Stretch marks are a shortcoming of human skin. These long, narrow streaks, stripes, or lines on the skin are typically a different tone than the surrounding skin, so they are very noticeable. That’s not good when you live in a hot climate such as ours in Houston, and you want to put on a swimsuit as much as possible.
Dr. Kronberg uses her N-Lite Regenite Laser to vastly improve the appearance of her patients’ stretch marks.
What are stretch marks anyway?
Just as our skin should have some built-in sunscreen to help us ward off skin cancer, it should also be better able to deal with fluctuations in weight. That’s especially true of the weight gained in pregnancy, which is the main cause of stretch marks. It’s not as if you can go through pregnancy without gaining weight!
Our skin has three layers: the epidermis is the outer layer, the dermis is the middle layer, and then comes the subcutaneous or fat layer. Usually, as the body grows, the strong connecting fibers in the dermis stretch slowly. But when the growth of an area, such as the stomach, is rapid these fibers overstretch and break. These breaks form scars that are originally red or purple due to blood vessels showing through the tears in the dermis. Eventually, these scars fade to a silvery, white, or glossy appearance.
Stretch marks are a common result of pregnancy. The reason that some women get them while others don’t is mainly a factor of the skin’s elasticity.
Hormones are also to be blamed. The hormones produced during pregnancy soften pelvic ligaments, increasing their flexibility to allow for weight gain. This, unfortunately, increases the risks of developing stretch marks.
Relatively rapid weight gain without pregnancy is also likely to create stretch marks in other people, as well. They also are common in weightlifters.
There have been a million salves and creams that promise to clear up stretch marks, but they have little affect because they can’t penetrate into the dermis, where stretch marks are formed.
Dr. Kronberg uses the N-Lite Regenlite Laser to treat stretch marks. This pulsed dye laser penetrates through the epidermis into the dermis, causing a “wound” reaction in the body. This mechanism occurs when the body senses heat in the dermis, although there isn’t an actual injury or wound. The wound response, however, is to stimulate the growth of new collagen and elastin in the treatment area. These proteins, which are responsible for skin support and firmness, fill in the indented stretch marks over the course of a few months. The result can be a dramatic improvement in stretch mark visibility.
Interested in getting rid of your stretch marks? Call Dr. Kronberg at (713) 771-8941 and ask about our laser stretch mark treatments.