Ah, stretch marks—the bane of almost every woman’s existence. Some women are all about embracing them. After all, they can be a proud reminder of the various stages of life your body has gone through. Some women, however, would love nothing more than to remove them completely. They can be a source of frustration and insecurity. This is something we fully understand. If removing stretch marks is something that you’re interested in exploring, here are a few things you need to know.
What are Stretch Marks Exactly?
When the elastin and collagen fibers of the skin tear, they form scars which are frequently referred to as stretch marks (or striae gravidarum, if you want to get technical!). Such tearing often occurs during puberty, pregnancy, or from significant weight gain that happens rapidly. During puberty and pregnancy, the body’s adrenal glands produce elevated levels of a hormone called glucocorticoids which further causes the fibers of the skin to tear.
When stretch marks first appear on the skin’s surface they tend to be red or purple in color. These early marks are commonly called striae rubra. As time passes, the color fades and the stretch marks appear white and depressed when compared to the surrounding skin. At this time, they are called striae alba.
It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of women will suffer from stretch marks of varying severity, according to the University of Michigan, U-M Program for Clinical Research in Dermatology.
Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this. Stretch marks are a common issue for many women…but they are treatable.
Can You Ever Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
Unfortunately, you will never completely get rid of stretch marks once they occur. Cosmetic procedures help diminish their appearance but completely removing stretch marks is impossible.
Many people report a 30% reduction in the appearance of stretch marks after professional cosmetic treatments.
Depending on the severity of your stretch marks, having the smooth, stretch-mark skin you had prior to pregnancy, puberty or weight loss once again is not completely hopeless. We have a few recommendations for what you can do.
Broadband Light Therapy Reduces the Appearance of Stretch Marks
Non-Fractional Broadband Light Therapy (BBL) is also called pulsed light therapy. It utilizes high-intensity bursts of laser light to target stretch mark scarring by heating up the upper layers of the skin while pinpointing the lower layers. As the laser focuses on the troubled areas of the skin, it also cools and protects the skin.The absorbed heat makes the body regenerate new collagen and reduces discolorations.
Does Broadband Light Therapy Hurt?
BBL is noninvasive and gentle. Although everyone’s pain perception is different, a topical anesthetic is applied to help numb the region prior to treatment. Many people describe the sensation of the laser as that of a rubber band snapping the skin. If at any time you experience discomfort, you should let your physician know immediately.
What to Expect After Treatment
After BBL, you will usually have a warm sensation in the treated area and perhaps mild redness. Often the pigment in the treated area appears darker for a day or two before lightning. A healthier skin surface appearance normally starts to occur a few days after treatment.
How Many Treatments are Needed?
Everyone is different, so you will need to consult with your physician to determine how many BBL treatments you will require to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks. Normally, it will take several or more treatments to achieve results.
Book a Consultation for Removing Stretch Marks Today
Contact us today to book a consultation with Dr. Hannah Vargas and her team of cosmetic healthcare professionals to discuss available stretch mark treatments. In addition to Broadband Light Therapy, there are topicals and other options that may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. In many cases, not just one singular treatment type is used but a variety of treatment types to achieve the results you desire.