What are stretch marks?
There are two fibers under your skin called Collagen and Elastin that weave through the dermis layer of your skin. It is these fibers that give your skin flexibility, elasticity and firmness.
Stretch marks occur when your skin is stretched to such a point that the Collagen and Elastin fibers tear and rip apart from the dermis leaving the skin unable to pull back into shape.
The main causes of stretch marks are; pregnancy, rapid growth spurts during teenage years, and rapid bulking up due to weightlifting.
Unfortunately, in most cases, stretch marks are permanent. However their visibility can be reduced to a point where they won't look as bad as they did prior to treatment.
There are various treatments available to help reduce stretch marks.
Laser scar reduction, also called laser scar removal, is a treatment that can dramatically reduce the appearance of scars by as much as 50 to 80 percent.
During this treatment, a laser is run across the scars, and removes the top layer of skin. A new layer of skin is revealed and, as this newly revealed skin layer heals and regenerates, patients find that their stretch marks aren't as deep, and the skin has returned to more of a natural color. So they are less visible and noticeable.
This is a process where fine crystals or sea salt resurface skin. This is done in conjunction with a tretinoin cream that is meant to stimulate Collagen production. The problem is that one can only resurface to a certain depth thus not removing all stretch marks.
"Tummy Tuck" or abdominoplasty:
Abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck, is stretch mark surgery that addresses the removal of excess skin and stretch marks. This is a permanent solution for an unsightly problem. Excess skin is removed on the lower abdomen and is tightened below the belly button. The surgery lasts from two to six hours generally.
A chemical peel can both reduce or eliminate the skin discolorations associated with stretch marks, and make the scars less deep and visible.
During a chemical peel, a product that contains some type of acid is painted onto the area. The procedure removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, and also stimulates the generation of new, healthy skin cells.
A chemical peel will help return discolored skin to a more natural color. It will also make the marks shallower and less visible.