Removing stretch marks for good…
Break the Stretch Mark Curse
No-one can deny that unsightly stretch marks usually rank up tops on many a women’s list of woes. However, is it possible to treat stretch marks and banish them for good? A2 reports…
Stretch marks affect the lives of many people, male and female, young and old alike. This is the bad news. However, the good news is that these unsightly physical scars are quite treatable. This is the expert opinion of Dr Sly Nedic, an aesthetic and anti-ageing physician from 8th Sense Medi-Spa.
According to Dr Nedic, these marks present themselves in all shapes and sizes; as linear streaks or spindle-like; varying in lengths from 1cm to 25cm long or wide – and even symmetrically or simultaneously. They may occur (and usually do) on the abdomen, breast area, fl anks, upper and inner thighs, hips, buttocks and lower back. In the case of ethnic skin, they occasionally manifest in such peculiar or unique parts of the body such as the calves, shoulders and upper arms. However, stretch marks do not discriminate with age. Even young teens can be affected. “My staff and I have recently witnessed a miniepidemic of stretch marks on the bodies of pre-pubescent girls”, adds Dr Nedic.
Stretch Marks Uncovered
Stretch marks invariably appear in areas which are exposed to excessive tension.
They are caused by several factors, more specifically:
- Genetic or hereditary: abnormalities in connective tissues inherited from either parent or both parents,
- Endocrinological: The levels of cortisol are too high from severe stress, Cushing Syndrom,or taking Cortisol medication,
- Metaboloic: Due to obesity, malnutrition and the use of performance enhancing drugs and steroids, and lastly
- Hormonal: As in pregnancy, puberty and menopause when hormones are unbalanced
All the changes in stretch mark formation result from the degeneration of the collagen in the middle of the dermis (middle skin), which in turn leads to atrophic scaring and it is acknowledged to be a disease of fi broblasts. While stretch marks are usually asymptomatic, they still remain a matter of concern. In fact, new stretch marks are often red to purple in colour and swollen on the surface. This reflects an inflammatory phase of their patho-physiology. If this first phase is ignored or overlooked and allowed to develop into the 2nd and 3rd phases, scarring will probably result. The 1st phase is much more treatable or curable than the two subsequent phases. In ethnic skin types, there is a difference in the melanisation of the skin (or the rate at which the skin is pigmented). This enhanced melanisation makes stretch marks more visible and difficult to treat. Stretch marks can affect one’s psycho-emotional wellbeing and self confidence, especially in the case of pre-adolescent girls. However, they may also adversely affect adults of both sexes. The timely and proper treatment of stretch marks are thus crucial, from both the psychological as well as the metabolic aspects and perspectives.
The Expert Touch
Recent publications (particularly the study at the Esthesio clinic in Paris, where 103 cases of stretch marks were analyzed using even cases of 20 year old stretch marks) have shown significant improvement of stretch marks using combination therapy. Two devices used simultaneously (namely the Tripollar RF and LED phototherapy) as well as the use of a 70% Glycolic acid peel reduced the appearance of stretch marks by 60 % (in more than 50% of the cases). Provided that the phototherapy application is within strictly designated and recently published parameters or protocols, it can successfully improve the appearance of old stretch marks as well.
The LED phototherapy results in the metamorphosis of several cellular processes. The light stimulates fibroblast cells – allowing them to restore normal metabolism. This combines the collagen and elastin – which in turn leads to the desired objective of gradually and successfully treating stretch marks.
It must be noted that success will only be achieved if the precise wavelength, mode, type and sequence of light pulses and total dose of energy used. An inadequate dose in randomly used LED will have no physiological benefit as the fibroblast will not be sufficiently stimulated to produce new collagen and elastin.
The RF – LED combination and sequence are important in order for the enhancement, migration and proliferations of the fibroblasts. Studies have shown that heating human skin with RF causes an immediate contraction of collagen as fibers shorten and thicken. This results in the smoothing and firming of the skin in the stretch mark area.
Dr Nedic uses the following protocol for treating stretch marks from the most recent published clinical trail:
Next generation LED phototherapy (MOST LEDS – Paris with specific wave length protocol over the duration of 16 sessions).
Radio Frequency by Tripollar and 70% glycolic acid peel is also required in the case of pigmented stretch marks and for collagen stimulation. This is done in eight–16 sessions and applies to all skin types (including ethnic skin). Procedures are completely safe and painless – and may also be resorted to in the case of pubescent girls – as well as during lactation. Identifying the underplaying cause and specifically addressing adrenal-cortical overstimulation, which is a part of today’s life style.