There are several things that could cause stretch marks to appear around a person’s stomach. These include growth spurts during puberty, weight gain, health conditions that weaken the skin, corticosteroid medications, and pregnancy — especially with multiple babies. While they are harmless, they can look unsightly and affect a person’s self-esteem. But, why exactly do they occur? And is there anything you can do to reduce their appearance or make them disappear completely?
What are stretch marks?
Collagen is a protein that makes skin elastic. However, if your skin stretches at a relatively fast pace, your body may not produce enough collagen to keep up. As a result, scars develop on the overstretched areas. These visible marks are known as stretch marks. The most common areas for them to appear are the breasts, hips, butt, thighs, and stomach.
When stretch marks first appear on the skin, they show up as raised rippled grooves and may become itchy. Depending on the person’s skin tone and genetics, they may appear purple, red, pink, or reddish-brown. As time goes by, they may lighten in color, and instead of being raised, they have a sunken look.
How to Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks on the Stomach
Like with any scar, stretch marks lighten over time. Even those that look really dark when they first appear will fade over time to a pink tone. In some individuals, they look paler than their natural skin pigmentation. However, the natural diminishing process is not enough for many individuals — which is why skin tightening is one of the most searched cosmetic searches online. Fortunately, there are several cosmetic procedures that can help.
Fraxel Skin Therapy
One of the most innovative ways of reducing the appearance of stretch marks is Fraxel laser skin therapy. The procedure is designed to stimulate collagen production, as well as to heal skin that has already been damaged from overstretching. It’s proven effective in treating old as well as newer stretch marks. It’s also a good option for people who have other types of scars or sun damage.
Fraxel skin therapy is non-invasive — requiring no surgery. It consists of using a microscopic laser that enters the skin and promotes collagen and elastin growth. As a result, stretch marks fade significantly more than with topical creams. The procedure is not painful and can be done within an hour and requires minimal downtime once completed. Patients can typically resume their regular routines within days.
For people with larger or more noticeable stretch marks, CO2 lasers can provide a more effective form of treatment. They can be used on their own or in combination with Fraxel skin therapy. However, while they result in a greater improvement in reducing the appearance of stretch marks, they may also cause skin sensitivity — requiring an additional few days for healing.
CO2 lasers work by making microscopic punctures in the skin, which also stimulates the production of collagen. In addition, the process causes stretch marks to become smaller. Some patients may need several treatments, with full results being noticeable within three to six months.
If You’re Thinking About Cosmetic Enhancements, Contact Innovations Medical
If you’re looking to reshape your body and boost your self-confidence, Innovations Medical is here for you. We’ll answer your questions and resolve any concerns you have about cosmetic procedures. We’ve been helping our patients look their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.