Stretch Mark Removal
As the largest organ in your body, your skin has the ability to expand and contract as needed. Put on weight, and your skin stretches out to accommodate the extra pounds. Get pregnant and your skin has an inherently natural talent to expand as your baby grows. And when you’re young and still producing sufficient collagen, it also can shrink right back into shape when you’re done needing that extra skin.
Skin cells easily become damaged when they’re stretched too far too quickly. Strenuously work out on the weights for a month, getting ready for a bodybuilding competition, and you very well may see stretch marks as a reward. Eat your way to a larger size in six weeks, and you can almost count on building up those ugly lines. And unfortunately, as wonderful as childbearing may be, the chances that it will leave its mark in the form of stretch marks on your belly runs at about 90 percent.
Fortunately, stretch marks are something that your dermatologist in Manhattan sees on a regular basis. A good skin doctor knows how to recognize the signs and just how to treat this unsightly skin condition.
Origins of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks actually are just broken blood vessels showing through your skin. The second layer of skin contains sensitive collagen fibers that easily break when traumatized by too much pressure. The purplish and blue squiggly lines that are the trademark of stretch marks show through the skin when the blood vessels break up from being stretched too thin too quickly.
After a while, as the blood vessels heal, your stretch marks turn white or silver, but they don’t go away completely. While your Manhattan dermatologist would love nothing better than to remove them completely, the best he can do sometime is reduce their appearance. New treatments are being researched and may provide more options in the future. That’s one more reason to stay in touch with your dermatology doctor in New York, who’ll keep you updated.
Effects on You
Meanwhile, stretch marks aren’t painful. They can, however, create psychological damage in the form of low self-esteem or reduced confidence. For most people, the lines remain hidden except maybe on the beach or in the bedroom. For others with a severe case of stretch marks that cover significant portions of their bodies, the disfigurement can be devastating.
While you’re working on reducing the impact of stretch marks through the various removal treatments available, know that you aren’t alone. Even famous models like Cindy Crawford have stretch marks. As many as 90 percent of all women have stretch marks. And even men of all ages have varying degrees of the symptom of broken veins.
Because of the ubiquity of the problem, tons of products line the shelves of neighborhood pharmacies, fill online pages and give multi-level marketers a reason to rejoice as men and women look for remedies. And the quicker the promises, the more money the fake remedies rake in. Stretch mark removal creams are everywhere and continue to claim their value, even as they continue to fail. Products with ingredients ranging from almond oil to olive oil and cocoa butter sold over the counter do not work, despite the claims to the contrary.
The reason they can’t work is that stretch marks are inside your skin, within the deeper dermal layers that these products cannot reach. Even trying to prevent stretch marks with topical creams and moisturizers is a losing battle.
So instead of wasting your time, money and hope on products proven to fail, visit an experienced dermatologist in New York for some real treatment options. Treatments to remove stretch marks work differently on different people, so if one technique doesn’t work, you and your skin doctor may decide to try another avenue that’s proven more successful. Your options include:
- Tretinoin, usually going by the brand name Retin-A, is a prescription cream that has had mixed results with removing stretch marks. Typically provided in a concentration of about 0.1 percent, the compound is especially successful for removing the appearance of stretch marks that are new and haven’t had a chance to settle in.
Do not use tretinoin if you are pregnant or nursing; the drug is strong and penetrates the top layer of skin to boost collagen production. Side effects can include peeling and redness. And once the new stretch marks turn white, tretinoin doesn’t seem to have any more affect.
- Intense pulsed light and pulsed dye lasers are some of the newest and most effective treatments for removing unsightly stretch marks. And while cosmetologists may offer the treatment, it’s best to stick with your medical dermatology doctor to avoid many side effects that might include burning or infection.
Lasers work by shooting wavelengths of light in a certain color or frequency directly on the damaged skin cells. Once they’re traumatized by the light bursts, your body’s immune system rushes healing properties to the spot, which then produces more collagen that take the place of your stretch marks. It may take several visits, but many report smooth, healthy-looking skin after laser treatments. This therapy may be the best bet for removing stretch marks.
- Plastic surgery, such as liposuction, may be an option. Talk to your dermatologist about a referral to a plastic surgeon who can work with your skin doctor to devise a plan of treatment that results in fewer stretch marks.
By removing sections of loose skin, the surgeon also may remove parts that are strewn with stretch marks. In other words, removing stretch marks is just an added benefit of undergoing liposuction or any other plastic surgery procedure, not the main focus.
- Platelet-rich plasma, also known as PTP, is a technique gaining popularity. Your leading dermatologist in NYC uses your own blood and injects it into the stretch mark areas to promote new cell regeneration. The technique has been successful for treating arthritis and tendinitis, and it has shown promise for removing stretch marks.
Your own blood is taken immediately prior to the injection. Combining the injection with an ultrasound treatment seems to increase the success rate. According to studies, about 70 percent of the people who received PTP treatment to remove stretch marks were very satisfied with the results.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Stretch Mark Removal? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, award winning, leading dermatologist in NYC, Dr. James Taft of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic and laser dermatologist.
Dr. James Taft (Laser Cosmetic Dermatology of NY)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 889-2402