I’ve done the research for you regarding the treatment of stretch marks. Below you’ll begin to understand the cause of stretch marks, learn the pros and cons of different treatments for stretch marks and why there’s no good solution for your problem.
Most people notice stretch marks with rapid weight gain, pregnancy, even aggressive body building. Pretty much anything that requires the skin to stretch in a short time can result in stretch marks. And clearly, your genetics predict how susceptible you are to stretch marks. So how do those marks occur? As skin stretches, there is damage to the underlying dermis (your top layer of skin is the epidermis). As the dermis “fractures” and separates, you visualize this as stretch marks. Since the cause of stretch marks is in the deeper skin layer, the dermis, treatments should be directed to this layer. The only problem is that it’s difficult to treat the skin with topical creams with the hope that the creams’ ingredients will make it down into the dermis. This is probably the main reason most skin treatments don’t work well or long term because they don’t effectively treat the dermis. But there are many creams out there and I’ll review a couple of them below.
TriLASTIN SR Intensive Stretch Mark Complex is one product on the market that lists its ingredients on their website but it’s hard to tell what the active ingredient is and the mixture is a company secret. Here are some useful details. It costs $79.95 per tube, which usually lasts a month. The product should be used twice per day and…this is the best part….the website suggests using TriLASTIN SR with TriLASTIN-HT Hydro-Thermal Accelerator which costs another $89.90! Brilliant marketing. Here are some pictures so judge for yourself.
So if you do the math, and you use TriLASTIN SR and HT per the company’s recommendation for best results over 4 months, it will cost you $679.40! Let’s say you had the money to achieve these results over 4 months, that’s great but to keep the results above, you must continue using the creams indefinitely. No one I know has the time or money to keep up with this regimen.
Alternatively, Mederma has a product on the market that cost $35 to $40 per month and is used twice per day also. Their main ingredient is a proprietary product called Cepalin® and it contains a botanical extract which “works to improve the overall appearance, texture and color of stretch marks.” Here are their results:
The stretch marks are lighter after treatment but like the product above, once you cease using these creams, the stretch marks become visible again. This is the problem with treating the epidermis only and not the underlying problem in the dermis.
And before someone suggests it, lasers don’t work either – for the same reason that they can’t penetrate deeply enough into the dermis to treat the real problem. The only current way to adequately treat the underlying problem in the dermis is to remove the dermis. And in the case of abdominal stretch marks that means removing the excess lower abdominal skin via a tummy tuck. But clearly not everyone needs a tummy tuck just because of a few stretch marks. For patients that have excess abdominal skin and stretch marks isolated to the lower abdomen, a tummy tuck will cure them. Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for this. Discuss your case with a board certified plastic surgeon near you.
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