Bloomfield Hills, MI – Be it from weight fluctuation, pregnancy, or other lifestyle changes, it can be difficult to deal with stretch marks in the abdominal area. Since stretch marks reach down to deeper layers of skin, they are difficult to rid of and may be bothersome or unsightly. Luckily, there is some help available.
Certain creams and other topical treatments can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Here are some that can work for you:
- Moisturize! Topical moisturizers hydrate your skin and can minimize wear and tear if your skin needs to stretch further.
- Lotion on old stretch marks can help minimize their appearance but works best on new marks.
- Vitamin A: Tretinoin (Retin-A) is derived from vitamin A and is prescribed by a doctor. It can increase your skin’s production of elastin and collagen, proteins that help your skin maintain its vitality. Note: This should not be used if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant soon.
- Glycolic wash/pads: These products can help increase production of collagen due to their alpha hydroxyl content. Ask your doctor for the most effective versions available.
You’re likely sick of hearing the advice to “eat well and exercise,” but these words of wisdom have their place in skin repair as well. Try these tricks to reduce the appearance of stretch marks:
- Eat your vitamins. Fruits and vegetables are high in the nutrients your skin needs to rejuvenate itself. Avoid refined sugar and foods with a high glycemic index; regulating hormones in this way can keep your skin looking healthier. Foods with antioxidants, like blueberries, pomegranates, and green tea can help boost your skin’s hydration.
- Hydrate. Water’s importance cannot be understated in its role of keeping skin smooth and supple. Try to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
- Hit the gym. Doing strength training and weight-bearing exercise can firm up skin. Target your approach to the abdominal area, balancing the exercise with back-strengthening activities as well. By firming your skin, you can reduce the look of stretch marks.
In cases of severe discoloration or skin distortion, surgery may be the best option. Here are some options that can work well:
- Vascular laser treatment (also called a pulsed dye laser): This treatment is best used on new stretch marks. It can decrease redness in the marks’ initial stages.
- Laser resurfacing (also called fractional laser treatment): For small areas with older stretch marks, this procedure can smooth over edges and improve overall skin tone.
Sometimes, if no other alternative has proven effective, surgery may be the only option. Here are two to be considered:
- Tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty): This procedure literally cuts the stretch marks from your body, leaving you with a flatter, smoother abdomen. While there will be a new scar from hip to hip, it can easily be covered by undergarments or a bathing suit.
- Mommy makeover: This is a combination of plastic surgeries, suited to the new mother. This series of treatments, all done at once, can instantly reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
No matter how you decide to diminish the appearance of your stretch marks, you can schedule a consultation with award-winning Detroit area plastic surgeon Dr. Ali.
To find out more about how to get rid of stretch marks, or to get your own detailed surgical consultation, contact Dr. Ali’s office today!
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