How to get rid of stretch marks for good! (4 helpful tactics)

March 3, 2014

Stretch-MarksStretch marks are both a common occurrence and a common complaint. They develop after changes in body size at a rapid rate such as puberty, pregnancy, and excessive weight gain. Thankfully there are some ways to battle these unsightly lines!

1. Topical Solutions

By participating in daily moisturizing, skin stays more elastic and resilient to change. When lubricated skin is mobilized, it is less likely to tear and create the stretch marks than drier skin. Though this technique is more for prevention, many creams and oils are designed to fade the appearance of stretch marks such as the natural Bio-Oil or the effective, though more risky Retin-A (a retinoic acid cream) which boosts collagen production. Retin-A is very effective on new stretch marks, less effective on older ones. This product should never be used if you are pregnant, nursing (may cause birth defects), or are regularly exposed to sun (as it increases burning) Glycolic Acid also improves skins elasticity and collagen production but is safe for those pregnant or nursing. Another natural alternative is Vitamin E and a range of essential oils, talk to your Naturopath or pharmacist for a list of effective topical options.

2. Laser Treatment (Vascular Laser)

Vascular laser works best on new stretch marks that are pinkish in colour and have yet to fade to a silvery hue. Stretch marks (striae distensae) are indicative of swollen, inflamed blood vessels post the skin trauma of weight change. If treated by laser in the early stages, as little as 3-6 sessions can reduce and remove the presence of these lines. Your investment per session can run around $450 on average. This may be expensive but effective.

3. Laser Resurfacing (Fractional Laser)

Aged, whiter stretch marks can be treated with a different type of laser called a fractional laser. This type is approved for treatment of acne, hyperpigmentation in skin, melasma (pregnancy mask), and now older stretch marks. While the results are less optimal than with the vascular on new lines, there is still a marked improvement seen. These sessions run about $1000 a session, but can require less in terms of treatments.

4. Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

A popular procedure for the permanent removal of stomach stretch marks after weight loss or pregnancy is abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck. A Tummy Tuck will remove up to 90% of scarring from the abdominal wall by physically removing the skin below the belly button, while stretching out the remaining healthy looking skin and fastening it in place. It can be said that this procedure is the only real “cure” for abdominal stretch marks.

As with any health care procedure, please speak to your doctor to see what is right for you! Or contact Dr. Backstein at his Toronto location seen below!

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