Say “stretch marks” and almost everyone can quickly picture the jagged, depressed scars that appear on arms, stomachs, and thighs. Stretch marks are red, pink, purple, or brown scars that develop when skin stretches or shrinks quickly with rapid weight gain or loss.
Collagen is a protein found in your skin that gives it elasticity. When your skin stretches and there isn’t enough collagen to accommodate growth, the fibers tear and stretch mark scars form. When you rapidly lose weight, the stretch marks that may not have been visible from previous weight gain may suddenly stand out.
Growth spurts in children, strength training that brings about rapid muscle growth, and many other factors can contribute to stretch marks, but the most common cause is pregnancy. In fact, up to 50% of pregnant women develop stretch marks.
Stretch marks don’t pose any health risks, but many people are bothered by the look of them. If you’re unhappy with stretch marks, you don’t have to live with them. Our expert team at MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery offers the latest in stretch mark treatment for men and women to give you smoother, more even skin.
New stretch marks are the easiest to treat. If your stretch marks are less than a few months old, topical prescription creams can stimulate skin regeneration to lighten their appearance. While over-the-counter creams, lotions, and oils rarely improve the look of stretch marks, prescription retinoids can help.
Retin-A, or tretinoin, is a type of vitamin A that stimulates skin cell regeneration. At MDCS, we offer AVITA® and Renova® creams for stretch marks. Applying a prescription retinoid as directed can help skin recover from stretch mark scars.
Our dermatology team may recommend the VBeam laser to effectively lighten stretch marks on the torso, arms, and legs. This laser treatment is completely noninvasive, with little to no damage to surrounding skin and tissue.
The VBeam laser treatment delivers intense pulses of light to the area with stretch marks. Multiple wavelengths of light target and destroy the damaged cells that make up the stretch marks, while stimulating your skin to produce new cells that are healthier and more even-toned.
A popular cosmetic treatment for a variety of skin concerns from wrinkles to age spots, microdermabrasion may also improve the look of stretch marks. This minimally invasive procedure gently sloughs off the top layer of skin to boost cell regeneration.
Our team uses a handheld device that sprays tiny particles across the surface of your skin, which lift away its outer layer. Following treatment, your skin produces new collagen that’s tighter and more even than the old skin. When used for stretch marks, many patients find the scars are lightened and the skin is smoother.
You don’t have to be embarrassed by unsightly stretch marks any longer. Find the New York office location closest to you and book a consultation online or by phone today to find out how we can help.