Stretch Marks: What Are They and How to Treat Them

Stretch Marks: What Are They and How to Treat Them

Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, are a common skin condition that affects both men and women. They are caused by a rapid stretching of the skin and can appear on any area of the body including places like your upper arms and most commonly on your abdomen. It’s common to develop stretch marks during puberty or pregnancy, but they can affect anyone due to sudden weight gain/loss, bodybuilding, or other causes. In this article, we will discuss what stretch marks are and how to treat stretch marks. 

What Are Stretch Marks? 

Stretch marks are lesions that form when skin rapidly stretches and the elastic fibers in the lower layers of the skin break down. This leaves behind streaks or lines on the surface of the skin. New stretch marks may start off as reddish-purple in color and over time fade to become lighter than your natural skin tone. They usually have an uneven texture and feel slightly raised. 

Treating Stretch Marks 

Stretch Marks: What Are They and How to Treat Them

There are several treatments available for stretch marks depending on their severity and location on the body. Some of these treatments include laser therapy, chemical peels, microneedling, dermabrasion, topical creams, and excisional surgery. 

Laser Treatment

Stretch marks can be a difficult and embarrassing condition to live with, but thankfully, laser treatment is an effective solution for reducing their appearance. The procedure works by using lasers that are specifically designed to penetrate the skin deeply, repairing and rebuilding the dermal tissue beneath it. After several treatments, patients typically report smoother skin and reduced visibility of stretch marks. In addition, laser treatments can also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to provide further long-term results. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a low-risk and successful treatment option, laser treatment is a great choice. At La Belle Vie we offer laser therapy with our Nordlys system. If this is an option that you’re considering for your stretch marks, feel free to reach out to us for a consultation!

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a popular method of treating stretch marks at home and in salons, as it offers a safe and effective way to reduce their appearance. The chemical peel works by using an acid-based solution that is applied directly to the affected area, causing the outer layer of skin cells to slough off, allowing for the growth of healthy, new skin cells underneath. Afterward, the peel will have removed any discoloration or scarring left behind by the stretch marks. For best results, chemical peels may need to be repeated several times depending on the severity and thickness of stretch marks. With proper treatment, patients can enjoy brighter, smoother looking skin free from any residual effects of their stretch marks.


Microneedling is quickly becoming a go-to treatment for stretch marks. Working on the subdermal layer of skin, this form of therapy takes tiny needle punctures that naturally stimulate collagen and elastin fibers to develop healthier, thicker skin tissue. By using energy to build new cells, microneedling helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks by utilizing the body’s healing capabilities. Many people experience success with this process as it improves overall skin texture and tightens the surface area surrounding their existing stretch marks. With sessions tailored to each individual’s needs, microneedling provides an excellent opportunity for diminishing or removing stretch marks for good. Microneedling is another treatment that we offer at La Belle Vie with our Morpheus8 treatments! 


Dermabrasion is a popular treatment for individuals looking to treat and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It involves using very fine abrasive particles, like tiny crystals, to renew the surface of the skin by lifting away dead skin cells. The new layer of skin that forms has a softer texture and lighter color leading to a more even look. Treatments vary on an individual basis, with some requiring multiple sessions in order to achieve desired results. Dermabrasion can help reduce the size and depth of stretch marks for improved appearance, although it does not make them completely disappear. It is important to consult a licensed medical professional prior to undergoing treatments.

Topical Creams

Stretch Marks: What Are They and How to Treat Them

Topical creams, or stretch mark creams, are one of the most popular treatments for stretch marks. They are noninvasive, cost-effective, and convenient; many claim to reduce the appearance of stretch marks over time. While the exact active ingredients may vary from cream to cream, there are a few key components that make many creams effective. Retinoids like tretinoin and tazarotene help boost collagen production in the affected area and improve skin color, while hyaluronic acid helps even out skin tone by intensifying its moisture retention. Vitamin E oil has been known to increase collagen production in the skin as well, while cocoa butter is thought to protect and repel UV exposure on damaged skin. Ultimately, the effect of these creams depends on individual factors like age and history of skin health. However, when used according to directions, they can prove to be an accessible solution for managing stretch marks.

Excisional Surgery

Excisional surgery is one of the most reliable ways to get rid of stretch marks caused by pregnancy, and is often part of mommy makeover treatments. It can involve anything from an abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck) to an examination of the underlying muscle structure. Besides the removal of stretch marks, this type of surgery can results in improved contours, tighter skin, and a slimmer midsection all around. Depending on individual needs and desires, various approaches exist to tighten the abdominal muscles as well as remove excess fat, excess skin and any visible stretch marks you may have. Thanks to modern technology and qualified professionals, this form of plastic surgery has become increasingly popular among mothers looking to achieve drastic transformations with natural-looking results. Mommy makeovers, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck procedures), and more are offered as surgical options at La Belle Vie aside from the Morpheus8 and Nordlys treatments that we carry. 

How To Prevent Stretch Marks In the First Place

It may not be possible to completely prevent stretch marks, but taking certain steps can certainly help. One of the most important is to ensure good nutrition and hydration. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help keep skin healthy and supple. Drinking plenty of water is another great way to stay hydrated, as well as avoiding excessive sugary drinks. Staying active is also beneficial – regular exercise increases blood circulation and keeps collagen production at its highest throughout the body, including the skin. Additionally, using a moisturizer twice daily can also help keep skin healthy and supple so it’s less prone to marking when stretched. Last but not least, it’s never too early (or too late) to think about healthier lifestyle habits like stopping smoking and minimizing alcohol consumption – these activities can make stretch marks worse than they already are.

Stretch mark removal is possible but requires patience as well as consistency with whatever treatment plan you choose to go with! It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you determine which treatment option is best suited for your particular needs—whether it’s laser therapy, chemical peels, microneedling, dermabrasion, topical creams or surgical excision—so that you can achieve optimal results without any risk or complication involved! With proper care and attention paid towards treating your stretch marks early on though you should see some improvement over time so don’t give up hope just yet! If you’re trying to get in touch with a board-certified plastic surgeon to consult on which treatment option you’d like, you can contact our team at La Belle Vie and Dr. Church would be glad to speak to you about what we offer and any questions you may have!

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