Many women and some men struggle with stretch marks. The condition is medically harmless but may lower one’s self-esteem.
Plastic surgery permanently removes stretch marks but involves risk, requires weeks of recovery, and isn’t affordable. The safest treatments for stretch marks are lotions and creams, but they don’t always provide the desired results.
Between lotions and surgery, there is an optimal alternative – microneedling. This article explains how microneedling helps reduce stretch marks.
How Does Microneedling for Stretch Marks Work?
Stretch marks are unappealing lines across the skin of varying sizes and colors, typically appearing on the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. They can’t be eliminated with diet or exercise alone, but there are treatments that can help. Microneedling is a procedure that provides impressive results thanks to its collagen-boosting properties.
The treatment involves the use of a hand-held, FDA-approved microneedling pen with hundreds of barely visible needles of varying lengths that make tiny punctures into the skin. These tiny wounds don’t damage the skin, but they trigger the body’s natural healing response to injury and stimulate collagen production.
This healing process after microneedling consists of three stages:
- Inflammation – This is the body’s initial response to micro-injuries caused by the microneedling pen, involving increased blood flow, immune cell activation, and removal of damaged tissue. This phase usually lasts up to one week.
- Proliferation – The increased synthesis of collagen and elastin helps form new tissue to replace the damaged area. This stage can last several weeks.
- Remodeling – The new tissue matures and strengthens, resulting in smoother and firmer skin. This phase can last from a few weeks to several months.
The newly created collagen fills the gaps between stretch marks, smooths the skin’s texture, and evens its tone. As a result, microneedling reduces the visible appearance of stretch marks.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Microneedling Stretch Marks?
Most healthy adults with stretch marks can undergo a microneedling treatment. It is effective on all skin types and stretch marks of any depth.
The provider will examine your medical history and determine whether you are a good candidate. If you are pregnant or have a skin infection, you should wait until the condition passes.
Microneedling Stretch Marks: The Procedure
The treatment provider first applies a numbing cream to the treated area. After the cream takes effect, they move the microneedling pen over the affected area repeatedly for 20-30 minutes – depending on the size of the treatment area.
Providers sometimes infuse the treated skin with hyaluronic acid, stem cells, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to enhance the results.
Note: Learn more about microneedling with PRP.
A soothing cream is applied as the final step to minimize dryness and itching.
The whole session takes up to one hour and doesn’t require downtime.
How Deep to Microneedle Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks appear in the dermis, which is between 0.6 and 4 mm thick. Since the microneedling device uses needles with adjustable lengths between 0.5 mm and 3.5 mm, it successfully targets stretch marks of any depth.
What Is the Best Needle Length for Stretch Marks?
Microneedling providers typically use needles that are between 1.5 and 2 mm long for stretch marks.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Microneedling isn’t painful because the treatment involves the use of a topical numbing cream. Patients may feel some discomfort, including a sensation akin to sandpaper rubbing against the skin.
Microneedling Stretch Marks: The Results
Microneedling significantly fades or eliminates stretch marks. Patients usually notice an improvement after two to four sessions, and the final results show within six months after the final session.
Though most patients are satisfied with the treatment, its effectiveness varies depending on the severity of the condition, the number of treatments, and patients’ expectations.
How Many Microneedling Sessions Are Needed for Stretch Marks?
Most patients require a series of three to six treatments for a visible reduction or full elimination of stretch marks. The treatments are spaced four to six weeks apart. The results are gradual because it takes time to build new collagen.
How Long Do the Results of Microneedling for Stretch Marks Last?
For some patients, the results of microneedling stretch marks are permanent. Others need maintenance treatments once or twice a year.
The treated stretch marks don’t resurface unless you experience the same conditions that resulted in your skin stretching in the first place. Those conditions include pregnancy, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances.
Note: If you are struggling to reach your ideal weight, maybe it’s time for a personalized approach. Reach out to our medical weight loss experts in Phoenix, who can help improve your health and reach your desired weight.
Microneedling Stretch Marks: Aftercare
To ensure optimal results with microneedling, follow your provider’s post-treatment instructions.
Here are some general aftercare tips:
- Avoid direct exposure to the sun at least two weeks after the treatment.
- Use SPF if you can’t avoid sun exposure.
- Avoid activities that cause perspiration, such as exercise and sauna, for three days after the treatment.
- Don’t apply makeup for 24 hours post-treatment.
Microneedling Stretch Marks: Side Effects
Microneedling stretch marks is a generally safe and effective procedure, but many patients experience mild side effects, such as bruising, redness, and swelling. Though rare, some patients experience allergic reactions.
The treatment can go wrong in the hands of an untrained provider, damaging the patient’s skin and causing an infection. This typically doesn’t occur if you get the treatment with a reputable provider.
How Much Does Microneedling for Stretch Marks Cost?
The cost of microneedling depends on the severity of the stretch marks and how many sessions are required. Note that patients usually need multiple treatments for significant results.
One microneedling session at Vibrant Skin Bar costs $300.
Can You Perform Microneedling on Stretch Marks at Home?
At-home microneedling kits are available, but health experts don’t recommend them. These at-home kits use non-regulated derma rolling devices that could potentially cause scarring.
If you use a DIY derma roller at home, make sure you properly disinfect the device before and after every treatment. Note that home treatments are not as effective as professional microneedling because of the difference in needle size and your microneedling skills.
Here at Vibrant Skin Bar, we use an FDA-approved microneedling pen. The needles vary in size, and our skin experts adjust the device’s needles depending on the size of the treated area and skin sensitivity.
Stretch marks are harmless, but they may negatively affect our self-esteem, especially during the summer.
Fortunately, microneedling provides a quick and safe cosmetic solution for stretch marks. If the procedure fits your needs, you can permanently reduce the appearance of stretch marks in just a couple of months. Contact our expert team at Vibrant Skin Bar to learn more about the procedure and book your appointment.