Stretch Marks Treatments
by Max Bellamy
As already mentioned, most available treatments for stretch marks are essentially of the preventive and controlling kind. The treatments that deal with repairing already existing damage are quite radical and, for the greatest part, not of established medical validity.
Pulsed laser dye therapy, currently in vogue as a possible ‘cure, has been used in the treatment of warts, port wine stains and acne. The results vary and are the object of much disagreement in medical circles, but the professional consensus seems to be that this form of treatment is of no or very limited benefit in tackling stretch marks.
A group of chemical compounds called retinoids - specifically, retinaldehyde, tretinoin or isotretinoin - has reportedly yielded favorable results in some cases. Retinoids are basically derived from vitamin A. Under proper medical supervision, their use in the treating of stretch marks can certainly do no harm. However, the research conducted on retinoids has been largely in conjunction with acne, skin aging and blemishes like whiteheads and blackheads.
Chemical peels should not be considered an option. This is a radical form of treatment that involves burning off the topmost layer of skin with chemicals such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and trichloracetic acid (TCA). We now know that stretch marks stem from damage to deeper levels of the skin, so sloughing off superficial layers is patently useless and potentially very harmful.
The safest bet at the present time is prevention by nutritional adjustment, intensive moisturizing and massage, vitamin A, E and C supplementation and a regular exercise routine. Apart from these, only concealing or camouflaging agents can offer a degree of comfort to those afflicted by stretch marks. Various products are on the market. Finding the most suitable one is a matter of personal research.
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