Stretch marks are asymptomatic and non-harmful condition affecting all genders, all skin types and all ages, started from puberty. Stretch marks are debilitating because they affect one’s self-confidence and psycho-emotional wellbeing. Pre-adolescent girls and young mothers are especially susceptible.
What causes stretch marks?
The real cause of stretch marks is still unknown, but the formation of this condition is well documented. In all cases of the formation of stretch marks, there is a destruction of the collagen leading to atrophic scarring. Why this dysfunction happens in the area of excessive stretching is unknown. At the same time newly produced elastic fibres form, a fine structure becomes thicker and increases in size, which contributes to the atrophic look specific to stretch marks.
Factors contributing to stretch mark formation
Several factors are recognised as contributing factors to stretch mark formation:
- Endocrine: severe stress with a high cortisol, Cushing syndrome, and taking cortisol medication can affect fibroblast activity in the production of collagen.
- Hormonal: pregnancy, puberty and menopause when hormones are unbalanced.
- Hereditary: abnormalities in connective tissues inherited from parents.
- Metabolic: due to obesity, malnutrition and the use of performance enhancing drugs and steroids.
- Toxic: recently increased amount of stretch marks cases are seen due to overload of persistent organic pollutants in our environment.
Stretch Mark Treatments
Mesotherapy is the practice of applying microinjections of conventional or homeopathic medication and/or vitamins into the middle layer of the skin to deliver healing or corrective treatment to a specific area of the body.
Mirconeedling and Dermapen
The principal function of skin needling is to stimulate body’s own production of collagen. It comprises a series of fine, sharp needles puncturing the skin. This results in microscopic channels, created deep within the dermis of the skin, to stimulate your body’s production of new collagen in stretch mark areas.
Fractional laser resurfacing
Fractional laser resurfacing offers an innovative approach to treat stretch marks. Microscopic wounds are created using scattered pulses of light which enhance the production of new collagen. There is a slight swelling and redness after the treatment for several days but cannot be used in ethnic skin types (Fitzpatrick IV).
Signature Treatment for Stretch Marks
8th Sense recommends a combination of TriPollar radio-frequency, LED - Phototherapy and chemical peel if stretch marks are pigmented. The result of this combination of treatments is supported by recent studies. We recommend 6 to 8 TriPollar sessions with 16 sessions of LET phototherapy that is done twice a week. Treatments feel pleasant and there is no downtime.
They may appear in areas that usually have underlying fat such as: abdomen, breast area, upper and inner thighs, flanks, hips, buttocks and lower back. In the case of ethnic skin (African skin), they often manifest in uncommon parts of the body such as shoulders, calves and upper arms, which is even more problematic to the patients as it is difficult to hide.
Stretch marks appear unpredictably. Emphasis should be placed on avoiding contributing factors such as steroids, cortisol treatment, drastic weight changes, food preservatives etc. Pregnancy remains the most difficult contributing factor to treat, as topical creams have limited effect in preventing stretch marks.
We combine LED phototherapy, TriPollar radiofrequency and chemical peel.
The LED phototherapy results in the transformation of several cellular processes. The light stimulates fibroblasts which allows them to restore normal metabolism. This stimulates collagen and elastin production – which gradually affect the appearance of stretch marks.
Repair of the stretch marks can only be achieved if the precise wavelength, mode and type of light pulses are 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.
TriPollar radiofrequency treats human skin, causing an immediate contraction of collagen as fibres shorten and thicken. This results in the smoothing and firming of the skin in the stretch mark area, contributing to the process of neocollagenesis (new collagen formation).
In addition, 70% glycolic acid is used for pigmented stretch marks which we often see in ethnic skin types.
This protocol can be successfully used in any skin type, any age, any type of stretch marks, new and old stretch marks, and does not cause any downtime, with a safety profile of 99,9%.