks may resolve quickly, with as few as 3 laser treatments, typically the process may take from 3 to 8 treatment sessions.
The Best Way to Prevent Stretch Marks
The best way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks are the following:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid yo-yo dieting.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Consuming a suitable amount of vitamins A and C can help support the skin, as well as the minerals zinc and silicon.
- Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
Stretch marks can be an aesthetic concern, but are common. To help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, its important to keep a healthy lifestyle and to avoid sudden weight gain or loss.