This is an article answering the question, does microdermabrasion work for stretch marks?
I’ve had stretch marks my entire life. I have them on my things, calves, stomach, and chest. As far as I can remember, it’s always been a part of me. I’ve never been skinny and would always experience weight fluctuations, especially when I was still a student. And although I’ve learned to love and embrace my stretch marks, it was one of my biggest insecurities growing up.
As I spend more time on self-care and researching ways to improve myself, I looked into treatments and procedures that can help with my stretch marks. I still love them but who wouldn’t want to improve their appearance, given the chance, right?
One stretch mark treatment that keeps coming up is microdermabrasion. Now, I know a little bit about the cosmetic procedure but wasn’t too sure of its benefits for stretch marks, specifically.
If you’re like me and are wondering if microdermabrasion does work on stretch marks, go ahead and read on below!
Stretch Marks 101
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks or striae are an extremely common type of scar. Stretch marks appear when there is sudden and rapid change in your skin and body ie. weight loss or weight gain. When skin stretches and tears due to that change, these scars form when the skin tries to heal and repair itself.
Stretch marks, like any type of scars, are permanent. Stretch marks are not painful and are not a cause for any medical intervention. They are, however, a reason for self-esteem issues for many.
When you have stretch marks, you don’t necessarily have to ‘treat’ them. They can naturally fade over time or can be lessened in appearance, depending on its severity.
Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but they are common on the thighs, hips, stomach, upper arms, back, and breasts.
What causes and why do stretch marks form?
Stretch marks are commonly caused by rapid changes in weight. Stretch marks form due to a variety of factors including:
- Growth spurts during puberty
- Rapidly weight loss or weight gain
- Quick muscle growth in weightlifting or bodybuilding
Red vs white stretch marks
Red stretch marks are stretch marks that have just appeared on your skin. They are fresh and mark the beginning stages of stretch marks. Red stretch marks are easier to treat and intervene in with only topical creams.
White stretch marks are the stretch marks that have been on your body for a long time. These are older scars and don’t respond to treatments well, especially topical stretch mark creams. They’re stubborn when it comes to treatments but there are definitely treatments you can turn to, to at least ease and soften their appearance.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive dermatological procedure that works to exfoliate and remove the skin’s outer and topmost layer. The procedure is done with a handheld device that gently sands the skin and offers many skin benefits.
Microdermabrasion was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 as a Class 1 medical device. Since then, clinical and at-home devices have been produced for the use and benefits of many.
How does the procedure go?
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure. You won’t need any numbing agent or anesthesia to undergo the procedure.
There are two types of microdermabrasion treatments: diamond and crystal.
Diamond microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tipped device that works to gently exfoliate dead skin cells off of the skin’s surface. At the same time, the device will suction the sanded skin immediately. Crystal microdermabrasion uses a crystal-shooting handheld device to spray fine crystals that sand off the top layer of the skin. The device then also sucks it back in.
Microdermabrasion treatments are quick and don’t take up much time. On average, a treatment takes about 15 to 30 minutes. This changes depending on your skin condition and how large the treatment area is.
Results depend on your current skin condition and the results you’re after. You can consult with your dermatologist for a consistent treatment and maintenance treatment plan.
What does it treat?
Microdermabrasion is done to rejuvenate and renew skin to reveal smoother and softer skin. It’s mostly suitable for most skin types and anyone with dealing with the skin issues listed below are ideal candidates:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hyperpigmentation, melasma, and discoloration
- Age and sun spots
- Acne and acne scars
- Dull skin
- Uneven skin tone and texture
- Blackheads and enlarged pores
- Stretch marks
What is recovery like?
Microdermabrasion is non-surgical and minimally invasive. There is little to no recovery time after treatment.
But because it’s an exfoliating procedure, expect some redness, tenderness, and swelling on the treatment area after. No worries though as these side effects will go away on their own a few hours after the treatment. If you bruise easily, expect some bruising on the area as well due to the suction process.
You can go about applying skincare products, makeup, and non-medicated skin products with no problem. Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun a few weeks after treatment so make sure to double that SPF and sun protection.
How much is it?
A microdermabrasion treatment can cost anywhere between $100 to $250. According to the 2020 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the treatment’s average cost is $167. This can fluctuate based on a variety of other factors.
So, Does Microdermabrasion Treat Stretch Marks?
Microdermabrasion works to exfoliate and buff the top layer of the skin known as the epidermis. However, stretch marks form on the dermis or on the layer of the skin under the epidermis.
So while microdermabrasion does not have a direct effect on the skin layer where the stretch marks are, it can improve the outer layer of the skin. The procedure can improve the skin’s outer layer enough that stretch marks look less apparent and improve more in appearance.
The exfoliation process with microdermabrasion will encourage collagen production, aka new and healthy layers of skin cells surrounding the stretch marks. This gives an illusion as if one is ‘removing’ stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion gives stretch marks a more temporary solution. It would require constant, repeated, and continued treatments so you can maintain the results. Consult with your dermatologist so you can lay out a plan for your goals.
Those with mild to moderate cases of stretch marks can benefit most with microdermabrasion. Those with severe cases of stretch marks may want to ask about other treatments they can combine with microdermabrasion for the best results.
Alternative Stretch Mark Treatment
If after reading much about microdermabrasion you decide it’s not for you, there are other stretch mark removal options to choose from.
Topical creams for stretch marks
Topical creams and ointments are also a great options for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. They’re not procedures or treatments so you don’t need to come to a clinic for it. You only need to apply it regularly or as prescribed on the affected areas.
Many topical creams are available over the counter while some are doctor-prescribed. If you’re not sure which topical cream to choose, you can always consult with your dermatologist on what stretch mark removal topical cream they can recommend to you, according to the severity of your stretch marks.
A chemical peel is another exfoliating procedure where a chemical solution is applied on top of skin. This solution removes the top layer of the skin and reveals a younger-looking and renewed skin under.
It also offers a variety of skin benefits including reduced and improved fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, acne, and scarring.
You can get chemical peels at your preferred clinics but there are also over-the-counter chemical peels you can buy to do at home for stretch mark removal purposes.
Laser treatments are another non-invasive cosmetic procedure you can turn to for stretch mark removal. Laser treatments are a skin resurfacing treatments. This means it stimulates new growth of healthier skin in place of the damaged and scarred skin. This reveals smoother and younger-looking skin.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive dermatological procedure that presents a wide array of skin benefits. The treatment exfoliates and removes the skin’s top layers. It renews and rejuvenates skin to reveal smoother, softer skin underneath. This does it by sanding and sucking in dead skin cells build up, dirt, and oil on skin.
There is little to no downtime and recovery time after a microdermabrasion procedure. But because it is a suction process, expect some redness, swelling, and tenderness on the treatment area.
While microdermabrasion cannot heal and get rid of stretch marks completely, it can improve and reduce its appearance. The exfoliation process of a microdermabrasion treatment will improve the skin’s top layer by encouraging collagen production. This gives the skin around and on top of stretch marks new, healthy, and youthful layers.
Microdermabrasion offers only a temporary solution for treating stretch marks. It requires repeated and continued treatments to maintain the results.
For a more severe case of stretch marks, other treatments combined with microdermabrasion can be beneficial.
And that has been our guide all about microdermabrasion for stretch marks!