The Truth About Stretch Marks

Stretch marks: the subject of untold studies, marketing, and complaints. Whether it is due to rapid muscle or weight gain, pulling on skin, pregnancy, or rapid puberty, these stubborn striae can be frustrating for anyone. Their appearance can vary from purple to bright white, and they usually occur in areas where fat is stored, such as breasts, thighs, buttocks, hips, and arms.

Unfortunately, desperate sufferers are easy prey for companies advertising creams, pills, and even devices to combat their undesirable appearance. Stretch marks, however, are caused by a tearing of the dermis. This means that very few so-called “treatments” can even access the area, let alone repair it.

It is often touted that keeping an area extremely moist during a time of anticipated stretch mark formation can reduce their severity and quantity. Though some studies have supported this notion, they are often poorly run and not statistically significant. More than hydration, hormones and genetics play a large role in stretch marks.

So…is there a solution? I’m happy to report there is: lasers. In fact, a 2007 trial showed a 75% improvement in striae in just 5-6 treatments. In my practice, I use the V-Beam Profecta redness laser to improve the color of red or purple stretch marks, and the Fraxel re:store to resurface the skin. The laser creates miniscule damage to the underlying skin, stimulating new collagen formation and improving the appearance and texture of stretch marks.

If you’re interested in discussing a stretch mark solution that fits your needs (just in time for summer), feel free to schedule a consultation with us by calling 212-285-1110 or 516-512-7616.

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