If your abdomen is beginning to look a bit zebra-like, you might think that a tummy tuck could give your belly a smoother, less obviously striped look. You could be right. Of course, you could also be wrong. Let’s find out, shall we?
What Are Stretch Marks, Anyway?
Stretch marks are actual scar tissue in your skin. Skin that’s been stretched excessively and can’t repair itself forms scars, rather like the runs in your pantyhose. Unlike snags in your stockings, the appearance of stretch marks improves and fades over time, although they never disappear entirely.
Many women with noticeable stretch marks across the belly also have problems with excess skin, usually due to pregnancy but sometimes as a result of extreme weight fluctuations, too. Since a tummy tuck removes a great deal of skin from the abdominal area—the skin that’s covered in lovely zebra print—, the appearance of stretch marks can improve as a result. However, a tummy tuck only eliminates those faded white or red lines that were present on the excised skin.
Post-Tummy Tuck Stretch Marks
If you still have stretch marks after your tummy tuck, some women have seen success from laser treatments. Pulsed dye laser treatments, also known as vascular laser treatments, are best for new stretch marks that are still reddish, since the laser reacts to the darker pigment. More aggressive laser treatments may be helpful for older stretch marks, the kind where the pigment has faded but the texture difference is evident.
The majority of patients, however, feel that the reduction of stretch marks after a tummy tuck is sufficient, particularly when seen in conjunction with a firmer, flatter stomach and nary a muffin top in site.
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