White Stretch Marks
Stretch Marks Info
What are they?
White stretch marks are thinner than their forebears, the red. In these pallid, threadlike striations, both the lack of coloration and the shriveling of furrows have been caused by a process called collagen remodeling.
Collagen, the skin’s most essential building block, can be reproduced by the body. All scarring is caused by new collagen that rampages into the damage. It fills the depressions in. This is proof that the body is a miracle that can admirably self-heal, and that’s great, but the process isn’t pretty. The new skin that’s generated doesn’t blend well with surrounding, unspoiled skin.
The scars left after this disruption are not only texturally different. They’re also hypopigmented (colorless). Both the inflammation of the red stage and the remodeling stage later on have caused the destruction of pigment.
Most people are unhappy when they look in the mirror and see white lines where their skin should be smooth. Even if they’ve been treating their stretch marks with collagen-stimulant salves, and toning their muscles to shrink scars, and drinking a lot of water, and sticking to the diets that make their skin glow, the white lines don’t disappear. They’re like freckles or wrinkles or age spots, a permanent personal topography.
What are the treatment options?
White stretch marks are harder to treat than when they were new and red. This is because in a red stretch mark, collagen remodeling is the key, and various procedures can fairly easily augment this natural process. Even home remedies might do the trick, if the person is willing to be very meticulous with moisturizing and massaging, and their genetic makeup complies.
The final products, however---white lines---are basically permanent. As far as the body is concerned, this is it. Nothing more needs to be done.
Microdermabrasion and laser therapy are standard among white stretch mark treatments. The results tend to be unimpressive, however. The procedures are expensive, and the outcomes tend to range from so-so to no change at all.
In the laser therapy field, however, a treatment with better results has evolved called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) with Repigmentation. In this method, UV phototherapy is effectively combined with targeted light technology. The treatment is noninvasive and gentle, and safe for every skin type. The skin is pigmented through an exacting release of therapeutic light. The key is stimulation of melanin.
In humans, melanin is produced in the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, and determines a person’s skin color. When a person or animal lacks melanin, this is called albinism. Such people and creatures are albinos.
People with normal melanin levels have normal skin coloration, and don’t stand out like albinos. But they must live with the exasperating whiteness that occurs wherever their skin is disrupted. IPL with Repigmentation causes melanin to darken those scars. The goal is to match nearby skin.
A person can have this procedure done without interruption of their regular activities. It only takes half an hour or so, and can be worked into the busiest schedule. The only side effect is a mildly sunburned look, which leaves the unremarkable impression that a tanning salon was just used, and this is a non-issue for stretch mark sufferers, whose striations are under their clothes.
The results are gradual. Six to fifteen treatments are needed, spaced a week apart. On average, 75% or more of the original pigment is restored. But there’s one little problem: this is too much like tanning. The new color only lasts a year. Maintenance treatments are necessary, to keep the white from returning.
What is this going to cost?
Skin renewal treatments are elective, cosmetic, and almost never covered by insurance. Every appointment for IPL is up to $50, and then there’s the maintenance. Prior testing for skin type is another $50 to $100.
This may seem extreme for concealment of narrow white lines, but if coloring them up is your bliss, then why not?
After all, smokers spend more.