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 be pink, black, red, blue or purple. 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."
Individual genetics, the amount 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.
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. 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. This will depend on the severity of the stretch marks or scars, and the damage to the skin.