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.
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.
Patients who are generally haelthy, do not smoke and have a lot of excessive skin on their stomachs are eligible for abdominoplasty.
Pregnant women should consult their respective doctors before undergoing any form of treatment for stretch mark removal.
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.
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.
Patients who undergo abdominoplasty take alsmost 3-4 weeks to recover completely.
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.
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.