Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura, Dermatologist – Venereologist, is head of the clinic which is a reference center in the treatment of these unsightly lines as it receives the largest number of patients in Greece, applying the most innovative treatment methods. “Although preventing the appearance of stretch marks is easier than treating them when they have already turned white, it does not mean that we should make compromises and learn to live with them, as modern Dermatology and Plastic Surgery now has in its hands the “weapons” for their treatment” explains Dermatologist – Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura.
The most effective proven Stretch Mark Treatments are:
- CO2 Fractional Laser
- Treatment with autologous growth factors
- CO2 Fractional Laser and Treatment with autologous growth factors Combination
- Surgical Procedure for Stretch Mark Removal
Areas Of Application
Stretch mark treatment can be applied to any spot where stretch marks appear such as:
It is also especially effective in treating stretch marks resulting from pregnancy.
Before – After Results
The results of Stretch Marks Treatment depend on the age of the stretch marks and their depth, but they are impressive in any case, as the most innovative methods are used for their treatment. In addition, the number of sessions required to complete the treatment varies depending on the method used to treat each individual case.
Usually, 5-6 sessions are required for stretch marks that are still red with a treatment rate of even 100%. For white stretch marks, approximately 8-10 sessions are required and up to 85% reduction is achieved.
Stretch Marks Treatment
What are stretch marks;
Stretch marks are nothing more than scars that form under the skin as a result of the sudden tension applied to our skin. Stretch marks appear after weight gain, sudden increase in height during puberty or during pregnancy. Essentially, they occur when the skin loses its elasticity. Depending on the natural skin type, stretch marks can be white-light pink, red or purple in colour and they mainly appear on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and chest. These rod-shaped lines are not health-threatening, but they do lead to aesthetic and psychological problems.
Although the appearance of stretch marks is a problem that mainly concerns the female gender, this does not mean that men cannot develop stretch marks, especially after sudden weight fluctuations. Stretch marks are a form of scarring that develop on the skin and usually have a linear pattern. Stretch marks may be skin-colored or show a reddish tinge when they are more recent. They are scars located in the deeper layers of the skin. The skin over the stretch marks is normal, instead the dermis and subcutaneous tissue shows a tear that leads to the appearance of the stretch mark.
What are the causes of stretch marks?
The causes that lead to stretch marks are many. The most important ones are listed:
- Physiological stretch marks during the sudden increase in height in adolescence. These are due to the sudden skin tension that occurs during rapid growth in puberty. They are usually thin.
- Stretch marks due to rapid weight gain at any age. Stretch marks of this etiology are most common in adolescence and pregnancy. They are usually thin.
- Stretch marks due to hormonal disorders. Such conditions are thyroid diseases, diabetes mellitus, hypercortisolemia (e.g. Cushing’s syndrome), taking hormone replacement therapy. This type of stretch marks also occurs in puberty due to hormonal changes that bring about menstruation, pregnancy and taking contraceptives. They may have quite an increased width and depth.
- Stretch marks due to rapid increase in muscle mass. This type of stretch marks appear on the arms, chest and back of athletes, mainly body building athletes. These stretch marks are more common in men due to their greater ability to bulk up their muscular system.
- Pregnancy stretch marks due to the rapid increase in the size of the uterus and the intense tension exerted on the skin during its stretching. Hormonal changes also contribute to the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks. These usually appear on the abdomen and breasts.
- Stretch marks due to medication. Such cases include chronic topical use of creams, ointments or cortisone lotions. Topical corticosteroids apart from the other side effects, cause thinning of the skin, decrease in healing ability and appearance of stretch marks. Also, taking systemic corticosteroids (cortisone) for a long time by mouth or by intramuscular injections leads to the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. These stretch marks are particularly malformed, with increased width and depth and are difficult to treat.
- Stretch marks due to heredity. There are cases where stretch marks appear for no apparent reason, simply because we inherited a predisposition to stretch marks from an ancestor.
- Pregnancy Stretch Marks. A special category of stretch marks are pregnancy stretch marks. Mechanical tension in rapidly growing areas such as the abdomen, breasts and thighs as well as intense estrogenic/cortisol action on connective tissue during pregnancy has been associated with the formation of stretch marks in these areas.
How can I prevent the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks?
Pregnancy stretch marks can only be partially prevented by using special creams recommended by dermatologists and by avoiding excessive weight gain. But often, as Dermatologist – Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura stated, despite all the preventive measures, pregnancy stretch marks appear as early as the 3rd-4th month. Initially, pregnancy stretch marks are perceived as dermatitis as there is a feeling of itching or burning in the areas where they appear. Later on the areas of pregnancy stretch marks may show scaling and erythema. During pregnancy, few measures can be taken after the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks. The use of special topical creams and petroleum jelly formulations prevent and protect against the extension of pregnancy stretch marks. Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, B, C and E vitamins help in healing and reducing pregnancy stretch marks.
The pregnant woman should be patient, follow measures that will limit the expansion of pregnancy stretch marks and immediately after delivery treat them with CO2 Fractional laser and autologous growth factors PRP mesotherapy.
Can stretch mark treatment be started while I am pregnant?
Pregnancy stretch mark treatment with Fractional Laser and PRP is recommended to start immediately after delivery. When they are located on the breasts we recommend that the breastfeeding period is also passed. During pregnancy, special regeneration and prevention creams for stretch marks are recommended to prevent them or keep them from becoming large in size so that they can then be treated more easily and directly.
In how many sessions are pregnancy stretch marks eliminated?
Pregnancy stretch marks as well as any other cause can be completely eliminated when treatment is started at an early stage when they are still red. Usually the sessions for complete elimination of these are 5-6 at this stage.
When the stretch marks become white, their complete elimination is difficult but not impossible. Here 8-10 fractional laser sessions combined with autologous PRP mesotherapy once a month may be required. Usually a 60-85% reduction is achieved when pregnancy stretch marks are in their late stage and are white.
What are the symptoms of stretch marks?
The symptoms of stretch marks are varied and include the following. Stretch marks initially appear as red or violet streaks which over time become discolored and atrophic. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but they tend to occur in places where fat accumulates. The most common locations for stretch marks are the abdomen, chest, thighs, buttocks, hips and arms (forearms). In men, stretch marks also appear on the chest, back and arms due to an increase in muscle mass.
Stretch marks when they appear can cause a burning or itching sensation, as well as a pulling sensation and pain. The skin may flake off over the stretch marks. Although they are harmless and do not interfere with the body’s normal function and healing ability, they are an aesthetic problem for many women and men.
When stretch marks are associated with chronic cortisone use they may be combined with skin thinning, bruising, reduced healing, central obesity (on the trunk), acne and hyperpigmentation or acne, and fat in the neck area is common.
The length of time that the stretch marks will remain red is unknown. The only certainty is that if they are red one should hurry, as the complete disappearance of stretch marks at this stage can be complete and permanent.
Why should you choose Cosmetic Derma Medicine for Stretch Mark Treatment?
Cosmetic Derma Medicine Medical Group is the largest and highly specialized medical group in the field of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, with 16 clinics in Greece and Cyprus.
The Medical Director of Cosmetic Derma Medicine is the Dermatologist – Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura, while the staff consists of a medical team of highly experienced and specialized doctors of many different specialties, as well as a fully qualified team of nurses. Our team is at your side every day, 24/7 for whatever you need.