Stretching isn’t always good, at least not when it comes to stretch marks. And you may be surprised by how many individuals deal with this issue.
Perhaps the first person you think of when you hear the term “stretch marks” is a woman who has recently given birth. While it’s true moms sometimes get noticeable stretch marks from being pregnant, they are definitely not the only ones who have problems with them.
First of all though, what are stretch marks?
According to Dr. Popp, they are actually tears in the skin. He says it’s like what would happen if you tore a cotton shirt but didn’t make a hole – you tore the fibers and that’s stretch marks. They are both underneath and on the surface of the skin. Stretch marks involve more than one layer of skin.
No one on the planet earth has figured out how to cure or eliminate stretch marks and Dr. Popp says there isn’t one treatment that stands out as being THE treatment for stretch marks.
Like a scar, stretch marks go through different stages. Newer stretch marks will be red, which means they are still inflamed. The redness comes from blood vessel dilation. For those, Dr. Popp explains a doctor might use a vascular laser to try and shut that process down.
“You might wonder why you would want to stop the process, but sometimes that can actually improve them,” says Dr. Popp.
Then there are atrophic stretch marks, the ones people have had for a while. These are lighter colored if they have a color to them. For these, Dr. Popp uses a fractionated laser – though he cautions no stretch mark will go away 100% where you can’t see it at, all no matter what the treatment.
“Sometimes we will do a test spot with the laser to see if it will work on the stretch marks and improve them to an extent that makes the patient happy. We frequently won’t charge them to try a test spot. We follow it for a few months and if it improves, then we treat the entire area and charge the patient full price,” says Dr. Popp.
Who gets stretch marks?
Believe it or not, aside from pregnant women, weight gain and weight loss as well as hormonal changes may cause stretch marks. In fact, a lot of the patients Dr. Popp sees for stretch marks are adolescents who got stretch marks after hitting puberty.
Want to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks? Schedule your appointment with Dr. Popp today, 402-391-4558.