Stretch marks can be destructive to your self-image. No matter how much weight you lose or how much muscle you gain, you feel bad about your appearance because of your stretch marks. You may have hoped initially that your stretch marks would go away over time, but they didn’t.
Fortunately, you can improve your self-esteem and get your body the way you want by having your stretch marks treated. The following treatments can help fade stretch marks so they’re less visible.
Microdermabrasion uses a special tool to thoroughly exfoliate skin, removing dead skin cells and damaged skin and encouraging skin regrowth and regeneration.
- Benefits: Microdermabrasion costs less than some of the other stretch mark treatments.
- Disadvantages: Microdermabrasion only impacts the topmost layer of skin, not the middle layer of skin where stretch marks form. By improving the look of the outer layer of skin, microdermabrasion can make stretch marks less visible, but it will not get rid of stretch marks entirely.
Deep Chemical Peel
A deep chemical peel is a process where a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon applies a chemical treatment to areas affected by stretch marks in order to burn away damaged skin and encourage skin regrowth.
- Benefits: Deep chemical peels are capable of impacting the middle layer of skin where stretch marks form, so it has a better chance of significantly improving the appearance of stretch marks.
- Disadvantages: It takes a long time for skin to heal after a deep chemical peel, and while you’re recovering from the treatment, your treated areas will be unsightly and will eventually scab before healing fully. Deep chemical peels are also expensive, costing as much as $6,000.
Microneedling uses a special tool covered in fine needles to damage skin and encourage regrowth and regeneration. The process has effects similar to microdermabrasion, but because needles can penetrate deeper than surface exfoliation, microneedling can be more effective in fading stretch marks.
- Benefits: Microneedling can penetrate skin down to the dermis where stretch marks form, so it has a decent chance of encouraging skin regeneration in damaged areas and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
- Disadvantages: For microneedling to be effective, several treatments are needed. To improve the appearance of stretch marks, five or more treatments will likely be required, resulting in 4-6 months of treatments and potentially more than $3,000 in costs.
Laser treatment uses a focused laser to damage skin affected with stretch marks and encourage skin regrowth and regeneration.
- Benefits: Laser treatment can be effective in fading or removing stretch marks, and it requires less recovery time than a deep chemical peel.
- Disadvantages: For laser treatment to be effective, months of recurring treatments will be required, and costs incurred can run between $5,000 and $10,000.
Stretch Mark Creams
Stretch mark creams increase your production of collagen and other natural skin-regenerating elements, causing skin to regenerate and heal without damaging skin.
- Benefits: Stretch mark creams are the least expensive treatment option for effectively fading stretch marks and can be purchased over the counter—no doctor trips are required.
- Disadvantages: Stretch mark creams must be applied frequently and regularly in order to achieve maximum fading effects.