0 comments on “Stretch Marks: Prevention isn’t the only cure”

Stretch Marks: Prevention isn’t the only cure

Dry tattooing scar & stretch mark treatment Manchester - MCA Micro Needling

by Lisa Henning

Original Article published in ABC Magazine – Sussex

The best time to heal pregnancy stretch marks is while they’re still fresh, those delightful shades of red and pink. Once they’re white and mature, creams and potions will have little effect and a different approach is needed.

Let’s begin with prevention. The simple theory to preventing stretch marks is keeping the skin nourished and more elastic during pregnancy, so it can stretch without tearing in the deep layers. It’s in these deep layers that our body produces the collagen and elastin fibres that give skin its firmness.  When skin has to stretch considerably in a relatively shortspace of time, the deep layers need to stretch without tearing, and it’s these tears that show through as stretch marks.

Stretch mark prevention creams work by feeding and nourishing the deep layers of skin, healing, thickening and elasticising the skin so it can stretch without damage.  Some creams even help ease the incessant itching that happens as the skin is stretching, again showing that healing and prevention is happening. I stock the RégimA Scar Repair & Anti-Stretch Complex.

Skin Confidence by Beautiful Ink (2)

While stretch marks are still shades of red and pink they are healing and this is when you can really help yourself. The same RégimA cream can now be used to heal damaged skin. The stretched area again needs feeding and nourishing, and this will give the best opportunity to regain firmness and for any stretch marks to mature quickly, thicken and begin to blur away.

If you like oils, for prevention and to heal, Rosehip oil is truly wonderful. It’s the skin elasticity oil, with naturally occurring high levels of Vitamin E, Vitamin A and essential fatty acids. Like the RégimA cream it assists with skin healing. During pregnancy it should be used neat (without any essential oils), but it does have a bit of a fatty oil smell.

Once stretch marks are mature (white), the skin has settled.  Creams and potions will have minimal, if any, effect as the tissue is now essentially stuck in this damaged state. You need to wake it up and give it a chance to heal again. This is where clinic based treatments are advised as home based treatments have little effect, or are simply dangerous. I’m talking here about the inappropriate use of skin needling devices, such as a derma roller. Just because you can buy one, doesn’t mean you should use it. For obvious reasons I’ll not go into how to use a derma roller but will simply say, as a trained professional I’m only allowed to use depths up to 1.5mm, while doctors and nurses can use depths over 2mm. Safe home use is up to 0.3mm, this is because at this depth you are not going into blood levels and the risks associated with such treatments.

Skin needling is proven to reduce and improve the appearance of mature stretch marks by causing new collagen and elastin to grow as a response to the needling. But not all skin needling devices give the same level of result. On stretch marked skin the derma roller alone is not the best treatment, it causes new collagen and elastin at the same level in damaged and undamaged skin, a roller cannot be precise.  A derma roller, for those who’ve not heard of one before, is a small handheld device with a few hundred needles on a roller, and looks like a lawn aerator for the skin. Yes exactly! Why would you want to do that to yourself?

Skin Confidence by Beautiful Ink (1)

I have developed a two-fold skin needling treatment, dry tattooing and derma roller combined, to help reduce and improve mature stretch marks and stretched skin. The derma roller is for skin tightening and dry tattooing is for the individual stretch marks. Dry tattooing uses a digital tattoo machine and no pigment. Good numbing creams are used and the treatment itself is surprisingly painless during and after. Whilst this is tattooing, specialised training is required as damaged skin reacts differently to normal skin, and further damage can easily be caused. Those specialising in permanent makeup treatments may take an advanced training course to offer dry tattooing for scars and stretch marks, as the same machine is used.

Wonderfully, one of the results of skin needling, and most visibly with dry tattooing with its intense and precise stimulation, is a natural return of normal pigmentation. So yes, those white shiny stretch marks can look visibly reduced simply because the colour looks more normal! This is unlikely to happen with other stretch mark treatments such as laser or carboxy therapy as only the deep layers of skin are treated, missing the layers where melanin is created alongside the new tissue.

The same process of healing stretch marks by dry tattooing can be applied to scar tissue.  Once scars are six months old dry tattooing can brush through any scar tissue, allowing it to re-heal smoothly, and again helping the tissue return to a more normal colour.

ABC Magazine “The longest established, best-read, free parenting magazine in the South. ABC Magazine is the FREE local parenting magazine offering practical parenting advice to everyone with young children. From babies to big kids!

Every issue of ABC Magazine is packed full of local information and practical parenting advice to help you find what you need and where to buy it, ideas on what to do and where to go, where to find this and that – all child related and child friendly! Loads of articles, great competitions, true-life stories, health updates, all sorts of parenting advice, facts and figures, ideas to fill your days and masses of useful practical parenting tips to help put you on the right road for early parenthood”

Preventing & Decreasing Lines & Wrinkles

It’s not just a case of slapping on a bit more moisturiser, in fact that may be the very thing that’s causing the problem!

From a mature client “It feels like I can never get enough moisture into my skin”, from a sensitive client “Everything I use makes me breakout”, from a client with adult acne or rosacea “I know my skin must be oily, but it feels so dry”, and from most clients “A few minutes after washing or cleansing and my face feels dry”.

To understand why moisturisers aren’t doing their job it’s best to understand the job they are supposed to do.  The surface of our skin should act like a waterproof barrier, keeping our bodies natural water supply inside, but for genetically dry or sensitive skin, such as from dermatitis, the waterproof barrier is essentially damaged and the water evaporates.

So for those with genetically dry and sensitive skin, regular moisture creams are required.  Moisture creams may also be needed during the temporary times of post treatment aftercare, during harsh cold winters and the low humidity of sunny holidays and air conditioning.

Yet moisturisers are probably the most purchased skin cream.  So what happens when we use a moisturiser when our skin doesn’t really need it.  Moisturisers are basically made up of water, lipids (fats) and protein, just like the outer layers of our skin.  We normally start using light water based lotions. Our skin gets used to this artificial source of water very quickly, with that tight feeling after washing indicating to us that a richer cream needs to be used.  But this isn’t true.  Our skin gets lazier as we give it more cream, and those lines and wrinkles are becoming more visible.

We may well be moisturising our skin, but are we feeding it ?   And how do you feed it when nothing seems to get through ?  Gentle exfoliation and skin peels are the easiest methods of removing the dull and clogged surface layers, then simply start again by using special products to feed the deeper dermal layers of skin.  And after a couple of skin cycles, taking around two months, you’ll have a skin surface to be proud of !

How ?  There has to be a consistent feeding of the deeper layers to promote healthy collagen and elastin, which will eventually become the healthy waterproof barrier needed as our outer skin.

Ok so we’re going to feed our skin, but how’s that going to stop lines and wrinkles ?  This new fed skin looks and feels plumper and more refined than before, and healthy skin holds its integrity on our face, not so pulled down by gravity, and not so readily creasing.  Lines around the eyes softening, on the forehead smoothing, those delightful nasolabial (nose to mouth) lines naturally filling… though they haven’t really, it’s the skin of the cheeks firming that’s having them not drooping and forming

There’s a current wave within the skin treatment industry of resisting anti-ageing treatments (such as fillers, surgery and botox) in favour of treatments that have you looking the most naturally radiant for your age, and this is where healthy fed skin is a goal.

I stock, and personally use,  RégimA Skin Treatments to sort out my developing lines and wrinkles.  I’m 47 so they were there !  RégimA offer Peel & Heal, a potent yet gentle lactic and malic acid skin peel which is suitable for use on all skin types (including sensitive and active acne), and skin colours, all year round.

RegimA home care products (click thru)

After my initial bout of skin peels I adopted an easy homecare routine.  The Rejuvoderm night cream is a gentle 7.5% lactic and malic acid skin peel, also containing Retinol, pure Vitamin A for skin smoothing, regenerating, and stimulating new collagen. Vitamin B5 for rapid healing, cell renewal, and it helps skin to retain moisture.  All washed off in the morning with the lovely Hydroactive Cleansing Gel.  I then use a day cream and for me, that’s about it.  Oh and I love Quantum Elastin and sometimes mix it up with that too !

Of course if my skin were more damaged, dry, wrinkly, spotty or dull there’s other bits for me to add in, but I’m not actually using a moisture cream, nor for me am I needing an eye cream, which is odd, as that’s where my lines and wrinkles were showing.

And my clients from the beginning, the mature one who couldn’t get enough moisture into her skin now comments that she hardly needs to use any product as her skin feels so quenched, it’s looking much softer and smoother too. The sensitive one, well her comment was censored as she’s “Great thanks, it’s good stuff!”, and I replied agreeing that it was indeed good stuff.   And from my clients with adult acne and rosacea, after the initial skin rebellion to being treated, we have skin under control, being treated for excess sebum, acne and hormonal responses and pigmentation.

by Lisa Henning. Published in ABC Magazine – Sussex

%d bloggers like this: