Dealing with stretch marks? Here’s what you need to know
Did you know not all stretch marks are the same? Stretch marks can vary in size, shape, color, and texture depending on a person’s individual characteristics. Some people may have more prominent stretch marks than others, while some may not have any at all. Stretch marks can also occur in different parts of the body depending on factors such as age, gender, genetics, and lifestyle.
There are three main types of stretch marks:
- Striae Rubra: These are red or purple lines that appear on the skin due to rapid stretching, and are also known as red stretch marks, are a type of scarring on the skin caused by rapid stretching of the skin. These marks are typically red, purple or pink in color and can appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs. They usually appear after puberty or during pregnancy. They can also occur due to significant weight gain or loss.
- Striae Alba: These are white lines, also known as white stretch marks, that occur over time due to the gradual stretching of the skin. They are white, parallel, elongated lines or streaks that develop on the surface of the skin as a result of stretching or contracting. They are commonly seen on the abdomen, breasts, hips, lower back, and upper thighs.
- Striae Gravidarum: These are pink lines that appear during pregnancy due to the rapid stretching of the skin. These pink lines usually appear in the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and thighs. They can occur as early as the second trimester of pregnancy and may stay after the pregnancy has ended. While they are not usually a cause for concern, they can be itchy and uncomfortable. It is important to keep the skin moisturized and to avoid scratching the area. Treatment options are available to reduce the appearance of these lines, including laser treatments and topical creams.
Stretch marks may fade over time, but there is no guaranteed way to completely remove them. There are however laser treatment options available that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but results may vary.
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#1 VBEAM PERFECTA LASER
Vbeam Perfecta is a pulsed dye vascular laser that is beneficial in treating red or fresh stretch marks. This procedure is quite comfortable and does not require any recovery time. Generally, patients experience mild redness and minimal localized swelling that goes away within a day. It is ideal to repeat the treatment every month. In more serious cases, Vbeam Perfecta may be combined with other lasers, such as the Fraxel.
#2 FRAXEL LASER
Fraxel is a highly successful treatment for stretch marks. It works by stimulating collagen and elastin production while simultaneously resurfacing up to 20% of the skin’s surface to get rid of damaged tissue. With repeated Fraxel treatments, the texture, size, and depth of the stretch marks can be improved. For red stretch marks, the Vbeam Perfecta laser should be used in conjunction with Fraxel.
#3 SMARTX MICRORESURFACING
SmartX Resurfacing is a cutting-edge treatment that utilizes fractional CO2 technology to target stretch marks. It is also one of the most powerful lasers for skin tightening. This revolutionary approach resurfaces the skin in tiny fractions, allowing for maximum results with minimal downtime. Collagen and elastin production is stimulated intensely to tighten the skin, leaving it smooth and free of marks.