Stretch marks are something that plagues both men and women. No one likes going to the beach and realizing that those silvery, white, red or light brown (depending on your skin color) thin lines are there, especially when they appear on your belly or buttocks. Where do stretch marks come from and how do you get rid of them? Doctor Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills, can give you all of that information and more.
Doctor Ourian explains, “The underlying layer of the skin is called the dermis; a stretch mark occurs when there is a breakdown is elastin and collagen fibers that make up the dermis. In effect, stretch marks are a type of scar.”
Stretch marks can happen for many different reasons as well—weight loss, a growth spurt, pregnancy, or even working out in the gym. “In my practice, “ says Doctor Ourian, “the most common causes of stretch marks that I treat are weight loss and pregnancy. Stretch marks are a particular concern for lap band and bariatric surgery recipients.”
The best time to treat stretch marks is when they first appear, but older marks can be treated too. The latter usually takes more time, however, before results are visible. Doctor Ourian goes on to explain that “there are several different ways to address stretch marks but in my opinion, the Coolbeam is the most effective treatment available. There’s no shortage of creams and magic potions available, most of which, in my opinion, are worthless. We compound a prescription strength cream in my office that is available only to my patients and that I have them use in conjunction with Coolbeam.”
Doctor Ourian continues, “I find that microdermabrasion treatments and chemical peels are too superficial and the results minimal. At the opposite end of the spectrum is surgery, a serious undertaking with all its attendant potential complications including infection and necrosis and the additional risks associated with general anesthesia.
Coolbeam is a treatment that uses a laser to treat the skin that is affected by stretch marks. Once treated, new smooth skin grows to take its place. “The idea for the Coolbeam was purely a fortuitous accident, “ says Doctor Ourian. “While treating scars on the body I noticed that the laser was also effectively treating both red and white stretch marks. I believe that the Coolbeam achieves results superior to other modalities and lasers.”