What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are widely seen as a reflection of intense or sudden weight gain. But, this isn’t always the case. The medical term for stretch marks is striae gravidarum and they arise when your skin is stretched drastically over a short period of time.
One common cause of stretch marks is pregnancy. However, stretch marks are widely affected by factors such as genetics, hormones and can even be induced by stress. Stretch marks are super common and it’s estimated that 50% – 90% of women have them. Despite this, many women and some men can experience a drop in confidence upon spying stretch marks on their bodies for the first time. Many people try to cover them up with tanning lotion or will use sunbeds, but this actually exacerbates the look of stretch marks as they don’t tan and will appear even paler. However, if you’ve spotted some stretch marks, you needn’t let them affect your confidence as dealing with them is much easier than you might think.
Keeping Off Excess Weight
Unfortunately, exercise doesn’t get rid of stretch marks. Even if you lose a drastic amount of weight, your stretch marks will remain visible. If you’re trying to lose weight and exercise and dieting is proving ineffective, you can make the most of treatments like CoolSculpting to tone up certain areas instead of creating further scarring from treatments such as liposuction.
Getting Rid of Stretch Marks
Many products found on high street shelves or online pharmacies will claim to lessen the impact of scarring from stretch marks. They may even promise to rid them from your body altogether. However, a study recently found that creams and oils for reducing stretch marks are not evidence-based and are created under the impression that they’ll work ‘in theory’. The truth is, they don’t actually work. Once your skin is stretched, its elastin fibre network is disrupted. Once this happens, no cream or oils can undo it – no matter how pretty the packaging.
The Best Treatment For Stretch Marks
There are treatments that can directly target your stretch marks and reduce their appearance.
Intense Pulsed Light Treatment (IPL)
If your stretch marks are pink or red, IPL is for you. IPL treatment reduces the look of stretch marks by stimulating the collagen in your skin. Collagen is what provides your skin with its elastin properties. Once the collagen is stimulated, it’s encouraged to create more collagen giving your skin a firmer and plumper appearance.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Like IPL treatment, laser skin resurfacing treatment is one of the best options for fading stretch marks. It boosts the collagen levels and helps your skin to heal and the scars to fade on their own.
Potenza is the latest treatment to deliver Radiofrequency Microneedling. It uses ultra-thin needles to pass energy into the deep layers of the skin to stimulate the formation of new, healthy collagen and reduce the size of stretch marks.
Define Your Body
Define Clinic is a hub of world-leading treatments from the cosmetic surgeon and expert Dr Benji Dhillon.