Stretch Mark Treatment Options

Anyone who has suffered from those unsightly stretch marks – whether from pregnancy, growth spurts or weight loss – has been hounded with which of the stretch mark treatment options will be suitable.

The appearance of stretch marks vary. Some are not noticeable or can be easily hidden, while some might appear to be darker, thicker, or deeper. If you are looking for ways to hide your marks, here are different stretch mark treatment options.

 

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Topical Treatments

One of the most common options for stretch marks that you will probably read is by using topical creams, lotions, gels, oils, or ointments. It seems an easy recourse because of the ease of use. Some topical treatments are readily available over-the-counter, and some are prescribed by a doctor. However, these topical treatments are usually best for reducing its prominence rather than treatment, as there is ZERO evidence that they can actually treat your stretch marks.

Cost

This stretch mark treatment is cost-effective. The average price for topical treatments is $10 to $100 per bottle or jar. Generally, one product can last for months. How much you need will also depend on your skin condition.

Effectiveness

Topical treatments need to be applied regularly to achieve the best results in preventing their appearance. For instance, you may need to apply the cream to your skin at least twice a day. This should be done every day for it to be effective and to enjoy long-lasting results.

Topical creams do not really remove stretch marks but can reduce its appearance. These can reduce stretch mark size or discoloration. However, since stretch marks are breaks in the skin, you will still usually feel some depressed areas where the marks were. They also take very long to work, if ever at all. Retinol is a better, more logical option.

Length of Treatment

Depending on the skin condition, using a topical treatment can take months or years before seeing results. For example, a stretch mark oil should be used for a minimum of 3 months. Additionally, it is important to consider that new stretch marks heal faster than old ones.

Risks

The most common risks associated with the use of topical creams are skin irritation and that the cream may not work on your skin. It is best to consult your doctor for a proper assessment and prescription.

Fractional Radiofrequency Laser Treatment

Fractional Radiofrequency works by applying heat that reaches below the skin’s surface to trigger collagen production. It stimulates the skin to repair itself. This treatment is minimally invasive, as it is often combined with Microneedling.

It can be used for saggy skin, wrinkles, facial lines, acne scars, traumatic scars, stretch marks, skin resurfacing, and skin rejuvenation.

Cost

The cost of Fractional RF treatment alone is around $200 to $3800. When paired with Microneedling, the total cost is around $650 to $4200. This will depend on the size and quantity of the stretch marks, and the number of sessions that you will need.

Effectiveness

Fractional Radiofrequency is effective for all skin tones. The treatment works well on its own, but it can be combined with other treatments for better results. Depending on the skin condition, Fractional RF can be combined with Microneedling, Fractional laser, and Fillers.

Length of Treatment

One session can take 30-45 minutes. Depending on the stretch marks, Fractional RF may take about 6-10 sessions scheduled weekly or every other week. Results can last for 1-5 years depending on the device used. The treatment can also be repeated.

Risks

While the procedure is said to be safe for most patients, the most well-known risk of Fractional RF is skin burn. Exposure to high levels of RF can be harmful, causing damage to the biological tissue.

This can be a severe as a third-degree burn like this Endymed warning, a treatment that combines Fractional RF and Microneedling. Fractional RF can be an expensive treatment that when done wrong, can lead to devastating results. It is also very important to follow proper aftercare procedures after this treatment.

 

Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo

 

stretch mark tattoo

Tattooing techniques can effectively conceal scars and stretch marks. The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo works by using a custom pigment of permanent ink to match your natural skin tone. The pigments are then inserted into the skin to camouflage stretch marks. Think of it like permanent makeup or concealer.

Cost

The cost of a Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo will depend on the location and severity of the stretch marks. It also varies per tattoo specialist. Some charge around $3500. At Studio Conceal, the price ranges from $500-$2,000 per area, with the initial consultation free of charge. Financing options are also available.

Effectiveness

While this treatment is suitable for most skin types. It will best work on completely healed marks that are at least two years old and lighter than your skin tone. Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo also promotes skin healing by stimulating collagen and elastin production.

Results will last 5 years or longer, with the right aftercare. The pigment does not last as long as the traditional tattoo due to the difference in concentration. A traditional tattoo is more pigmented, while a camouflage tattoo is more diluted to match natural skin tone.

Length of Treatment

One session can take 1 to 5 hours, depending on the severity of the stretch marks. A minimum of two sessions is needed to cover stretch marks.

The average length of treatment for Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is 45 to 60 days. However, if your stretch marks are dark or if you are prone to hyperpigmentation, the treatment may take longer.

Risks

The risk associated with Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is skin irritation. However, this can be avoided with a skin patch test on the first appointment. Other than that, since a camouflage tattoo is a non-invasive treatment, the risk is quite minimal.

Make sure to have your stretch mark treatment done with a trained and reputable technician or studio to avoid any risks and enjoy maximum results.

 

Find out if you are a candidate for Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo

Ready for your transformation? The first step to getting a camouflage tattoo is assessing your stretch mark condition. You can also easily book your complimentary consultation at Studio Conceal.

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What is SMP?

Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP) was developed as both a cosmetic procedure for men and women suffering with all types of hair loss, and as a medical procedure to help conceal scars, burns, birthmarks, as well as the full spectrum of alopecia. During the SMP procedure, a blend of unique pigments specifically formulated for the client are deposited into the dermal layer of the skin on the scalp. These deposits create an extremely realistic illusion that replicates hair follicles. SMP is a viable alternative to traditional hair transplant surgery, hair systems, pills, and fibers.. Around the world, thousands of clients live their lives free from hair loss without lengthly maintenance routines, unwelcome side effects or signifiant ongoing financial outlay.

Does scalp micropigmentation look real?

A typical scalp hair from a Caucasian woman is about 77 micrometers in diameters (67 Um in those of Asian descent, and 120 Um in those African descent). Typically, SMP dots placed in the dermis layer are 90-140 micrometers in diameter.

While this might seem a bit larger than a real human hair, this slight difference is virtually indistinguishable from real hair follicles. Often, when viewed 1 foot away, close friends and family will not be able to tell where real hair ends and the SMP begins.

What causes hair loss?

As hair on the scalp goes through it’s normal cycle of growing and shedding, DHT makes the follicles miniaturize. That means they get thinner and shorter because the growing cycle doesn’t last as long. The growing cycle becomes so brief that new hairs can’t grow through the skin. For women, hair loss can be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones, pregnancy, disease and certain medications.

How long will SMP last for?

With proper care and treatment, including using high sunscreen when outside, SMP will commonly last for many years. For a healthy client with a normal immune system, we expect that the color will last with original vibrance for about 4-6 years, with gradual fading of the pigment to last up to 8 years.

Fortunately, if a touch up is needed, a fee is charged which is generally cheaper per session than the original treatment fee. It’s important to note that each individual is different so an estimated range of longevity will be provided at our consultation meeting.

Will SMP fade, smear, or turn blue as the years pass?

Any pigment applied to the dermal layer of the skin will eventually fade, but we expect SMP to last several years or more, before even minimal fading is noticed. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun often breaks apart some tattoo inks for easier absorption by the body, resulting in increased fade rates and slight smearing. As the inks are degraded, their chromophores are often altered resulting in changed color. If this occurs, we can easily offer touch up sessions, or revise the ink color by adding additives to mute, neutralize, or warm up the tone again.

Is SMP reversible? Is receiving SMP treatment painful?

Yes, SMP pigmentation can be removed with an electro-optic Q switched laser, which is used to heat and break-up the SMP pigmentation for easier absorption by phagocytes in the dermis. SMP is fairly easy to remove in most cases because the pigment is not deposited as deeply as normal tattoo ink. The electro-optic laser, however is expensive and therefore, many clinics which advertise laser removal do not actually own one.

As for pain, it depends on the individual. In some cases, clients have fallen asleep while I have completed treatment. In other cases, clients experience pain across the temples or above the ears during treatment. Most clients rate their pain on a scale of 1-10, as 3-5 during treatment.

How long will it take for my final SMP appearance to form?

A normal client depending on hair loss extent, will take two to four treatments to achieve their final appearance. Most treatments are 2-3 hours long with small breaks as needed. The first treatment often places a very light application on the scalp to assess fading and density levels. The normal reaction from many clients is to assume that the SMP is too light. However, this is a normal part of the treatment and allows me to better treat the scalp in later sessions. The second treatment is 10-14 days later, and adds the majority of the density to your new look. Treatments three or later are usually for completing the look, addressing darkness matching or to even the density across the scalp.

What will my scalp look like immediately after treatment?

The area of the scalp that has been treated will have some redness for 24 hours after treatment, though this tends to be less visible on darker skin tones. In addition, the pigmentation will be darker for up to 7 days after treatment, again, depending on your skin tone. Thereafter, the pigmentation will appear to become lighter and softer as the pigment filled scabs begin to flake away. These scabs flake away in the first 3 to 10 days. As this happens, it appears to the observer that the SMP dots are shrinking. When the healing process is complete, the final dots are often 90 to 170 Um in diameter and blend seamlessly into any natural hair. By about one month, after any treatment, the pigments will begin to “set” and thereafter, fading will be almost zero.

How do I choose a hairline? If I have hair left, can I leave it long?

If you are unsure of what style or type of hairline will work or you, I will be there to help. With an artistic eye and experience on how to fit a hairline to head shape and age, I can help recommend what’s best. Over the course of our sessions, we can tweak and adjust the hairline for the perfect, natural result.

Depending upon the pattern and extent of your current hair, some clients are able to maintain a longer length. Scalp micropigmentation can help thicken areas so that less of the scalp is seen showing through. However, if there is a strong pattern of hair loss or just not a lot of hair density left, the client is recommended to crop it shorter.

Can Studio Conceal camouflage my transplant scar?

Yes, absolutely! By replicating tiny hair follicles inside the scarring and blending the color around the scarring area, transplant and surgical scars can see massive improvement in concealment.

DOES THIS TREATMENT REMOVE STRETCH MARKS?

Other than a tummy tuck, or the literal removal of skin, there is no proven way to remove stretch marks. The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo only helps to conceal and diminish the appearance of stretch marks so that they are less perceptible to the naked eye. Think of it as having a permanent filter, taking away the white contrast of your scars.

IS THE TREATMENT SUITABLE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES?

Generally, yes! However, there are a small number of people who the treatment would not be suitable for. Your stretch marks and scars need to be at least two years old, lighter than your skin tone and completely healed. Booking a virtual consultation can help determine if you’re a candidate for this procedure and is required for all clients.

CAN I GET TATTOOED IF MY SKIN IS ALREADY TANNED?

We prefer to match only your natural skin tone, and require that our clients postpone their session until their tan has faded. This ensures that we are able to custom blend an ink color that will look most natural whether you’re tanned or not.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TAN?

Your camouflaged stretch marks and scars will not change color. If you tan, your skin’s overtone will darken, but your stretch marks will remain the same color as your natural skin-toned ink tattoo. Overall, your stretch marks will still be camouflaged because the “white” is no longer there. In short, there’s less of an obvious contrast. Here’s a great video explaining what happens to your stretch mark tattoos when you tan.

WILL IT HURT? DO YOU NUMB YOUR CLIENTS?

The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is a penetrative skin procedure so a small amount of discomfort will be experienced. Usually on a scale 1-10 (10 being most painful), the average consensus is a 6 or 7. We do not numb our clients to avoid any interference to the purity and insertion of pigment into the scar. In addition, your pain receptors will be heightened if you’re on your monthly cycle, and so we suggest you book your session/touch ups accordingly.

CAN I GET THE TREATMENT WHILE PREGNANT OR BREAST-FEEDING?

Congratulations on your pregnancy, but unfortunately, we are unable to treat women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. We look forward to treating you once your little one is weaned and your scars have been fully healed (usually within two years).

HOW WILL I LOOK IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS?

There’s little to no downtime. Most Clients can resume work the same day, or even fly home after their session. It’s normal to experience redness and swelling immediately after the procedure for 1-3 days. For the first 3 days, you’ll be given strict instructions on how to minimize inflammation, speed up the wound healing phase, and how to “ice” the area and keep it clean. Over the next few weeks, the redness will dissipate and go through a variety of shades (from dark to light) until your skin heals. We’ll be in contact with you every step of the way.

HOW QUICKLY WILL I SEE RESULTS?

Everyone’s skin is different. Variables include age, diet, hormones, general health, overtones, sun exposure, etc and so it’s impossible to give an exact number of days it will take you to heal. On average, it takes 45-60 days, but if you’re prone to hyper-pigmentation (you naturally scar dark), it will most likely take longer to heal. During your consultation, we can discuss and assess your skin’s estimated timeline and variables.
*Here’s a recent case study of our fastest healing client to help you speed along your recovery!

HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS OF THE PROCEDURE LAST?

The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is a penetrative skin treatment that’s only been around for 6-7 years. According to our industry, it’ll last 5 years, or more provided that the correct after-care procedures are adhered to. You may or may not need a touch up after 5-6 years. Remember, a stretch mark is a scar and so the skin is trickier to penetrate. In addition, as we age, all tattoos transition and change on our skin because there’s less elasticity and melanin production. This can effect your stretch mark camouflage tattoo, as well.

WHAT IS THE COST OF THE PROCEDURE?

The total cost of the procedure varies greatly per technician and is dependent on the location and severity of the stretch marks or scar requiring treatment. Studio Conceal charges anywhere between $500-$2,000/ per area. We require an initial consultation (in-person or virtual) free of charge with zero pressure, during which the final cost can be determined by a formal quote.

DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes we do! We’ve partnered with United Medical Credit to offer easy, reliable financing for all camouflage services and training. It’s really easy to apply and only takes 3 minutes to get approved. They’ll do a soft credit check to determine your options and will be in contact with you in 24 hours. Apply for financing of tattoo treatment or training here, hassle free.

STRETCH MARK CAMOUFLAGE TATTOO VS. LASER TREATMENTS?

While Laser Treatments do work on stretch marks by damaging the skin’s outer layer and forcing it to heal itself, they do not put color back into the skin. So almost all clients who get Laser Treatments for their stretch marks still have noticeable stretch marks. In fact, many of our clients have had many Laser Treatment procedures prior to walking into our studio. Another huge difference is the cost of that treatments. Laser Treatments could run $1,000 to $3,000 per session, and can easily end up costing the client over $10,000 overall.
*Here’s a short video going over the differences of microneedling vs. laser vs. the stretch mark camouflage tattoo