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Overview of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks, or striaedistensae, are scars in the dermis which appear when the skin has recently endured rapid stretching. Rapid stretching interferes with the production of collagen, leading to tearing of the skin. These striae generally start off as a reddish, purple hue and lighten over time but do not usually disappear entirely.There are three stages of maturation of stretch marks:

  1. Acute stage (striaerubra) - beginning stage characterized by raised marks on the dermis
  2. Sub-acute stage - characterized by purpuricstriae
  3. Chronic stage (striaealba) - pale colored, or hypo pigmented striae.
  4. Stretch marks commonly appear in places such as the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, breasts, arms, and legs.


    Common influences of rapid stretching leading to stretch marks include:

    Stretch marks are also thought to be influenced by genetic factors.

    Conventional Treatment of Stretch Marks

    Conventional treatment for stretch marks includes multiple topical creams, oils, and ointments which do not generally deliver the desired improvement of striae patients hope for. Studies carried out using topical creams showed that certain brands were beneficial in the very early stages of small striae, but did not benefit the later stages.Conventional laser therapy such as PDL technology has demonstrated to be effective in the early stages of development of striae, and is not recommended for all skin types.

    FDA Approved Treatment for Stretch Marks

    Patients Medical's highly trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Adam Schaffner, utilizes the most current technology available, the Palomar Icon, to help restore the skin back to a healthy state. This treatment is ideal for unwanted stretch marks of all stages and severity. The Palomar Icon, non-ablative laser, is FDA approved for the treatment of striae (stretch marks). Safe microbeams are used to penetrate the skin and create coagulation in the dermis (skin). This triggers restoration and collagen production, turning once damaged tissue into healthy tissue, greatly minimizing the appearance of stretch marks. Smooth Pulse delivery is utilized which controls the heat, allowing for comfortable treatment with little to no discomfort. There is no downtime involved, meaning that patients may return to their daily activities immediately after treatment. The Palomar Icon Stretch Mark Treatment is safe and effective for all skin types.

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