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Stretch marks are a huge problem within the anti aging community that all women face as they age. Technically an injury to the dermis, or middle layer of skin, stretch marks result from weight gain or loss and pregnancy. Usually red or purple in colour when “fresh”, stretch marks eventually fade to a silver or white colour. No area of the body is immune to stretch marks, thought they are commonly found on the abdomen, breasts, hips, thighs, lower back, buttocks, and even arms or legs, and totally erasing them is still an impossibility. Some common things to do in order to fight stretchmarks are using something like resveratrol supplements.
Once the damage is done, it’s done. Some newer devices improve the strength of the collagen but may only make it smaller and tighter. Results are not guaranteed, as quality of the skin usually dictates the outcome. When treating stretch marks, the sooner you start, the better your chances of improving their appearance. One study of Retin-A found it reduced the length of the stretch marks by 15%. But if your stretch marks are pregnancy related and you’re still nursing, Retin-A is not for you, as it may be passed to the baby through milk. Once stretch marks have faded, treatments become somewhat more limited, but fractional resurfacing is showing great promise for improving the texture, color, diameter, and depth of stretch marks. The treatment works by stimulating regeneration of the collagen and elastin deep within the skin while leaving the surface intact, so you get softer, smoother skin with minimal down time.
If you lose weight quickly, or lose a significant amount skin can lose it’s elasticity, which results in that crepey, loose appearance. While many lotions and creams claim to help with some of the slack, the truth is many of these products offer nothing more than hope in a bottle. But your dermatologist and plastic surgeon have options that can help you tighten up. Energy based skin tightening treatments such as Thermage, Titan and ReFirme have entered the mainstream, and while some doctors are skeptical, there are patients who do see results. In some cases a body lift procedure may be necessary depending on the skin’s elasticity.