What Are Stretch Marks and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

What are Stretch Marks?

Living in South Florida means wearing shorts and sundresses year-round. It means bathing suits are the norm, and our skin is often exposed. It also means that if you have any kind of skin abnormality, e.g. scars, wrinkles, skin discoloration, etc., you probably take notice, and might not be too happy with the possibility that others take notice too. 

One of these skin woes that both men and women deal with during various stages of life is the appearance of stretch marks. Stretch marks, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, are scars that develop when the skin either abruptly stretches or shrinks and causes a tear in the deepest layer of the skin, called the dermis. This results in the rupture of the collagen and elastin that supports the skin, which leaves a permanent scar as it heals. That scar is what we all have come to know as a stretch mark. 

How to Get rid of Stretch Marks

When stretch marks first appear on the surface of the skin, they may be very dark purple or red and could also appear raised, puffy and/or itchy. Thankfully, over time their appearance becomes less intense. The color fades to more of a skin tone shade that is slightly darker than your normal coloring. The marks will also flatten out and either become even with or sit just below the level of the surrounding skin.

Although not everyone will develop stretch marks during their lifetime, it most commonly happens during times when there is some kind of hormonal change happening to the body, especially if it includes any kind of extreme weight loss or gain. Teenagers may experience stretch marks during a growth spurt that happens as they go through puberty. Athletes may develop stretch marks from the rapid muscle growth that occurs while training. Women, in particular, may notice the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy. In fact, 90% of women experience stretch marks while pregnant in places such as the belly, buttocks, thighs, hips or breasts. 

Although stretch marks are permanent scars, there are many ways to reduce the appearance of these visible streaks and make them much less noticeable. There are some things you can do on your own that may help prevent stretch marks from happening in the first place, such as staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy weight, but most of the time, stretch marks are inevitable. 

Few Rules of Thumb

The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests following a few rules of thumb when attempting to treat your stretch marks at home. There are creams, lotions, and gels marketed at targeting stretch marks, but these may not work the same for everyone. The AAD recommends using these products in the early stages of your stretch marks, as they tend to have little effect on mature stretch marks. When using the products, make sure to gently massage it into the skin where the stretch marks are located, as this might increase the overall effectiveness. For optimal results, it’s ideal to use the product every day for a decent amount of time, as sometimes it can take weeks before you can see any results.

There are some beliefs that using almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil or vitamin E will help with stretch mark appearance, there is no research to support that these natural products help the marks fade. Another myth is that tanning helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Unfortunately, the exact opposite will happen. The stretch marks will not tan, and thus, become even more noticeable. Self-tanner, however, can help. Since the self-tanner is applied all over, it will help mask the marks and make them blend in with the rest of your skin.

The other non-procedural option for treating stretch marks is to have your dermatologist prescribe medicine that can be applied to the target area. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and tretinoin are the most commonly used to help make stretch marks less noticeable.

If you have tried all of these treatments, but aren’t seeing results, there is another option — and that’s where Fox Vein & Laser Experts can help! We offer the PicoWay Resolve laser skin rejuvenation treatment, which helps to restore the skin’s elasticity and change the pigmentation of the skin so the stretch marks are not nearly as noticeable. 

PicoWay Laser

The PicoWay laser is safe to use on all skin types and colors. It also provides a very comfortable patient experience because the skin never gets too hot. The laser uses extremely short bursts of energy, which reduces the amount of contact with the skin during the treatment and therefore decreases the risk of discomfort. It also reduces the amount of downtime needed after the procedure has been done. Minimal pain or downtime, maximum results — those are the features we like to hear!

This cutting-edge technology is so advanced that not only does it help immensely with reducing the appearance of stretch marks, but it can also be used for pigmentation and age spot removal and any signs of aging in general, as well as removing unwanted tattoos. 

Get Rid of Stretch Marks With Our Help

When it comes to skin rejuvenation, there is no better laser technology than PicoWay Resolve. It only takes a few sessions before your skin looks tighter and brighter in all the right places. Your skin irregularities are no match for the PicoWay laser, especially if the Fox Vein & Laser Experts team is in charge. Did you know that we were the second practice in all of Broward County to offer this treatment to patients? There are only a handful of practices in South Florida that have it, and we are proud to be one of them!

If your stretch marks are bothering you, you’ve come to the right place. Call our offices in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines to schedule a consultation with our team. We know how frustrating it can be to feel uncomfortable in your skin, but once you’ve experienced PicoWay Resolve and have seen the results, we bet you will be feeling much better!