Stretch marks (referred to as striae in medicine) are a frustrating problem for nearly everyone. Some people experience very mild stretch marks during their teenage years, while others develop very prominent stretch marks after pregnancy or rapid weight loss. The one thing that we all have in common is that almost everyone is bothered, to some degree, by their stretch marks. Thankfully, most of the time, these marks are simply unsightly and not symptomatic. They tend to develop after periods of rapid weight gain or weight loss (for example, during a teenage growth spurt, after a weight loss regimen, or during pregnancy.) While the appearance of stretch marks tends to improve over time, they do not go away completely on their own.
There are a few treatments available at Tareen Dermatology in Minnesota that have been proven to produce improvement in the appearance of stretch marks. Topical creams, such as Lac Hydrin cream or Tretinoin cream, are available by prescription and can be applied at home. These creams work by improving the texture of stretch marks over time. For most patients, these are safe and easy to apply – but check with your dermatologist to see if they would be appropriate for you.
The next step in stretch mark treatment is to pursue laser therapy for stretch marks. Laser treatments, such as the Fractional CO2 laser and the KTP laser, help to improve both the texture and appearance of stretch marks more dramatically than creams alone. The Fractional CO2 laser works by resurfacing the skin, to promote the healthy development of new collagen on the scarred area. The KTP laser diminishes the red appearance of stretch marks. Tareen Dermatology in Minnesota offers both of these treatments for stretch marks to our patients. Many of our patients have seen dramatic improvement in the appearance of unsightly stretch marks.