Stretch Marks 101

We get them, we hate them and we constantly think why me?

A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches, or shrinks, too quickly. According to Dr. J. Mark Jackson, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin in your skin to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks can appear. You may notice stretch marks first appear red, purple, pink, or dark brown in color depending your skin color. Earlier stretch marks may also feel slightly raised and itchy.
Not everyone develops stretch marks. Hormone levels and family genetics can increase your chances of stretch marks. If you do develop stretch marks it commonly happens during:

• Growth spurts (puberty)
• Pregnancy
• Rapid weight loss or gain
• Certain medications
• Weight training from rapid muscle growth

Most people question how they can possibly get rid of stretch marks. Unfortunately, like any scar, stretch marks are permanent but there are treatments that make them less noticeable.

At Home Treatments
According to Dr. Jackson, “If you plan to try an at-home cream, lotion or gels to fade stretch marks know that no single treatment works for everyone and following the below instructions may help reduce their appearance:”

• Use the product on early stretch marks since this type of treatment has little effect on mature stretch marks
• Massage the product into your skin can make it more effective
• Apply the product daily for 6-8 weeks before determining if the therapy is working.
• Apply self-tanner to camouflage stretch marks – note it does not get rid of them just masks them

Dermatologist Provided Treatments
Your local Forefront Dermatologist may provide treatments options to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Your dermatologist will determine what treatment will work best for you, but some options may include chemical peels, laser therapy, microdermabrasion and microneedling combined with PRP therapy.

Skin Struggles?
If you are struggling from stretch marks and would like to reduce their appearance, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.