skin • 4 min read
The secret to successfully treating stretch marks
In 2016, Getty Images released some remarkable pictures of model Jasmine Tookes posing for Victoria’s Secret, she was wearing a bra encrusted with diamonds and emeralds, worth a whopping $3 million.
But that wasn’t the remarkable bit. On her left thigh, you could see a line of pale stretch marks.
The world greeted these images as nothing short of miraculous.
It was virtually unheard of for a model to display her stretch marks openly (and indeed, in the official photos they were airbrushed out). It’s like the whole world conspires to pretend that stretch marks don’t actually exist.
It’s ironic, because studies show that stretch marks are incredibly common – perhaps one of the most common skin conditions in the world.
Studies show that up to 90% of pregnant women get stretch marks – if they don’t already have them, because so do 70% of adolescent girls.
It’s just something we don’t talk about openly. Which is perhaps why so many women struggle with this.
Over the years, I’ve heard from so many women with stretch marks on their thighs, who won’t go to the pool or beach without a sarong. And women with stretch marks on their arms or chests, who are always careful to cover up with long sleeves, high-cut tops or carefully placed accessories.
Sometimes they apply concealer or self-tanner to camouflage the stripes.
And many women with stretch marks are so self-conscious about them, they hate showing them to their partners, worrying that it will impact the way they’re perceived. It can affect their confidence and their intimate lives and be really debilitating.
So what are stretch marks?
It all comes back to one word which you hear from me frequently. Collagen!
Collagen is the key protein which keeps your skin firm and elastic. Think of it as fibres below the surface of your skin, like a series of rubber bands.
When you stretch your collagen fibres too much – for example, because of pregnancy or weight gain – they’re pulled out of shape. And this leaves visible marks on the surface of your skin. Those stretch marks are basically a scar.
Which is why all the lotions and potions you see advertised for stretch marks don’t make any difference. Olive oil, aloe vera and cocoa butter can moisturise and hydrate your skin, but you don’t get stretch marks because your skin is too dry! It’s a deeper, structural issue.
But this doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be done. The good news is, we have two fantastic treatments for stretch marks:
Early stage stretch marks – When they first appear, your stretch marks will be an angry red colour. This is the best time to treat them!We use our powerful VBeam laser which targets any type of redness in your skin, to zero in on the red marks and calm them down. Essentially it turns the scars a pale colour much faster than would happen naturally, immediately making them less visible.
Then, we target the scars with Secret RF, an advanced treatment which builds collagen in your skin both through microneedling and radiofrequency. Since a breakdown in collagen is the root of the problem, triggering the growth of new collagen is the very best way to soften your stretch marks.
Later stage stretch marks – When you’ve already had the stretch marks for a while and the red has already faded, you’re left with silvery or pale scars that sometimes are a little lower than the rest of your skin. We simply treat them with Secret RF as above.
Neither of these treatments is a magic solution and you’re unlikely to ever get rid of your stretch marks completely. However, we can make them far softer and less noticeable.
Take a look at this patient, who had three rounds of Secret RF to fade her stretch marks:
These results are three months after her last treatment. Her stretch marks, which were originally bright and harsh, are much more difficult to see.
I’m sure that her confidence has improved immeasurably.
Stretch marks do not have to be a secret and they’re certainly nothing to be ashamed of. For many women who earned theirs through pregnancy, they’re a badge of pride.
But if you’d prefer not to live with them, you don’t have to, either. If you’d like to know more, book a free online consultation with me through our app.
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