Stretch marks are very common, and women are twice as likely as men to develop them. Until quite recently, there weren’t any effective treatments.
Although stretch marks don’t generally cause symptoms, they can be distressing. At Osteopathic Center for Healing in Rockville, Maryland, Neil Spiegel, DO, and Jennifer Gularson, PA-C, understand how important it is to feel good about how you look.
When you feel good about your appearance, you’re more likely to take better care of yourself. To that end, we offer microneedling, which has turned out to be an effective way to lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
The medical name for stretch marks is striae distensae, and researchers don’t know exactly why some people get them and others don’t.
Usually stretch marks develop during puberty, pregnancy, or when your body rapidly changes in size such as during a growth spurt or if you gain weight quickly.
Stretch marks are a result of damage to the connective tissue in your skin. You may have a genetic predisposition to them, and use of corticosteroids may make it more likely you develop stretch marks.
Stretch marks look different at different stages. At first, they may be raised and bluish in color. Over time, they flatten and become silvery.
The location of your stretch marks depends to some degree on whether you’re a man or woman and why they formed. If your stretch marks appear during pregnancy, for example, they’re most likely on your abdomen or on your breasts.
Men are more likely to develop stretch marks on their legs. When pregnancy isn’t an issue, women tend to get stretch marks on their hips, thighs, or breasts.
Microneedling is a process that causes mild trauma to your skin in order to stimulate your body’s natural healing powers. We use microneedling to correct numerous problems and may combine it with other treatments.
At Osteopathic Center for Healing, we first apply a topical serum to your skin. Then we use a special roller with hundreds of tiny needles — “micro” needles — on your skin. Those needles create minute wounds, which trigger your body’s healing response.
Part of that response is increased production of collagen, which is a key connective tissue in your skin. Another result is increased circulation, so your skin receives more nourishment.
We determine how deep the needles need to go, as well as how many treatments you’re likely to need based on your specific situation. Generally speaking, most people need between three and six treatments at regular intervals.
Microneedling doesn’t require any downtime. You may experience some discomfort but it should be minimal, and we do all that we can to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
After microneedling, you can leave our office and go on about your normal daily activities. We recommend specific skin care products and routines based on your skin. You may need a mineral-based foundation for a few days after your treatment in order to avoid bacteria buildup.
If you’d like to learn more about how well microneedling works to eliminate stretch marks, schedule an appointment with us at Osteopathic Center for Healing today. We’re happy to answer your questions.