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Sep 13, 2016
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After months (or even years) of working your ass off in the gym, you finally achieved the body you've always wanted. Congrats, bro!

But it seems that life always has a way of playing a cruel joke on you—you developed stretch marks along with your weight loss journey.

"Stretch marks are a common disfiguring skin problem. The exact cause of stretch marks is still unknown but they commonly appear during obesity and rapid weight gain or weight loss," says Dr. Joanne Rebullida-Caputero, MD, FPDS, a dermatologist in Aesthetics 101 Dermatology Clinic.

Stretch marks, she explains, form due to the stretching of the skin, which causes the the dermis aka second layer of the skin to rupture. "When people get bigger, our skin usually stretches causing damage to the dermis. Then when a person loses weight, the damage becomes more visible through the appearance of stretch marks," she says.

Stretch marks are known to go through two stages: the early and mature stretch marks. The first one are usually pinkish-red to purple in color and "are most likely to respond to therapy." Once the stretch marks have "matured," they lose their pinkish hue, fade to white, and become difficult to remove.

The dermatologist says store-bought creams such as cocoa butter, collagen, elastin and oils from olive don't really get rid of those parallel lines on your skin but only "hydrate or moisturize the skin to improve skin texture."

Adds Dr. Rebullida-Caputero, "There are creams that have shown improvement and healing of early stretch marks. These creams/lotion contain tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene and glycolic acid." They can only be purchased from dermatology clinics.

When stretch marks are already fully developed, there is nothing much the cream can do. Your best bet of remedying this is to undergo dermatological procedures that include:


Superficial to medium depth chemical peels

Peeling removes the first few layers of damaged skin to expose the layer that look more fresh. This will show improvement in texture and color of stretch marks if done once a month.
P3,000 to P10,000

Microdermabrasion
This procedure helps thicken your collagen, a protein in your skin that makes it appear taut and smooth. Dr. Rebullida-Caputero says this treatment will show a huge difference if done weekly.
P2,000 to P5,000

Skin needling
A device with fine needles creates tiny punctures on the top layer of the skin, which triggers the body to create new collagen and elastin. Helps eliminate stretch marks if done every four to six weeks.
P8,000 to P15,000

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For more on this and other skin concerns, visit Dr. Joanne Rebullida-Caputero, MD, FPDS in Aesthetics 101 Dermatology Clinic at 1152 E. Rodriguez, Sr Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City.

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