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Treating Stretch Marks (General Skin Care)
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Treating Stretch Marks

Mariusz J.A. Sapijaszko, MD FRCPC (Dermatology)

Stretch marks are an extremely common skin condition that affects up to 70% of adolescent women, and up to 40% of adolescent men. Almost 90% of pregnant women will have stretch marks. Stretch marks are linear scars that are visibly red and purple, and then become thinner over time. The marks are common in areas with a large amount of fat, such as the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and shoulders. Pregnancy is often associated with stretch marks, but sudden changes in weight that is common in adolescence, sudden enlarging of muscles from exercise, or the use of potent cortisone creams can all cause the skin to stretch, causing stretch marks. 

Most experts believe that there is no method to prevent stretch marks from forming, at least at this time. However, there are ways to treat the stretch marks once they form. For more information, read the rest of the article, and read other articles on stretch marks here:  

Topical Treatments:

Although there are plenty of claims about preventative measures against stretch marks, so far none have passed the scrutiny of medical studies. At this time, most of the attention is directed at treating the marks after they appear. Tretinoin, a relative compound to retinol, is the most well documented substance used for the treatment of stretch marks. Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A and modulates collagen production, helping the skin heal itself.

Laser Treatment:

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment can also be used to treat stretch marks, both new and developed. However, complete removal of the stretch mark is rare. A more realistic expectation would be an incremental thinning of color and texture. Stretch marks are often reduced in length, as collagen production and quality is improved and the skin will often be thickened.

Currently, the best treatment for stretch marks are topical and laser or Intense Pulsed Light treatment that were mentioned above. Unfortunately, at this time, there are no ways to prevent the formation of stretch marks. If you are unhappy about the appearance of stretch marks, however, there are treatments that can reduce it. These methods are relatively safe and considered to be non-intrusive. For more daily tips, sign up here:


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