Nursingdegrees > Nursing Articles > Common Health Questions > How To Remove Stretch Marks

Getting Rid of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are commonly caused when your skin spreads out quickly - faster than your natural elasticity can cope with displaced tissue. The result is you have lines of striae: discolored scar tissue. Rapid weight gain, body-building, and pregnancy are among the leading contributors of stretch marks on the body. Sometimes, extensive use of cortisone-based ointments or orally taken corticosteroids like prednisone can create stretch marks. The lines, when new, are reddish in tone, but as the skin ages, stretch marks whiten in appearance and are less striking in contrast to surrounding tissue.

Smoothing Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are not dangerous and pose no risk to skin health, but they can pose permanent visual changes. Doctors report that genetics may play a role in the development of striae in pregnant women. Exercise during pregnancy can promote elasticity and retard stretch mark development. OHT Peptide-3 is a popular over-the-counter topical cream for reducing stretch marks. Many women use topical Retina-A or hydroxy stretch mark creams to fight the discolorations; however, you should speak to your physician before using powerful topical drugs during pregnancy.

Laser Stretch Mark removal

More and more, women are seeking cosmetic laser surgery to remove stretch marks. The procedure can be very expensive, and uncomfortable.  The laser heats the topical scar tissue and breaks it down. Meanwhile, the laser stimulates collagen production below the stretch mark, thickening healthy tissue and producing a pliable fresh layer of skin that emerges from below.

Depending upon the extent of existing stretch marks, the laser procedure can require as many as seven or eight sessions. Some dermatologists will use the laser more gingerly, just to clear the surface of the scar tissue and lighten its hue. If you need to hide the stretch marks yourself, you can always use foundation make-up in your skin's natural tint to cover them.

Passing on Knowledge to Your Patients

As a nurse, it is your job to pass on knowledge to your patients.  If you are working with women who have recently given birth, the above mentioned information may be useful to them should they inquire.  Patients should see their nurses as caretakers who are there as a resource for health, for safety, and for information.  Don't hesitate to offer yourself as a book of knowledge that is open for patients to read.


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