Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks that appear on your skin when it is stretched too quickly. These unsightly depressed scars aren’t harmful to your health, but they aren’t exactly nice to look at, either.
This is why the global market value for stretch marks treatment was valued at US$2.1 billion in 2018 and is projected to increase at a CAGR of 8% by 2026.
Red stretch marks vs. white stretch marks
Red stretch marks, or striae rubrae, are newly formed. These new stretch marks usually appear bright red at first because of the blood vessels that are under the skin. These blood vessels make it a lot easier to treat stretch marks during the early stages.
Over time, the blood vessels will become narrow and disappear, changing these scars to silvery white. These white stretch marks are known as straie alba. They become less responsive to treatments and the body no longer stimulate collagen to cover the scars.
What are some common causes of stretch marks?
Although the skin has the ability to stretch and snap back to its original shape, the network of elastic fibers in the dermis can be damaged if the skin stretches too quickly in a short time.
Some factors that may cause your skin to stretch and leave permanent marks:
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the skin on the abdomen stretches to make room for the baby. If the elastic fibers in the skin are damaged, it will cause stretch marks to appear
- Bodybuilding: The rapid increase in muscle mass especially on the arms and shoulders can damage the elastic fibers and leave stretch marks
- Weight loss or gain: Piling on the pounds or shedding weight too quickly can also cause trauma to the skin.
- Breast implants: Surgeries that place large volume of implants into the body such as breast implants can result in sudden stretching of the skin.
- Certain medical conditions: Marfan’s syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome are some medical conditions that may cause formation of stretch marks.
Treating stretch marks with Genius RF Microneedling
Genius is an established radiofrequency microneedling platform that can effectively reduce appearance of stretch marks.
It uses microneedles to deliver a series of tiny punctures to induce controlled damage to stimulate collagen production in the dermis. In addition, tiny amounts of radiofrequency energy are introduced into the dermis to kick start neocollagenesis.
The microneedles Genius microneedling treatment uses are better designed for easier skin penetration, allowing smoother insertion with less tissue injury. There is also in-built real-time tissue impedance monitoring which allows for more precise radiofrequency energy delivery for better results with every shot. The real-time feedback mechanism also optimises needle placement and hence improved radiofrequency energy delivery.
You may see some results after one session but stretch mark treatments usually need a series of regular treatments to see the optimal outcome as collagen and elastin take time to develop.
Skin renewal process can be accelerated by using an EGF serum, which is a cell-signalling polypeptide that helps to stimulate collagen production, to lessen the appearance of the stretch marks.
Treating stretch marks can be a trying and expensive process. If you are not seeing any results from your home treatments, seeing a doctor can be helpful.