While stretch marks are common—appearing in about 80% of the US population—some people can become self-conscious about them, especially women, who experience them more frequently. While they generally fade over time, your dermatologist may be able to speed up the process. This guide will explain how stretch marks form and what you can do to reduce their appearance.
What to Know About Stretch Marks
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks appear as long, rippled lines on the skin. They develop when the skin stretches quickly, a process which causes elastin and collagen to rupture and create these lines. Many people get stretch marks during pregnancy or following rapid weight gain. Children may also have them following rapid growth spurts. Other causes of stretch marks include bodybuilding, breast augmentation, and certain medical conditions. You may be predisposed to stretch marks if they run in your family.
What Treatments Are Available?
If you are concerned about the appearance of your stretch marks, a dermatologist may be able to help. Products like retinoids, hyaluronic acid, and collagen boosters may cause the stretch marks to fade more quickly. There are also some in-office procedures that your dermatologist may recommend. Various types of laser therapy can reduce the appearance of both new and old stretch marks. Topical treatments like microdermabrasion can remove the top layer of skin where the stretch marks are most prevalent.
Remember that it is always best to consult a dermatologist before trying any at-home treatments. In-office treatments are much more effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks, and your doctor will determine that each method is safe for you.
Self-conscious about your stretch marks? Visit the professionals at Heibel Dermatology Clinic, LLC in Lincoln, NE. Dr. Mark D. Heibel has more than 20 years of experience as a dermatologist and is proud to serve local families. He and his staff provide diagnosis and treatment for acne, psoriasis, rosacea, vitiligo, and skin cancer. He also offers a variety of cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) phototherapy, and Botox® injections. To view a full list of his services, visit him online today. You can also call (402) 488-6969 to book an appointment.