Stretch Marks are scar-like bands that appear on the surface of the skin almost anywhere on the body where the skin has been stretched beyond its natural capacity. Commonly mistaken as being a side effect of being overweight, stretch marks appear where there is excess fat deposited, or where the skin has been unable to respond to the rate of growth (puberty or pregnancy).
At Therapie Clinic there are two expert procedures utilised for the effective reduction or removal of stretch marks on the skin: Laser360 or Medical Micro-Needling.
Laser360 uses a combination of technologies to stimulate collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as boosting skin firmness and smoothness.
AFT Intense Pulsed Light and Near-Infrared energy generates heat in the dermis to strengthen pre-existing collagen so that skin tone and texture is markedly improved.
Finally, Laser360 uses Pixel Laser Resurfacing to create tiny perforations on the skin to encourage new collagen to be produced by the body.
This new collagen repairs the damage caused to the dermis as a result of skin becoming overstretched so that stretch marks are healed and less visible on the skin’s surface.
Micro-Needling stimulates the body’s own production of collagen, which is a connective tissue that gives skin its firmness and resilience. The procedure involves puncturing the skin multiple times with tiny needles to create a ‘wound-site’ in the dermis layer which triggers the body’s natural healing process.
When the body perceives damage in the dermis, it generates new collagen which is then used to heal the original tear in the dermis that caused a stretch mark to appear.
The outside layer of skin is unaffected by the micro-needling procedure, allowing for the new collagen to be used solely for stretch mark healing.
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During the nine months of pregnancy the abdomen is subjected to unprecedented stress and stretching as a result of an expanding uterus to accommodate a growing baby and the inherent weight gain associated with gestation.
Pregnancy stretch marks often cause deep rippling of the skin across the abdomen, but can also appear on the breasts, thighs, back or any other area there has been weight gain.
Treatment for post-pregnancy stretch marks is most effective when they are relatively new and often red or purple in colour, as collagen can be more readily produced to heal the tear in the dermis.
At Therapie, 4-6 treatments of Micro-Needling are usually recommended in order to enhance the overall results and significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. With continued treatments, large amounts of collagen are produced leading to a greater reduction in stretch mark visibility.
Topical creams and oils that claim to treat stretch marks are only absorbed onto the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), whereas Micro-Needling and Laser360 target the middle layer of the skin (dermis) to produce new collagen to effectively heal the root cause of stretch marks.
Skin will appear red and remain sensitive after each stretch mark treatment, with patients likening the sensation to mild sunburn. These symptoms usually last no longer than 24 hours, but sometimes the skin will dry and begin to flake. If this happens, it is completely normal as new, healthy skin is being revealed.
Stretch marks are a result of permanent damage caused to the connective tissue found in the dermis. New collagen must be produced in order to repair the tear in the dermis but because collagen production slows over time, stretch marks never fully heal naturally but instead tend to fade and appear silver or white.