Stretch marks have been a feature of women’s bodies for as long as bursting out of our skin has been the way puberty welcomes us into adulthood. If your stretch marks bother you, we have some useful stretch-mark reduction strategies.
Breasts, hips, bellies, arms and thighs can end up with scuttering lines across them that turn from red to purple to, if we’re lucky, more like our natural skin colour over time.
(We have a full program dedicated to stretch marks if yours concern you.)
Creams and ointments are notoriously useless at preventing or curing stretch marks, since nothing you can do from the outside is going to help your skin stretch to accommodate your new self. The cause of stretch marks is believed to be at the molecular level.
Stretch marks are not dangerous, but can impact the way we feel about ourselves and our bodies. Being a new mother and seeing the impact of pregnancy on your body can be terrifying; going from feeling ‘normal’ to then looking down and seeing a wrinkled tummy and stripey breasts and belly can be upsetting. Feeling good wandering around naked can feel like a thing of the past, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are treatments that can help improve the appearance of stretch marks.
Stretch marks develop when the elastin fibres in the dermal layer of your skin is disrupted, and cannot repair themselves fast enough. That is, your body needs your skin to stretch, so it does, but it can’t keep up with the rate of stretching, so your body does what it can: it stretches out the dermis so you don’t burst. Once stretched, there isn’t much you can do to stitch the skin back to the way it was, but you can fade or hide the stretch marks with some targeted treatments.
Fresh stretch marks are easier to treat than older stretch marks, but all stretch marks can be treated. We use collagen remodelling tools such as radiofrequency or even ablative laser treatments. Having a frank discussion with your cosmetic dermatologist can help clarify your options further, since as you probably know, nothing you can do at home is going to make a lick of difference to your stretch marks. While they are not the same as scars, they can look and feel like scars.