Stretch Marks or Striae

Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin with a silvery-white hue (when they are new they can appear pink, red or a purple colour). They are caused by tearing of the dermis and over time can diminish but not disappear completely.

Stretch marks are the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy) that overcomes the dermis' elasticity. Although stretch marks are generally associated with pregnancy and obesity, they can also develop during rapid muscle growth. They first appear as reddish or purple lines, but tend to gradually fade to a lighter colour. The affected areas appear empty and soft to the touch.

Stretch marks occur in the dermis, the resilient middle layer that helps the skin retain its shape. No stretch marks will form as long as there is strong support within the dermis. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but are most likely to appear in places where larger amounts of fat are stored. Most common places are the abdomen (especially near the belly-button), breasts, upper arms, underarms, thighs (both inner and outer), hips, and buttocks. They pose no health risk in and of themselves, and do not compromise the body's ability to function normally and repair itself.

Stretch marks located in the most inconvenient locations can ruin your best efforts at looking good. They can dramatically affect how you feel about yourself and your appearance; especially at summertime when you head for the beach.

In Office therapies:

Stretch marks have always been a problem to treat as no single treatment modality has seemed to be a success.

We are pleased to announce the success of a miracle treatment called Carboxytherapy. Medical grade Carbon Dioxide is introduced into the dermis (where the stretch marks are located) via a small needle. The body interprets this as an oxygen deficit and responds by increasing blood flow to the area. This in turn stimulates an increase in certain growth factors that encourage the production of new blood vessels which provides a surge of oxygen and nutrients to the treated area and improves circulation with increased oxygen concentration and long term collagen stimulation leading to a strengthened dermis, a very necessary component for healthy, stretch mark resistant skin. After 6 treatments, the appearance of stretch marks is markedly improved. Very severe cases may need additional treatment. Carboxytherapy is more effective on newer stretch marks which are still red. These are treated once a week (or every 2 weeks) for a minimum of six sessions. Older stretch marks need six to eight treatments at 3 to 4 weekly intervals. Carboxytherapy is an excellent treatment for stretch marks post pregnancy as there are no side effects and the patient can continue breast feeding safely.

Home therapies:

At Body Renewal we offer traditional topical home therapies such as:

  • Dr Duve Activating Cellulite Gel. Although marketed as a cellulite treatment, Dr Duve gel is extremely active and encourages increased blood circulation as well as encouraging skin tightening.

Additional therapies for Stretch marks at Body Renewal include:

  • Laser Genesis which has been clinically proven to produce collagen.
  • Dermaroller Skin needling which is equivalent if not superior to Fraxel (fractionated) laser treatments.
  • Dermapen skin needling
  • Mesotherapy of Dermaheal growth factors.

As each patient's case is different; we will tailor a treatment program specifically for you and your circumstances. A highly professional team led by a medical doctor assesses every patient and an appropriate combination treatment, together with long a term maintenance program is recommended. The new concept today is to start with Carboxytherapy treatments early so as to improve and strengthen the collagen support structures of the dermis. The effects of Carboxytherapy treatments are accumulative.

Body Renewal Tip:

Carboxytherapy can also be used for stretch marks on the breasts with an added benefit of modest breast lifting as the newly produced collagen remodels and tightens 3 months down the line.