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Getting Rid of Stretch Marks

[Post Followup ] [ Anabolic Forum Board ]

Posted by Rick Silverman, M.D.

I have done a little investigation into treatment for stretch marks for some of my patients who are body builders and for women who have had babies. Basically, there is not much out there that is effective without producing scars-names excision of the stretch marks. This works well if the marks are on the stomach following pregnancy and you can have an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck". It's not such a great option for run of the mill stretch marks in the pectoral/axillary region, which is where most bodybuilders get them.

As for etiology of the marks, it would seem that stretch marks result from dermal scarring--scars in the deeper layers of the skin. Why some people get them and others don't, we don't really know. Many things have been tried to treat them including agents such as Retin-A, which is very effective for many age-related skin conditions. In one study that I am aware of, it was not terribly effective for stretch marks.

I am going to try using the pulsed-dye laser on the stretch marks of a few of my patients. This laser is effective for vascular lesions such as port wine stain and hemangiomas. In English, that means it's good for lesions that are caused by an abundance of blood vessels. The stretch marks that this might work for are those which are red or purple in color. Filmy silvery ones probably wouldn't respond. I'm not aware of any work yet using the CO2 laser resurfacing techniques, which I might also try on a few of my bodybuilding patients. Any results that I could report here early on would be anecdotal, but I would be happy to do that.

Note: Rick is a Plastic Surgeon and a bodybuilder, his website is

[Post Followup ] [ Anabolic Forum Board ]

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