Stretch marks – distressing and disfiguring scars!

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What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, is a type of scarring of the skin.

Stretch marks are typically found on areas of the skin which has expanded too quickly or for a prolonged period. Although our skin is fairly elastic, when it is overstretched, the normal function and production of collagen (major protein that makes up connective tissue in skin) and elastin (protein enabling skin to stretch and bounce back) are disrupted.

The result is broken collagen and elastin fibres, resulting in thin, atrophic, poor quality, hypopigmented skin.

They are seen most commonly over the tummy area, but can also appear almost anywhere else on the body including the thighs, buttocks, arms, hips and lower back.

Common causes of stretch marks:

  1. Pregnancy (75-90% of pregnant ladies develop stretch marks)
  2. Rapid weight change
  3. Breastfeeding causing stretch marks over breast
  4. Rapid muscle gain in body builders
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Who is more susceptible to getting stretch marks?

  1. Female
  2. Genetics, family history
  3. Pregnant, especially if you are young
  4. Breast augmentation surgery
  5. Corticosteroids users

Treatment of stretch marks

Since stretch marks are atrophic scars, treatments targeting stretch marks should stimulate collagen and elastin production, improve wrinkling and tighten and firm up the skin.

These are in-clinic treatments proven to show good results:

Retinoid cream

  • Derived from Vitamin A, retinoids – such as tretinoin (Retin- A, Stieva- A)
  • Studies have reported these creams do improve stretch marks by stimulating collagen production
  • Unsafe for pregnancy. May cause skin irritation

PicoSure focus

  • Uses pico laser technology to stimulate collagen and elastin production, resulting in thicker, tighter skin

Tempsure

  • Uses RF monopolar technology to generate heat around 39-44 degrees to generate new collagen production, thus tightening and firming the skin. It can also reduce the appearance of cellulite

Potenza

  • Radiofrequency microneedling treatment
  • Uses ultrafine needles to penetrate top layer of skin and RF energy is released from the needles directly into a precise depth of the skin, triggering the body’s natural healing process to regenerate new collagen and elastin
  • Has a special patented ‘Cushion plus’ technology to deliver collagen stimulators deep into the skin, right into the scars and stretch marks to stimulate collagen

Have a question?

If you have any other questions, please leave us a message anytime and we will be happy to answer them!

References

  1. Juhasz, M., & Cohen, J. L. (2020). Microneedling for the Treatment of Scars: An Update for Clinicians. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 997–1003. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S267192
  2. McCrudden, M. T., McAlister, E., Courtenay, A. J., González-Vázquez, P., Singh, T. R., & Donnelly, R. F. (2015). Microneedle applications in improving skin appearance. Experimental dermatology, 24(8), 561–566. https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.12723
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