Stretch marks usually occur when the middle layer of skin, the one maintaining the elasticity, is stretched beyond the normal. This is usually linked to short term weight gain from pregnancy or bodybuilding or the longer term gain of obesity.
These marks usually appear on parts of the body such as the stomach, hips, buttocks and thighs where the body stores the highest amounts of fat. These marks are initially reddish, purple lines which fade with time to be a silver color. Stretch marks can cause the areas of the body affected to become soft to touch and to look empty.
Scars, however, form as part of the skin’s healing process whenever multiple layers of skin are injured. The injury may be the result of an accident, surgery, a burn or even severe acne.
Scar removal and stretch mark removal involve two different methods. There really isn’t a single product or procedure that can remove both scars and stretch marks, except microdermabrasion. Other than that, you may need to rely on different techniques to remedy these imperfections.
There are a number of options available for the removal of stretch marks, including creams, laser treatment, and natural skin care and in the worst cases, surgery. Some quality stretch mark creams can deal very effectively with this scarring which can cause distress to anyone who has them. High quality creams can also make the removal faster and easier.
Stretch mark scars can often be removed through a type of Vitamin A called Tretinoin. Tretinoin is topically applied on the scar. Tretinoin is only available by prescription, so you must visit your doctor if you want to try it. Retin-A is a type of Tretinoin that is normally used as a wrinkle treatment, but it can also be effective when used on fresh stretch marks. If the marks are already old and faded, it will be less effective.
Surgical revision and skin graft can improve the appearance of the scars. Surgical revision will actually remove the original scar tissue. Then the skin sutured in an area that is far less noticeable than it was before. A new scar may form from this procedure, but it is often smaller and not seen due to its new location. With a skin graft, donor skin is put in place of the removed scar tissue.
Microdermabrasion is also an option to consider. This procedure is a method that “polishes” the surface of the skin. A vacuum tube is then applied to remove the skin cells and microdermabrasion crystals. The process stimulates new skin growth, which replaces the damaged area. Microdermabrasion is effective on older stretch mark scars.
Laser treatments can also be an effective treatment option for stretch marks and scars. There are several different types of lasers, but they all work by causing the skin to produce collagen. Typically, laser removal takes multiple sessions before the stretch mark is completely removed. Although lasers work very well for some people, the end result is not guaranteed.