Ideally, stretch mark removal should be started as early as possible, immediately after they are formed, while they are still red. They act like scar tissue, so collagen-boosting treatments can affect the production of as much natural collagen as possible compared to scar collagen. Remodeling of collagen and elastin in stretch marks is more intense under the influence of laser, peels, derma roller, carboxytherapy…
It should be noted, however, that there is still no treatment that can guarantee the complete disappearance of stretch marks. There are treatments that can greatly reduce them.
Stretch marks are streak-like lines on certain parts of our skin. They are characterized by changes in the deeper layers, where collagen and elastin are permanently ruptured. Although the upper layers of the skin are not damaged, stretch marks are visible on the skin and are typically pink or whitish in colour. They give the skin a flabby and older appearance.
Immediately after the formation of stretch marks, blood vessels can be seen in the torn tissue, so the stretch marks are reddish, while later, with increased growth and development of curves, they become whitish in colour. Rapid growth and expansion of the skin is just one of the causes of stretch marks. Hormones and genetic predisposition are the bigger culprit.
Growth hormone, steroid hormones, higher amounts of oestrogen and progesterone significantly affect the quality, thickness, hydration of the skin and thus the appearance of stretch marks.
The skin cannot respond adequately to the large oscillations in weight in a short period of time so it cracks. Sex hormones are deposited in the fat tissue, additionally disturbing the balance in the skin.
During pregnancy, stretch marks often appear on the chest and abdomen. Hormones in pregnancy soften the collagen to facilitate childbirth, and stretch marks are an unwanted consequence.
Some people have genetically weaker collagen and a greater tendency to develop stretch marks.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to prevent stretch marks. Although there are numerous creams, lotions and preventive therapies, their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven.
Coconut oil creams are among the most prescribed in the world and it will not hurt to try them as a prevention.
Stretch mark removal
In order for the treatment to achieve the best effects, it is often necessary to combine different methods and several treatments to remove stretch marks.
With such series of treatments, the appearance of stretch marks can be significantly changed and improved. However, it is extremely rare to achieve such a result where no trace of stretch marks remains on the skin, i.e. their complete removal.
The number of treatments depends on the assessment of the dermatologist, the patient’s wishes and the appearance and extent of stretch marks.
Laser stretch mark treatments
Vbeam laser promotes collagen and elastin production and contributes to the improved appearance of stretch marks by acting on the microcirculation of scar tissue, and microcirculation strongly stimulates collagen production.
Fractional CO2 laser is an ablative laser that passes through the full thickness of the skin and affects the intensive production of new collagen and elastin. Alone or in combination with the Vbeam laser, it provides an exceptional improvement in the appearance of stretch marks, as well as the skin around the stretch marks.
In laser therapy, the end result of a single treatment is visible three months after the therapy. Recovery involves flaking and slight peeling of the skin or, in the case of Vbeam laser, dark red discoloration of stretch marks for 10 days.
Carboxytherapy is a proven treatment that intensively contributes to the increase of collagen and elastin in the skin.
The procedure has been used since the 1930s, when carbon dioxide was used in swimming pools in French spas to increase circulation and speed up the healing of venous wounds in patients. In 1950s, carboxytherapy found it application in cardiology by injecting gas directly into the subcutaneous tissue which increases circulation. It was then noticed that the skin of the treated patients was of significantly better quality in areas where the gas was applied.
In 1993, carboxytherapy became one of the main procedures in aesthetic medicine.
After injecting carbon dioxide into the area under the skin, an acidic environment develops, so our body provides additional oxygen to the tissue in the treated area and deposits natural growth factors. Seven days after the treatment, there is an increased natural distribution of oxygen at the application sites, a completely new microcirculation is created, and lymphatic drainage is enhanced. Most importantly, in this way, the renewal of skin cells is achieved naturally.
Immediately after the procedure, patients can return to their usual activities and no recovery is required.
Carboxytherapy treatment is cumulative and each subsequent treatment increases the effects of the previous one. It usually takes 4 to 6 stretch mark treatments for the result to be noticeable. Each treatment is combined with dermapen.
Dermapen or microneedling
Mesotherapy is the process of injecting an active substance into the superficial or deeper layers of the skin. Hyaluronic acid, tretinoin, and growth factors are most commonly used for stretch mark treatment.
A scientific procedure has not yet been established and it has not yet been proven which active substance is the most effective.
Chemical peels for stretch marks
Chemical peels for stretch marks have a similar effect as the CO2 laser, but they act only superficially, i.e. with less penetration, so the results are poorer.
Surgical methods of stretch mark removal
Surgical methods of stretch mark removal are applied only when the skin is damaged to such an extent that it creates excess hanging tissue.