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Stretch Marks Treatment: Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2022

What is the treatment?

Stretch marks are the lines that appear on skin when it quickly changes shape due to increasing weight or growth. The skin is elongated beyond its normal capacity giving rise to stretch marks that, although, appear a bit red-ish at the beginning, fade into almost a white colour.

Stretch marks mostly occur during pregnancy, puberty, obesity, bodybuilding etc. when the body changes its normal shape and size. However, stretch marks are not unhealthy in any way. Stretch marks do not harm anyone but very rarely fade to the level of invisibility.

Though stretch marks do not cause any actual harm, many women and men prefer to do away with these marks and adopt several measures to do so. Retinoid cream, laser therapy, microdermabrasion, Laser therapy, microdermabrasion and surgery are the three clinically proven methods of treating stretch marks in both men and women.

How is stretch marks removal treatment done?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck, is the surgical procedure that is used for the removal of stretch marks present on the belly. There are no surgical techniques to remove stretch marks from other parts of the body as of yet. In abdominoplasty, excess skin is removed from the middle and lower abdominal regions. This tightens the abdominal muscles and all the stretch marks go away with the excess skin.

Another technique that is employed for the removal of stretch marks is laser therapy. In laser therapy, a precise and high-intensity beam of light is shined on the layers of skin around the stretch marks. The laser therapy does not do away with stretch marks completely like abdominoplasty but makes them significantly lighter.

Another clinically proven method for removing stretch marks is microdermabrasion. In this process, crystals are blown onto the affected skin using a hand-held device. The crystals remove the layer of skin containing the stretch marks and allows the growth of ner and healthy skin in its place.

Will Stretch Marks go away if I lose weight?

Stretch Marks can be caused due to increased weight. Hence, losing weight leads to a decrease in the Stretch Marks to a great extent and in some cases disappears too. But this is not the same case in every individual and it usually depends upon the health status of a particular individual. Reasons for the Stretch Marks are different in the different individuals and hence it is not necessary that losing weight can lead to its disappearance in all cases.

Summary: Stretch Marks may have different causes in different individuals. Obesity is the commonest among them. It depends upon the health status of an individual. Losing weight may be a way to reduce Stretch Marks in some cases.

Can Vaseline remove Stretch Marks?

Vaseline can minimize the Stretch Marks effectively. Moisture is the most requirement of the skin which is needed to maintain its elasticity and vaseline does this job perfectly. It keeps the skin hydrated. Thus, it helps to prevent dryness of the skin and reduce damaged cells to promote a renewal of the skin cells. By doing such things to the skin, vaseline plays an important role in minimizing the Stretch Marks.

Summary: Vaseline has the valuable property of moisture retention which enables it to maintain the elasticity of the skin. It prevents dryness and minimizes skin damage, thus can remove Stretch Marks effectively.

Does lemon remove Stretch Marks?

Lemon juice is one of the common and effective home remedies that can remove Stretch Marks naturally. It is an acidic fruit having the property of exfoliation. It removes the dead cells from the skin by exfoliation and hence minimizes the Stretch Marks. Being rich in vitamin C and citric acid, it acts as a bleaching agent and helps to lighten the Stretch Marks. We have to rub lemon juice gently all over the Stretch Marks regularly to get desirable results.

Summary: Being an acidic substance, Lemon juice is an effective remedy to lighten the Stretch Marks. It exfoliates the dead skin cells, thus removing them along with the Stretch Marks.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Patients who are generally haelthy, do not smoke and have a lot of excessive skin on their stomachs are eligible for abdominoplasty.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Pregnant women should consult their respective doctors before undergoing any form of treatment for stretch mark removal.

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Are there any side effects of stretch marks laser treatment?

Laser therapy may cause temporary blistering around the skin. A mishandled laser can also cause some outer issue damage. So, it is advised that the patients choose their cosmetic dermatologist carefully.

What are the post-treatment guidelines after stretch mark removal treatment ?

After abdominoplasty, doctors always encourage petients to engage in light work after a few days' rest. Patients should do work to keep themselves active but must be careful to not strain themselves. This ensures that the blood keeps circulating in the legs. Patients should also sleep on their backs for a week or two after the surgery. Patients have to wear an abdominal binder for a few weeks to minimize the swelling and ensure a compact shape of the abdomen.

Which oil is good for Stretch Marks?

Based on the research, there are 12 types of essential oils that are known to play a key role in minimizing Stretch Marks. The most essentials among them include argan oil, olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, and vitamin E oil. These oils when applied on the skin topically or when consumed, do help to improve the skin elasticity as well as maintain adequate hydration of the skin. Retention of the moisture in the skin and renewal of the damaged cells is important for the growth and repair of the cells, leading to healthy skin.

Summary: Stretch is well known to be reduced by an application of different types of oils including almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil. These oils are rich in properties like moisture retention which is important to reduce Stretch Marks.

How long does it take to recover after stretch mark treatment?

Patients who undergo abdominoplasty take alsmost 3-4 weeks to recover completely.

What is the price of stretch mark removal treatment price in India?

The cost of the treatment depends on whether the patients opts for surgical treatment, laser therapy or natural remedies. Natural remedies don't cost much. But a surgical procedure may cost up to Rs.1,30,000 in India.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty removes all stretch marks from the affected part of the skin permanently. Laser therapy can't make the marks completely invisible but definitely makes them considerably lighter. The other home remedies also work but they take a lot more time than the other methods. It can be said that the results are more or less permanent.

What are the alternatives of stretch marks treatment?

Retinoid cream, sugar scrub, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, coconut oil can be applied on the stretch marks. These easy home remedies may not do away with the stretch marks completely but will definitely make them lighter and will do so in a non-invasive way unlike surgery.

Conclusion: Stretch Marks are a common problem nowadays which may arise as a result of increased weight, side effects of certain medications, or any kind of allergies. Several home remedies such as the application of lemon, baking soda, vaseline, etc. prove to be effective in minimizing the same, however, they can’t completely cure the condition.

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Written ByDr. Ganesh Avhad MD, DNB, FIDP, FILDermatology
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