Why No Cure for Stretch Marks?

How come technolgy is so far evolved yet there's nothing that can be done for stretchmarks..?is there anything that could erase them in the future..Do People with Stretchmarks have any chance of removing them..?

Doctor Answers (6)

No cure for stretch marks other than removal

+2

A stretch mark is a permanent damage to the skin like splitting a tomato over a flame.  The under layers of the skin where the elastic fibers exist are split and no treatment can bring them back together.  In the case of a tummy tuck, stretch marks in the lower abdomen can be removed but elsewhere the scar would probably be worse than the stretch marks.


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Cure for stretch marks

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Unfortunately stretch marks cannot be removed by any non-surgical method. Fresh (red) stretch marks have a better chance of being treated and lightened, but not removed. The only way they can be removed is through surgery. Stretch marks are caused because the skin is stretched beyond its capacity to recoil. Its like a rubber band that is over stretched and can never regain its original shortened length. Any laser that claims to tighten skin has not addressed the basic physiologic problem which is a dermis that is overstretched. The laser will however help the coloration but the stretch marks themselves will persist. You have to ask yourself if the goal is stretch mark removal or if its the discoloration that bothers you. Your best option is to have them surgically remove where appropriate. Unfortunately not all areas are amenable to surgery. Visit with a plastic surgeon.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Why No Cure for Stretch Marks?

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Research is on going. The pathophysiology needs to be more determined than a possible therapy/treatment can be devised. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski - "All in Good Time!"

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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Why is there no apprent Cure for Stretch Marks?

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Regarding: "Why No Cure for Stretch Marks?
How come technolgy is so far evolved yet there's nothing that can be done for stretchmarks..?is there anything that could erase them in the future..Do People with Stretchmarks have any chance of removing them
..?"

Stretch marks is a misnomer. They are MUCH better described as stretch cracks. The skin is pulled apart until a crack forms in its deep layers which fills with scar tissue. At first, when the scar tissue is filled with blood vessels, the color is red to purple but as the scar matures and blood vessels go away, it becomes white. Just like we cannot erase cracks in marble, we cannot erase them in skin. The only way we can treat them is remove those amenable to removal with a Tummy Tuck.

When we learn how to control and reverse scarring, erasing stretch marks would not be far away.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Stretchmarks

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Stretchmarks are damaged skin that is missing some skin components. We currently have no way to normalize that skin although some treatments may change the color so it is less noticeable etc. The only currently reliable way to remove them is the remove the skin that contains them but then you have to have sufficient excess skin to make this feasible. The problem is stretchmarks do not always come with sufficient skin and are not always in areas that allow easy removal of the affected skin.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Treatments to decrease size and appearance of stretch marks

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It is an area of skin where there is thinning of the dermis and a decrease in the elastic fibers.  Just like a regular scar, there is no cure for stretch marks.

There are, however, treatments to decrease the size and appearance of stretch marks:

1. for new stretch marks: a retinoid cream, like Retin A, tazorac or differin once daily often helps decrease stretch mark appearance and size. These need to be used for several months to see good results.

2. for red stretch marks: pulse dye laser treatment to decrease the redness

2. for white stretch marks: fractional laser treatment to decrease the size and stimulate new collagen production in the dermis.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.