Growth is admirable. Every day, we learn, we progress, we flourish, and we end up further along in life than where we started. But sometimes, we experience growing pains. When tissue expands too rapidly for our skin to adapt, it can cause stretch marks.
If you struggle with unsightly stretch marks on your breasts, tummy, or extremities, Plastic Surgery Specialists (PSS) can help. Conveniently located in Greenbrae, California, PSS proudly serves the Bay Area with dedication and compassion. To learn how you may benefit from our expertise, please contact our office at your earliest convenience.
We also offer virtual consultations for those who cannot visit us in person. No matter where you log on, we want to connect with you!
- 1 What Are Stretch Marks?
- 2 Treatment Options
- 3 Benefits of Stretch Mark Revision
- 4 Ideal Candidates
- 5 Private Consultation
- 6 Preparation for Treatment
- 7 Stretch Mark Revision Procedure
- 8 Recovery
- 9 Amazing Results
- 10 Combination Procedures
- 11 FAQ
- 12 References
What Are Stretch Marks?
Although the term “stretch marks” implies that the skin is pulled too far, the truth is a bit more complicated. The scientific name for stretch marks is striae distensae. They occur when the body produces an excess of glucocorticoid, a growth hormone associated with pregnancy and puberty.
During these transcendent times in a woman’s life, she may develop tissue more quickly than her body can generate collagen. Since collagen is the protein that supports proper skin health and regeneration, a deficiency can manifest itself in the form of stretch marks.
If you notice thin, long strips of pale or darkened skin emerging beneath your normal complexion, then you may be experiencing stretch marks. These marks may appear on various parts of the body, and the experts at Plastic Surgery Specialists can address them wherever they may occur.
Breast Stretch Marks
Striations can appear on the breasts if they grow rapidly. In addition to the causes mentioned previously (i.e., puberty and pregnancy), stretch marks may also be triggered by sudden weight gain. Breasts are one of the most common places for stretch marks to appear since their size varies rapidly during certain transitional phases.
Abdominal Stretch Marks
Weight fluctuations often affect the belly region most noticeably. Between 50% and 90% of pregnant women experience stretch marks when they are expecting a baby. To minimize the onset and persistence of tummy stretch marks, contact Plastic Surgery Specialists.
Stretch Marks on the Arms and Legs
Significant weight loss can leave skin lax and sagging. To address “bat wings” along the upper body, you may want to consider the benefits of an arm lift. If the legs are more of your “problem” area, then thigh liposuction is a great option. However, neither of these procedures addresses the superficial stretch marks that may appear on the arms and/or legs. To learn how Plastic Surgery Specialists can help erase unsightly marks from your extremities, call (415) 384-9787.
Flanks and Buttocks Stretch Marks
Years of office work can take its toll on your body. Extended periods of sitting puts stress on the skin along your buttocks. Stretch marks may radiate from your backside to your flanks, accentuating the areas most pressurized by tight clothing and restrictive body movement. To transform your love handles and/or rear end from blotchy to brilliant, contact the aesthetic wizards at Plastic Surgery Specialists.
Depending on the severity and location of your stretch marks, Plastic Surgery Specialists may recommend a wide array of different remedies.
Sometimes, stretch marks can be treated before they fully manifest themselves. If you notice thin skin that is easily irritable or itchy, then this may be the precursor to stretch marks. During this period, dermatologists may recommend a topical treatment containing 0.1% retinoic acid, or tretinoin. Clinical trials indicate how topical solutions can reduce the length of burgeoning stretch marks by 14% and slim their width by 8%, on average. Compare this with patients who received a “vehicle” moisturizer that contained no tretinoin. The control group experienced a growth in the length of their stretch marks averaging 10% as well as an increase of 24% in width.
Laser Resurfacing Therapy
When stretch marks go untreated, they can evolve into deep red and purple hues. To correct this phenomenon, your doctor may suggest laser resurfacing. High-energy bursts of light can target unwanted blemishes and discolorations on and under your skin. Lasers have proven to be highly effective in treating stretch marks, melasma, acne scars, and spider veins.
Radiofrequency for Stretch Marks
As mentioned earlier, stretch marks appear when the growth of the skin outpaces the collagen production necessary to adequately support it. To counter this trajectory, doctors may use radiofrequency (RF) technology. By treating the area surrounding stretch marks with RF waves, your medical team can stimulate collagen to fill in the gaps below the surface.
When stretch marks coincide with excess skin, your surgeon may be able to treat both conditions with one efficient procedure. If, for example, stretch marks appear along the belly, your Plastic Surgery Specialists doctor can excise the loose skin where the imperfections manifest. A tummy tuck gently removes sagging skin and tightens your midsection. The medical artists at Plastic Surgery Specialists will redrape your skin, trimming away stretch marks that obscure your ideal complexion.
Benefits of Stretch Mark Revision
Cosmetic appearance shapes our psychology, and vice versa. How you look factors into how you feel, which determines how you project yourself to the world. If you are insecure about your stretch marks, it can inhibit your everyday life. By correcting the situation, you may be able to enjoy a boost in confidence, not to mention the obvious aesthetic benefits of stretch mark revision.
Benefits of Stretch Mark Reduction
- Even skin tone
- Wear revealing clothes with peace of mind
- Enjoy a youthful luster
- No need to shy away from intimate encounters
If you are a healthy individual in the Bay Area, then you may be eligible for a stretch mark revision treatment from Dr. Stanley Poulos, Dr. Yngvar Hvistendahl, or Dr. Trent Douglas. These board-certified experts have over 75 years of combined experience and can address your concerns stemming from weight gain, pregnancy, or other life changes. Even if your stretch marks date back to adolescence, there are cosmetic treatments that can alleviate the situation. To determine if you are a candidate for corrective surgery and/or less invasive options, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment at Plastic Surgery Specialists.
When you meet with Dr. Poulos, Dr. Hvistnedahl, or Dr. Douglas, it is a true exchange of ideas and partnership. Our expert surgeons are eager to listen to your aesthetic goals and also ready to impart their considerable wisdom to you. Together, you will arrive at the best solution to your stretch mark condition, be it surgical or otherwise. You should be ready to share your medical history with the doctor so he can get a thorough assessment of the situation.
To familiarize yourself with our team’s thought process, please visit our blog. It is our avenue where we share insights and information with the greater San Francisco community. Take a look and let’s start a conversation about wellness and aesthetics.
Preparation for Treatment
During your individualized consultation, our trained medical staff will provide you with preparation instructions tailored to your case. In general, you should quit smoking at least four weeks prior to your treatment. Tobacco products are detrimental to skin health and circulation, both of which contribute to an optimal complexion.
You should also arrange for transportation to and from our clinic if you require any sort of invasive procedure. Please follow your provider’s directions closely and call (415) 384-9787 with any questions you may have.
Stretch Mark Revision Procedure
To address stretch marks, Dr. Poulos, Dr. Hvistendahl, or Dr. Douglas may take one of several approaches. They will convey their findings during your initial consultation and explain their thinking at every step moving forward. If your condition can be improved using laser resurfacing, then our providers will walk you through the process to let you know what to expect. Non-ablative lasers (those that do not destroy skin cells but rather work below the surface) take about 30 minutes to treat stretch marks. Ablative lasers require more time – approximately 90 minutes – and they may necessitate anesthesia and/or downtime to recover.
If surgery is the better solution for your stretch marks, then one of our board-certified anesthesiologists will administer the proper anesthesia to begin the process. The doctor will then address the stretch marks by tightening, trimming, and removing any excess skin that disrupts your natural beauty. Once he is done, he will close any incisions with sutures, hiding them from view. The entire process may take up to two hours, but the effects are long-lasting and life-changing!
You may be fitted for a compression garment to wear over your bandages. Please schedule a follow-up appointment according to the doctor’s recommendations. We are happy to monitor your progress and celebrate your results!
The only opinion that matters belongs to the person in your mirror. You should look at that reflection and love what you see! Stretch mark revision can provide confidence, appeal, and a whole new perspective. The Plastic Surgery Specialists team has amassed scores of rave reviews over the years. We hope the next one comes from you!
Health and aesthetics are as individual as you are. Your anatomy shifts with every stage of your maturity and you deserve to be satisfied with this progression. There are many ways in which cosmetic surgery can help supplement your wellness routine to ensure your health and happiness. If your breasts have grown larger than you wish, you can avoid developing stretch marks by reversing the condition. A breast reduction surgery removes excess fat and skin to help your streamlined profile emerge. If stretch marks are appearing along the top of your breasts due to the effects of gravity, then a breast lift may be the perfect solution. This procedure trims unwanted skin and repositions the breast to give you a more pleasing silhouette.
Breast surgery is just one facet of our mommy makeover suite of procedures. If you struggle with stretch marks, excess skin or unwanted fat, Plastic Surgery Specialists can customize a treatment plan for you!
Every patient deserves her or his own individual diagnosis and treatment. Each case involves hundreds of variables that make it unique. For these reasons, pricing will depend on the specific nature of the stretch marks and the best strategy to correct them. To learn more about costs and credit solutions in the Bay Area, please visit our fees & financing page.
When the skin expands faster than its underlying collagen can support it, then stretch marks may appear. This happens most commonly during pregnancy, adolescence, or after significant weight gain. Stretch marks may also be a result of medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome. If you overuse corticosteroid creams, it can hinder your body’s collagen production. In these cases, you may develop stretch marks. Regardless of the root causes of stretch marks, there are solutions. Please contact Plastic Surgery Specialists and tell us how we can help.
- McDaniel, D. H. (2002). Laser therapy of stretch marks. Dermatologic Clinics. 20(1)67–76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0733-8635(03)00046-9
- McAvoy, B. R. (2013). No evidence for topical preparations in preventing stretch marks in pregnancy. The British journal of general practice: the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 63(609), 212. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp13X665431n
- Kang S, Kim KJ, Griffiths CEM, et al. (1996). Topical Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) Improves Early Stretch Marks. Archives of Dermatology. 132(5):519–526. DOI: 10.1001/archderm.1996.03890290053007