Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Reduce Stretch Marks by Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

Stretch marks, or striae, are common in a number of circumstances: if someone grew up swiftly or gained significant weight in a short amount of time; during pregnancy, the skin often becomes taut enough to develop stretch marks; and bodybuilders also frequently suffer from these unattractive markings due to rapid body changes.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks resemble scars or wrinkled laundry. They occur when the second layer of the skin, the dermis, gets stretched far beyond its abilities. The dermis is made to be malleable, but even it has limits. When those limits are reached, the fibers within the dermis snap, ceasing the normal functions of healthy collagen and creating a scar.

Although these marks are not harmful to one’s body, many people want them removed for appearance’s sake. The unattractive scars can make people uncomfortable, even if they’re hidden beneath clothing, and removing those stretch marks tends to increase a person’s confidence.

How Do I Remove My Stretch Marks?

A variety of methods are available to effectively diminish or completely eradicate stretch marks. While some of the simplest and cheapest solutions involve lotions and creams available at any drug store, those tend to be less effective than more professional cosmetic dermatology techniques. Diet and exercise can help in some situations, but again, there’s less security in the final product. However, professional options range from simple to invasive.

Microdermabrasion. This technique involves moving crystals across the surface layer of skin. However, this technique mostly removes the superficial issues, such as sun damage and acne. For the darker red or purple stretch marks, this procedure may be preferable. However, for the lighter ones which blend in with the skin’s coloring, microdermabrasion may not be an effective procedure. Discuss the possibility with your Austin cosmetic dermatologist, Zimmet Vein & Dermatology.

Thermage®. This advanced cosmetic dermatology procedure naturally heats the collagen within the skin, tightening and smoothing wrinkles and stretch marks. For a non-invasive technique with speedy recovery time, consider Thermage®.

Laser Stretch Mark Removal. During laser removal, your Austin dermatologist directs the laser to the stretch marks, removing the skin in that area. Although this requires some recovery time for the new, smooth skin to replace the old, it’s a consistently safe process with little to no side effects.

Surgical Stretch Mark Removal. In this case, the offending skin is removed surgically instead of through the use of light. A highly invasive procedure, this technique does claim a high success rate.

To discuss your stretch mark removal options in more personalized detail, schedule a consultation with Zimmet Vein & Dermatology. A skilled Austin dermatologist, Dr. Zimmet will gladly address all your concerns.