Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are discolored thin lines or streaks that form when the skin is overstretched. When the skin expands beyond its capacity in a short period of time, the fibers in the dermis can break, creating small tears in the tissue. In the early stages, these small fissures can expose underlying blood vessels, making them visible at the skin’s surface.

Commonly the result of pregnancy or excessive weight gain, stretch marks can also arise due to a growth spurt. Although stretch marks can affect both men and women, they are particularly common in pregnant women during the last trimester.

Because stretch marks are associated with a rapid change in the body’s size and shape, they typically occur in areas that tend to harbor fat deposits. Stretch marks most frequently appear on the:

  • Abdomen
  • Thighs
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks

The discoloration associated with stretch marks often fades over time, but a scar-like line can persist.

Popular Treatment Options for Stretch Marks

Fortunately for those who have stretch marks, a wide range of treatments are available that can help reduce the visibility of stretch marks.

  • Creams and topical treatments. Traditional natural remedies include vitamin E oil and cocoa butter, which moisturizer skin and promote healing. Prescription retinoids creams can be applied to help improve the skin’s appearance. Retinoids help rebuild collagen, which helps the skin heal. Topical treatments usually work best on new stretch marks.
  • Skin resurfacing with microdermabrasion. During a microdermabrasion treatment, the surface of the skin is gently removed with a powerful exfoliating device. This encourages the skin to regenerate.
  • Laser Removal. Light and laser therapies are highly effective treatments that can safely erase stretch marks and smooth out over-stretched skin. Laser technologies such as the Palomar Icon Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device, available at our Novato medical spa, deliver focused light energy that stimulates new collagen and elastin production in the skin.

Reducing the Visibility of Stretch Marks with the Palomar Icon Intense Pulsed Light

Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Miguel Delgado is an expert in IPL treatments and uses the Palomar Icon to treat stretch marks. The cutting-edge Palomar Icon is one of the most precise IPL devices on the market today, producing excellent and long-lasting results. Because of its precision, the Palomar Icon delivers treatments that are efficient and minimize patient downtime.

If you have stretch marks and would like to improve the appearance of your skin, contact Dr. Delgado at his Bay Area office for a consultation.


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