What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are clouded lines that of different color than the normal skin color. They are considered to be a type of scar which may be caused due to sudden weight gain or weight loss, pregnancy, bodybuilding or puberty. Stretch marks are caused when the dermis is stretched beyond its normal tolerance. The collagen production is disrupted by the breaking of the connecting tissues and this causes the appearances of scars which are known as the stretch marks.
Body parts on which the stretch marks can occur
Most commonly the stretch marks are caused due to pregnancy weight gain and they can occur on the abdomen, thighs and back. Other than these areas of the body, they can also occur on upper arms, legs and buttock area as well. Medically, any part of the body which can expand rapidly is extremely prone to appearance of stretch marks.
What are the causes of stretch marks?
There are several reasons because of which a person can get stretch marks:-
- Growth spurt during puberty: – Sometimes during puberty the body grows suddenly. The skin tissues may not be able to keep up with the growth rate and this cause the tissue breakage resulting in stretch marks.
- Genetics: – Women in whose family there is a history of stretch marks are more likely to get stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Bodybuilding: – Bodybuilders may put on weight very rapidly and this may cause the tissues also to expand quickly hence causing stretch marks.
- Skin color: – The likelihood of stretch marks in people having higher level of melanin in skin is lesser as compared to people with lighter skin.
- Stretch due to weight gain in pregnancy: – The stretch marks caused due to pregnancy are very common and they can occur on legs, hips, arms and back.
Stretch marks removal treatment with laser
During laser stretch mark removal, the laser beam is focused on the skin around the stretch marks. This laser beam is made up of high intensity UV light and it does not make cuts or burns in the skin. This laser beam causes ablation of the skin which is the rupture of the molecular bonds in the skin. It causes the old tissue to breakdown and instead of that new and fresh skin comes up. This process removes the stretch marks. After the procedure, the skin may look pinkish red and tender and that is completely normal. Very rarely blisters may form but they disappear after few days. The recovery period is short for most patients. But with patient who undergo longer sessions the recovery period may stretch to a few weeks. Removal of stretch marks which are caused due to pregnancy weight gain is highly successful by laser treatment. One very important thing to remember is that the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the size and the age of the stretch marks. Each patient has a unique case and for some patients the treatment may last longer as compared to others.
Who are the ideal candidates for the laser stretch mark removal or reduction treatment?
Most commonly women who have recently experienced motherhood can opt for laser stretch mark reduction by any reputed dermatologist. 90% women definitely get few stretch marks as the body changes during pregnancy. In addition to that people who have lost large amounts of weight recently or who have gained muscle mass quickly may also opt for laser stretch mark reduction.
What are the benefits of laser stretch mark reduction?
When done by a qualified dermatologist, laser stretch mark reduction is highly effective and almost has 100% satisfaction rate amongst patients. Since this treatment requires use of a controlled laser, there is a very minor risk of any injury caused due to the use of laser. The results are permanent and this can give a huge confidence boot to the patients who want to get their stretch marks removed. It is a non invasive procedure. The recovery time is much shorter in comparison to other laser procedures and complications associated with laser stretch mark reduction are also less.
Are there any risks associated with laser stretch mark reduction?
Though the procedure is completely safe because the laser beam is controlled, if not handled carefully this can cause severe damage to skin. Long lasting damage to the tissues is likely if the procedure is not done by a good dermatologist. In Mumbai, India, Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a famous dermatologist who has expertise in performing laser stretch mark reduction. She is a visiting member of faculty in many reputed institutions all around in India and is currently practicing in Mumbai. She is the Co- Founder of The Esthetic Clinic in Mumbai, India and has a long record of successful practice to her credit.