These streaks visible on the skin, which correspond to a deep stretching of the elastic fibers, are often a source of complex.
First because of a significant and rapid distension, which is not only the case of pregnant women, far from it.
“From the age of 10 or 12, we can see what we call vgrowth marks camong children who grew up quickly. They are then localized on the external faces of the thighs, the buttocks, the back… Then, in young girls who gain weight very quicklythese stretch marks can appear on the chest. At the time of pregnancythey occur on the belly, around the navel”, explains Dr. Dominique Boineau.
Particular case : men who do intensive bodybuilding.
You have to know one thing: stretch marks are unpredictable. Women who suffered from them in adolescence can very well avoid them during pregnancy, and vice versa…
Good news: often women who have pregnancies a little late – after 35 years – are less prone to it because “the elastic fabric is more flexible and adapts better to stretching”, adds Dr. Boineau.
2. Can stretch marks really disappear?
Stretch marks are difficult to treat and no technique works 100%. “If we offer several treatments at the same time, it is not without reason”, says Dr. Boineau.
“We cannot promise people a complete disappearance of these marks from the deep dermis. On the other hand, we can propose an improvement in width and depth, to achieve a completely acceptable appearance, ”assure the two dermatologists.
Let us also recall that the natural evolution of the stretch mark is to see yourself less and less. For example, stretch marks that appear in adolescence – growth stretch marks – are likely to largely fade.
3. Should I intervene on a stretch mark that is still red?
The answer is yes, it is even on this type of stretch mark that the results are the best, with a vascular laser.
“When you see a red stretch mark, you know it’s the inflammatory stage,” adds Dr. Boineau. A vascular laser (pulsed dye type or KTP) acts on the inflammation and the red coloration. He can reduce the color in two or three sessions, spaced three to four weeks apart. When the stretch marks are no longer red, you can switch to a remodeling laser if necessary, which acts directly on the dermis to redensify the collagen. »
Price of a vascular laser or remodeling session: €150.
4. Which techniques are effective on old stretch marks?
- Icreams based on vitamin A acid (tretinoins): this drug has proven its effectiveness, applied locally for three or four months. Dr Isabelle Catoni explains: “Be careful not to irritate the skin, otherwise it will take on more colour! Vitamin A cream should be alternated, for example in the evening, with a soothing cream in the morning. »
- Treatments that consist of heating the dermis (infrared or radiofrequency type) : “These treatments can be interesting on old stretch marks, because they stimulate the dermis to recreate fibroblasts. But they have a limit: their price. To hope for a result, you have to do about twenty sessions, it’s expensive, “ announces Dr. Catoni. Price of a session from 50 to 150 € depending on the area.
- Non-ablative fractional lasers (remodeling)type Icon F, also act on old stretch marks, with an average of four sessions, one per month. “They are effective but you have to avoid too much inflammation, by doing more sessions with softer settings. Then, you have to stop the treatment and observe the skin because the action of the remodeling laser is often delayed,” explains Dr. Boineau. Price: €150 per session.
- Another method: stimulate them by pricking them with mesotherapy needlesso as to create a microtrauma, then “dazzle” – in the same session – with an LED lamp which will restore the quality of the skin. “It takes about ten sessions to hope for a result”, said Dr. Catoni. Price of a meso + LED session: around €60.
5. At what age should treatment be started?
On growth stretch marks, dermatologists advise, in the majority of cases, not to rush, as they fade over time.
But the matter is to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. “For young girls who are in the throes of hormonal upheaval, sometimes with a lot of hair, we can intervene but only on the areas where they are embarrassed”, continues Dr. Boineau.
6. Are there areas where stretch marks are more difficult to remove?
- The areas where they are more difficult to blend: mainly the back of the legs and on the inner sides of the thighs after significant weight loss.
- The areas where they leave more easily: stretch marks which, in adolescence, appear on the lateral areas of the breasts, at the top of the thighs and on the buttocks, and on the insides of the knees.
7. On the stomach, can plastic surgery be a solution?
Yes, answer the two consultants, but on one condition: the stretch marks must be associated with significant sagging skin and excess skin.
The surgery will first treat the excess skin, and the surgeon will then remove the skin where the stretch marks are located. I’abdominoplasty is a very involving aesthetic operation, stretch marks cannot be the first reason for this operation.
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