With swimsuit season approaching, you may be reluctant to get out to the beach, because you’re self-conscious about your visible scars, or the “rippling” that stretch marks have made on your skin. We see a lot of patients who’ve been trying for years to get rid of their stretch marks. They’ve tried creams, lotions, home remedies, vitamins, exercise… but the bad news (and also good news) is that you don’t need to waste your time with any of them, because none have been proven to work.
Stretch marks aren’t like wrinkles or other skin blemishes; they’re actually scars that result when the middle layer of your skin (called the dermis) tears, after it is rapidly and/or repeatedly stretched over weak connective tissue. You’re most likely to see stretch marks on your arms, thighs, breasts, abdomen or buttocks, though they can appear pretty much anywhere. While there are a few factors that increase your chances of developing stretch marks (like pregnancy or dramatic weight change), there really isn’t much you can do to prevent them. More often than not, they’re simply the product of your genetics. The good news is: they’re completely normal, and pose no risk to your health. The even better news is: this doesn’t mean you have to put up with them!
Surgical skin grafting is the most dramatic way to get rid of scarring and other types of skin disfiguration, but it’s also the most invasive, obviously, and requires quite a bit of downtime – plus you then have surgical scars, and there’s no guarantee that the grafted skin won’t also stretch. Many of our patients who come in to consult with one of our medical aestheticians are pleased to learn that there’s a non-surgical option as well. The Fraxel laser uses pulses of fractional laser light to literally break down damaged tissue, such as stretch marks and scarring. This stimulates the production of new tissue and collagen, which smooths your skin’s texture and evens the coloration of the treated areas. It’s non-ablative, which means there’s no discomfort or irritation, and its patented cool-tip technology lets you walk out afterward feeling (and looking) better and more confident. Fraxel is even an effective acne treatment, since it kills the bacteria causing the acne, and prevents future outbreaks. For best results, you’ll probably want to schedule at least two Fraxel laser treatments to see what a difference it can make.
You can visit our website to learn more about how Fraxel can help reduce (or even eliminate) the skin problems that are preventing you from making the most of your summer. Once you’re ready to take pride in your skin again, you can contact Azul to ask questions that Dr. Flaharty will answer personally. Or you can call to schedule your free consultation and ask your questions in person. You can also request a copy of Look Younger Now, in which Dr. Flaharty shares the secrets of skin rejuvenation. Keep an eye on our Fraxel laser promotions and special offers by subscribing to our newsletter, and turn back the clock in time to hit the beach in just a few more weeks!