There are a number of causes that a person may start to see stretch marks. The primary cause in woman is Pregnancy while their skin is being physically stretched, but hormonal factors may also be an aspect . Men can also see stretch marks when they gain or lose weight very quickly. Children during growth spurts and puberty may see the signs of the body changing. Steroid use, in any form can affect the skin and stretch marks can form. There are conditions and diseases that can cause extensive stretch marks namely Cushing’s syndrome and adrenal gland diseases. Since stretch mark is hereditary other hereditary conditions like Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome will also cause stretch marks.
The appearance can differ depending on skin color. They start looking pinkish, reddish brown, brown, or dark brown and gradually changing to a more silvery shade.
It is important you contact our offices as soon as you see the stretch marks treating the stretch marks when they are in the early stages, when they look pink or red. Effective treatment of stretch marks usually occurs in the early stages. As they develop they can form deep indentations and treatment at this stage is difficult but can produce good results. Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure to similarly encourage the skin to grow with new collagen and improve the area with new skin growth. You may be prescribed a cream to treat the marks.
A study released in Dermatologic surgery, an industry journal, showed radio frequency combined with pulse dye laser treatment produced good results. Pulse dye laser also proved to be particularly effective with patients who had darker skin.
Stretch marks in the lower abdomen or the lower tummy area can benefit from a tummy tuck. The surgical procedure removes the skin below the navel where stretch marks usually occur leaving the skin tight and smooth.
Fractional Laser resurfacing is a new treatment. It uses a process where scattered pulses of light go over the affected area. Only a fraction of the scar is exposed to the laser over the course of several treatments. The laser makes microscopic wounds and the body heals those wounds with new collagen improving the skins appearance. A study showed after a small amount of treatment there was a 75% improved in the affected area.
It seems that this improved laser technique is the future and the effects where published in a recent study published the Journal of Dermatological. A controlled group of seventeen females with stretch marks had a six week long treatment. After the treatment they studied the effects. After one week 38% of the girls had experience up to a 50% improvement while 11.8% had experience up to a 75% improvement. The long term effects where even more encouraging, after 6 weeks following the treatment 26.5% had seen up to 75% improvement and only 5.9% had seen less that 75%. Everyone had a remarkable improvement overall.
Patients should feel comfortable to speak to me or one of my team to discuss the best options to treat their stretch marks.