Laser, Gels or Surgery: 6 Stretch Mark Treatment Comparisons at a Glance

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Stretch marks, or striae, are something that can affect the skin of almost anyone. Though they are not medically dangerous, they can cause a lack of confidence, insecurity and dissatisfaction with the way that you look.

Striae form when the middle layer of skin stretches beyond its limits of elasticity. Collagen, a skin protein, starts to breakdown as the result of this stretching. This disrupts the amount of collagen in skin and causes stretch mark formation.

Weight gain from pregnancy or other causes, such as rapid muscle building, use of topical or oral corticosteroids and puberty are some important causes of striae formation.

There are different options for stretch mark removal, including surgical removal, home remedies and more. Here are six types of stretch mark treatments and how they stack up against the rest.

1. Surgical Stretch Mark Removal: A Permanent Option

Stretch mark removal using abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is currently the only method guaranteed to completely remove striae. That is why this method tops our list.

While going under the knife can be intimidating, the insecurities that come with stretch marks are enough to push people to try this option.

Here are some considerations to make before you choose surgical stretch mark removal:

1. Surgery is not an option for all types of stretch marks. In fact, it is used on candidates who don’t smoke and who have excess skin around the stomach area. In these cases, the surgeon goes for abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck

2. During the abdominoplasty procedure, your surgeon will cut away excess skin and stretch marks below the belly button. These tissues are then discarded.

3. Following the procedure, you may need to abstain from work for up to a week. If you have a strenuous job, you may have to rest for two to three weeks.

4. Your surgeon may also put drainage tubes in for three days to one week after the surgery. He may also recommend you wear special stomach garments.

5. The results with this procedure come in within a few weeks and last almost life-long, unless you gain the weight back again.

This method can cost approximately $3,000 or higher. It could leave a scar and you may need longer to recover, but the benefits outweigh the risks for some people.

2. Laser Stretch Mark Removal: Great Results for Older Stretch Marks

Laser stretch mark removal is Laser Stretch Mark Removalan effective procedure, too. It gives better results for older or more prominent stretch marks.

This is what you need to know about the procedure, recovery and results:

1. The process for the laser removal of stretch marks includes a laser that emits high-energy ultraviolet light. This ultraviolet laser beam breaks up the bonds between the stretch mark tissues.

2. The process of breaking up the tissue is called ablation. It allows the removal of stretch marks from the tissues.

3. Following the procedure, you will notice that your skin will appear red and irritated. These side effects are temporary and due to the skin removal. New, smooth skin will grow to take its place.

4. Depending on the severity of the stretch marks and the duration of treatment, the healing process can take a few days to a few weeks.

5. With this therapy, the stretch marks may go away for good. Other benefits of this procedure include being less invasive than surgery with a low risk of scarring. It also comes with a high level of effectiveness for many patients.

This method is costs $600 or more per session. You might need many sessions, depending on your condition. Moreover, this method is new and requires a skilled surgeon.

3. Blue Light Therapy: A Non-Surgical Option

Blue light therapy is a non-surgical option that can decrease the appearance of stretch marks. It uses photosensitive gel and light energy to achieve results.

Here are some things that you should know about blue light therapy:

1. To complete this procedure, the practitioner applies a photosensitive gel to the affected area of the skin. They then use bursts of light energy to activate the gel.

2. This treatment effectively lightens stretch marks.

3. There is no recovery time necessary after blue light therapy.

4. Be aware that this method is more often used for treating acne scars, but it is able to treat stretch marks in the same way. It will not make your striae disappear, but it can fade them significantly.

5. Blue light therapy is most effective on newer stretch marks.

The cost for this procedure is between $1,000 and $1,800. This therapy only makes the scars fade, the scars may recur and results don’t last long, either.

4. Microdermabrasion: A Quick and Painless Treatment

Microdermabrasion works by removing the top layers of skin to improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Here are some things to consider about this procedure.

1. Microdermabrasion involves a spray made of fine crystals that blast away the top layers of skin. After the removal of skin layers, healthy skin cells will begin to regenerate in their place.

2. The benefit of new skin cells is that they produce more elastin and collagen. These two components are essential for smoother, tighter skin. In this way, the procedure works to lighten the appearance of striae over time.

3. This procedure is completely painless and takes less than an hour. The recovery time is also minimal.

4. You will need a least of five to 12 treatments for this to be effective, but you should not expect the complete removal of your stretch marks.

The cost is of this procedure is approximately $100 to $200 per session. You many need many sessions before you can see significant results. Also, the results only last a few months before the stretch marks start to become prominent again.

5. Chemical Peels: An Affordable Option

Chemical peels are sometimes used as a non-surgical way to treat stretch marks. These peels consist of chemicals like alpha-hydroxy acid, glycolic acid and trichloroacetic acid, or phenol. These chemicals make the superficial skin layers soft to a point where they start to peel off and new skin layers emerge.

Here are some things to know about chemical peels for stretch marks:

1. Chemical peels work by removing the top layers of skin. Over time, the damaged dermis layer where stretch marks lie moves upward. These will eventually surface and be removed.

2. Chemical peels also work because they stimulate the skin’s natural healing response, which encourages the body to grow thicker, smoother skin.

3. The content of chemicals in each peel will vary. If you start with something too strong, then you may suffer from complications such as burns or severe irritation.

To avoid this, start with a chemical peel with ten to fifteen percent alpha hydroxyl acid as the active ingredient.

4. Use this lower concentration for a week before moving up to a product containing twenty percent glycolic or lactic acid as the main ingredient. Continue to choose products with stronger chemical concentration as your skin adjusts.

5. You should expect light stinging or burning during chemical peel treatments, but be aware of potential allergic reactions. Do this under the care of a doctor or specialist if you want the most effective treatment for your specific stretch marks.

4. With dedication, chemical peels can be an effective way to remove stretch marks.

Each chemical peel costs around $40. You may have to wait for one year before you can see complete results. Also, the results are almost never perfect and recurrence rate of stretch marks is quite high.

6. Home Remedies: Easy and Natural

Unfortunately, the price range of the stretch mark removal procedures is out of the budget for most. In this case, you can use a home remedy whipped up from simple ingredients in your kitchen.

These methods are not always as effective as those listed above, especially on more prominent or older stretch marks. The results may also vary from one individual to another. But if you’re doing things right, these methods will lighten, smoothen and repair your skin:

Make a Sugar Exfoliating Scrub with Essential Fatty Acids to Nourish Your Skin.

These sugar scrubs add moisture and increase blood flow to applied skin areas. These features help fade away stretch marks and aid in the growth of new skin.

You can make a simple sugar scrub using the following steps:

1. You need following things for this scrub.

a. One pound package of white sugar from your local grocery store

b. One cotton roll from your local grocery store

c. Plain water

d. One tablespoon

e. One bowl

2. Put one tablespoon of sugar into a bowl and add water until you have a thick consistency.

3. Rinse your face with plain water and tap it dry.

4. Apply the mixture to your stretch marks using a cotton ball and rub it for 10-15 minutes.

5. Wash the area with warm water.

Repeat daily before bed time for three to four weeks until you see improvement.

Make a Scrub of Aloe Vera Gel, Vitamin A and Vitamin E to Smooth and Lighten Stretch Marks.

Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory, which allows it to help heal swollen skin, such as that affected by stretch marks. Vitamin A and vitamin E also help improve the appearance of skin, by increasing collagen production and providing necessary nutrients and moisture.

Make a gel for your stretch marks by doing the following.

1. You need following ingredients:

a. A small bottle of organic aloe vera gel from your local grocery store

b. Small bottles of vitamin A and E oil capsules from a pharmacist

c. One cotton roll from a supermarket

d. One cup

2. Mix one-quarter cup of aloe vera gel with the oil of five vitamin A capsules and 10 vitamin E capsules. Mix these ingredients for one to two minutes till you get a paste.

3. Rinse your face with plain water and tap it dry.

4. Rub this paste across the area of skin affected by stretch marks using a cotton ball.  Let it sit until fully absorbed.

5. Rinse the area to remove any stickiness.

Repeat this process daily in the evening until you see improvement.

Use a Concoction of Lemon Juice and Cocoa Butter to Lighten Stretch Marks and Break up the Scar Tissue in The Dermis.

Lemon juice is a natural exfoliator that removes dead skin cells such as those found on scars. Citric acid in lemon also allows it to lighten the skin. Cocoa butter smoothens and softens the skin, reducing the appearance of striae. It is also able to break up the scar tissue found in stretch marks.

Take these steps to make a lemon juice and cocoa butter cream.

1. You need following ingredients:

organic lemona. One medium sized organic lemon from a grocery store. Squeeze it to get its juice.

b. A 20-ounce pack of organic shea butter from the beauty section of a grocery store.

c. One bowl and a spoon.

d. One cotton roll.

2. Take a bowl, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to ½ cup cocoa butter and mix until smooth.

3. Wash and dry your face.

4. Apply on and around the stretch marks using a cotton ball. Rub in until it dries.

5. Use water to wash any remaining residue off.

You can do this as often as you would like until you see some improvement.

Apply Egg Whites Followed by Olive Oil to Repair Stretched Skin and Increase Collagen Production and Smoothness.

Egg whites contain amino acids like tryptophan and leucine and protein that can repair stretch marks. Olive oil contains vitamins A, D and E that can help nourish skin, improve collagen production to plump skin and moisturize.

Here is what you need to do:

1. You would need following ingredients:

One dozen organic eggs from a grocery store.

a. A small bottle of organic olive oil from a grocery store

b. A cotton roll

c. olive oilA bowl and a spoon

2. Take a bowl and separate the whites of two eggs from the yolks in it. Whip the egg whites together using a spoon.

3. Wash and dry your face.

4. Apply the egg whites on the affected areas using a cotton ball. Leave it here for five to ten minutes until it dries.

5. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

6. Then, massage a small amount of olive oil into the skin using another cotton ball.

You should do this daily in the evening for at least two weeks before seeing results.

Make a Paste of Alfalfa Powder and Chamomile Oil to Restore Skin Tone and Reduce the Visibility of Stretch Marks.

Alfalfa leaves contain vitamins E and K, which are essential to skin health. Chamomile can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by reducing inflammation and helping to break up the scar tissues under the skin.

Here is how you can use this paste for stretch mark removal.

1. You need following ingredients:

a. A small pack of alfalfa powder from an herbalist or health food store

b. A small bottle of chamomile oil from an herbalist or health food store

chamomile essential oilc. A cotton roll from any supermarket or department store

d. A bowl and a spoon

2. Take a bowl and mix two to three tablespoons of alfalfa powder with several drops of chamomile essential oil in it. Add oil until you have a thick, pasty consistency.

3. Wash and dry your face.

4. Using a cotton ball, apply the paste over the area of skin where you have stretch marks. Massage this area for five minutes and then let set for 15 minutes.

5. Rinse with water and either pat or air dry.

6. Do this two to three times daily for a week to see visible results.

Unsightly stretch marks can be damaging to your confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, with the right treatment, you do not have to live with these marks forever. Some of these can lighten the appearance of your striae, while others will cut them completely. Choose one of these six methods and start boosting your confidence today.

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