How to Treat Stretch Marks

Published: 27th April 2010
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Aim for the stars... You'll at least reach the sky! This is the perfect way to sum up the treatment of the grooved and tread-like stretch marks.

It would be wrong to say that stretch marks can be treated completely. Even skin care products that claim to remove stretch marks completely can only serve to lighten their appearance but fail to eliminate them completely.

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are called striae distensae. They are caused when skin is stretched abnormally for a long period of time such as from pregnancy or sudden weight gain or weight loss. This breaks down the skin's support in the form of collagen and elastin. And the broken elastin fibers beneath the skin are what appear as visibly curled ends of stretch marks. Stretch marks are scars that have formed from the inside out.

Appearance of Stretch Marks

The depth and severity of stretch marks depends on the way your skin heals. If your skin heals well with minimal scarring, then your stretch marks will be less obvious. But if your skin takes a long time to heal, then you are at risk of developing raised or thickened scars and more pronounced stretch marks. Likewise, people with fair to light skin typically have pink-tinged stretch marks while people with darker skin tones tend to develop deeper and darker marks. Even though discoloration from these stretch marks can fade over time, the striated appearance rarely returns to its original smooth and flawless appearance.

Treatment of Stretch Marks

Use Tretinoin Skin Care Products

First of all, remember that stretch marks cannot be eliminated completely. There are no cosmetic or skin care ingredients that can change the structure of skin to raise the indentations back to where the skin level used to be. However, there are certain ingredients such as tretinoin that help to stimulate elastin synthesis and remodel collagen in the dermis layer of the skin and thus improving the skin's texture and color. This is why it is used as an active ingredient to lighten the appearance of stretch marks.

iS Clinical Super Serum Advance
It contains an amazing combination of ingredients that provide a dramatic improvement to and help protect the skin from additional damage from environmental stress. Super Serum is also effective in reducing acne scars and in acting as a skin lightener to improve the skins evenness and luminosity.

Obagi Refissa Tretinoin Cream .05 Percent Emollient
Refissa is the first Tretinoin Cream for sensitive and dry skin common to more mature skin. It is delivered in a fragrance free emollient base and is great for fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation issues. Refissa even helps to smooth the skin.

Cosmetic Corrective Procedures

There are also a variety of medical cosmetic corrective procedures that can provide relief against stretch marks such as chemical peels and non-ablative laser treatments.

Laser Treatments
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) treatments provides significant improvement in the length, depth, and coloration of stretch marks. However, they are not recommended for people with darker complexions because it could cause hyperpigmentation.

TCA Peels
Trichloroacetic acid peels helps to improve the appearance of stretch marks. It has a skin-tightening effect and can penetrate further than most AHA or BHA peels. Also they are able to better stimulate collagen and elastin fibers for the depth of damage seen in stretch marks.

Naomi Andrews is a professional esthetician and nurtures a keen interest in studying the use and effectiveness of various skin care products and cosmetics. She has written several articles about dry skin care and sensitive skin care to help women take care of their skin and locate the best products for them.

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