Stretch marks are often an unwanted byproduct of pregnancy.
Fortunately, laser technology at Marina OB/GYN now offers a simple and effective solution. Dr. Lipeles has used this technology to erase stretch marks for many women throughout Marina Del Rey and Hawthorne, California.
Stretch marks differ significantly in appearance. These lines can appear as grooves, deep lines, or soft spans of tissue that have very little substance. They range in color, as well, and may appear pink, black, red, blue, or purple.
This may depend on the individual’s genetic makeup or racial background, along with the age of the stretch marks themselves. Often, older stretch marks appear paler in color, sometimes blending in with the surrounding skin to appear less visible. Darker stretch marks generally indicate more recent damage or stretching of the skin. No matter the color or texture of the stretch marks, we have stretch marks treatment options available that are designed to soften and lighten their appearance.
Stretch marks are the result of skin being rapidly stretched, most often during pregnancy. They most often occur on the stomach, breasts, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Skin's elasticity depends on cortisone levels within the body. When the cortisone levels drop, the skin can no longer stretch as it once did and the result is stretch marks, sometimes referred to as "tiger stripes.”
As a Marina del Rey OBGYN, one of the most common reasons women see us for stretch mark removal is having had a recent pregnancy or multiple pregnancies. As the belly stretches to make room for the growing baby, stretch marks are a common occurrence.
Women that never had stretch marks before often feel dismayed to see dark marks and lines on the abdominal area. Stretch marks are permanent unless treated. The best time to get treated is when the stretch marks are relatively new in order to see the best result from treatments like IPL laser therapy. In addition to stretch marks on the stomach due to pregnancy, many pregnant women experience stretch marks on the breasts, hips, and sides. Weight gain during pregnancy and anatomical shifts to make way for the baby can lead to these dark marks. Breast stretch marks are rather common as bust size increases while breastfeeding.
Preventing stretch marks is easier said than done. However, it is possible to limit the appearance of stretch marks by maintaining good skin elasticity.
One great way to do this is staying hydrated during pregnancy and eating a healthy diet that supports healthy skin quality. Keeping the skin moisturized is essential to help the skin stretch without tearing. It is also interesting to note that the body produces certain hormones during pregnancy that naturally, aid in skin stretching. These hormones help make the skin more soft and pliable. Of course, many women still end up with stretch marks. Prevention is often better than a cure, but when all else fails, we have the latest stretch mark treatments available to provide stretch mark reduction in patients that require it.
Lasers for stretch marks are one of the most effective stretch mark treatments available.
IPL, or intense pulse light laser, therapy offers ground-breaking advancement in the ability to reduce the visible appearance of certain types of stretch marks, as well as, wrinkles, severe sun damage, acne scars, surgical and injury scars. By guiding the laser over the stretch marks, light pulses trigger the production of collagen. As collagen is produced, the areas where the tissue has started to weaken will begin to be filled in. This will also improve the skin's elasticity allowing it to be more flexible and resilient.
Individual genetics, the amount of skin that is stretched, and a person's level of cortisone (a hormone associated with stress) each play roles in the severity of stretch marks. Body fat distribution, the speed at which the body changes appearance during puberty, weight gain, pregnancy, hormonal levels, and other factors can all factor in.
Age is another factor. During youth, there is more elastin in the skin. Elastin is a protein that is found in human skin, giving it elasticity so that it stretches without tearing. As aging occurs, elastin production levels decrease sharply starting around age 30. The skin produces less of the ingredient so that when the skin stretches, it causes micro-breaks and tears. This results in visible stretch marks that can impede a woman’s quality of life and confidence in her appearance. While we can’t stop skin aging, there are treatments for stretch marks that can greatly reduce stretch mark redness or lighten old stretch marks so they blend in better with the skin.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for stretch marks. Because of the original damage to the tissue, doctors may need to use multiple types of treatment in conjunction with the IPL laser to produce the desired results.
Your treatment will depend on the severity of the stretch marks or scars, and the damage to the skin. With our customized treatment plans at Marina OB/GYN, our stretch mark specialist will examine the stretch marks that are concerting with you to create a tailored regimen that aims to greatly improve your appearance. Our facility has state-of-the-art equipment that is designed for rapid skin improvement. Led by Dr. Jamie Lipeles, each member of our staff is highly trained and qualified for the treatments we perform. It is our pleasure to serve women throughout Marina del Rey and surrounding areas that wish to improve the look of stretch marks after pregnancy or hormonal changes. To learn more about IPL for stretch marks and alternative treatments with a provider at Marina OB/GYN, call our office or book an appointment using the easy online booking system. We look forward to meeting you.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Stretch Mark Treatments?
Candidates for IPL stretch mark treatments should not be pregnant or breastfeeding at the time of the procedure.
While IPL is not linked to fertility problems, it is not advisable to have any cosmetic procedures that are not medically necessary while nursing or pregnant. Patients should also understand that IPL laser can reduce stretch marks’ appearance considerably, but the skin is unlikely to look exactly how it did before it ever had stretch marks. Realistic expectations combined with the latest technology will provide a meaningful improvement to the skin’s appearance that will meet the patient’s satisfaction.