We get them, we hate them and we constantly think why me, but can stretch marks be removed?
What are stretch marks and why do they happen?
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches, or shrinks, too quickly. According to Dr. J. Mark Jackson, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin in your skin to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks can appear. You may notice stretch marks first appear red, purple, pink, or dark brown in color depending on your skin color. Earlier stretch marks may also feel slightly raised and itchy.”
Who is at risk for stretch marks?
Not everyone develops stretch marks. Hormone levels and family genetics can increase your chances of stretch marks. If you do develop stretch marks it commonly happens during:
- Growth spurts (puberty)
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Certain medications
- Weight training from rapid muscle growth
Can stretch marks be removed?
Most people question how they can possibly get rid of stretch marks. Unfortunately, like any scar, stretch marks are permanent, but there are treatments that make them less noticeable. According to Dr. Jackson, “If you plan to try an at-home cream, lotion or gels to fade stretch marks know that no single treatment works for everyone and following the below instructions may help reduce their appearance”:
- Use the product on early stretch marks since this type of treatment has little effect on mature stretch marks
- Massage the product into your skin can make it more effective
- Apply the product daily for 6-8 weeks before determining if the therapy is working.
- Apply self-tanner to camouflage stretch marks – note it does not get rid of them just masks them
Board-certified dermatologists are also able to provide treatment options to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. After a consultation with your dermatologist, he or she will determine what treatment will work best for your stretch marks. Some options may include chemical peels, laser therapy, microdermabrasion and microneedling combined with PRP therapy. Costs for each of these treatments will vary on the number of treatments needed and the type of treatment you go with.
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all stages and ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a dermatologist near you today.