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Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks also known as Striae

Some of the most common marks or scars we see on the skin are stretch marks – in fact, it’s estimated that 50-90% of women have them in some form, as well as being common in men. They are completely natural and appear differently for everyone. However, they can be a source of self-consciousness for many people, who may try to cover, hide, or disguise them— and search for ways to improve them.

While, like scars, they cannot often be fully eliminated other than through a surgical procedure (which will result in some kind of scar anyway), Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr. Ellen Gendler offers a number of treatments to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks in men and women.

As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Gendler has many years of experience and has honed her ability to provide outstanding results for her patients through a combination of state of the art treatments and a back-to-basics skincare philosophy.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks, also called striae or striae distensae, are indented ‘streak’ type scars that appear after the skin has undergone a rapid pulling or stretching. They are often found on the breasts, stomach, thighs, upper arms, back, and bottom. At first appearance, they can be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on skin color, and can sometimes feel raised and itchy.

In time (often months or years) the color fades and stretch marks tend to sink slightly beneath the skin – so when running your fingers over them, you may feel a slight depression. They often turn lighter in color than the surrounding skin.

What causes stretch marks?

When the skin is stretched, the abrupt change to the collagen and elastin that supports the skin ruptures, and it’s at these points that stretch marks appear. Keep in mind, this ‘abrupt’ change is the skin stretching over weeks or months, such as during pregnancy, growth spurts in teenagers, or rapidly gaining or losing weight.

Other known factors influencing the formation of stretch marks include:

  • Being female – stretch marks occur most frequently in females
  • Having family members with stretch marks
  • Having had stretch marks in the past
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Using corticosteroid medication
  • Rapidly gaining muscle through bodybuilding
  • Some conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome
  • Other genetic disorders

Treatments for stretch marks

There are many treatments available to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Many men and women see Dr. Gendler at her New York office for treatments to help speed the body’s natural process of fading stretch marks, which otherwise would take months or years. This can include a number or combination of treatments or products to help each individual feel better in their skin.

Some of these treatments include:


Microneedling uses small, fine needles to create painless ‘micro-injuries’ in the skin to kick-start the body’s healing response and stimulate elastin and collagen production. Microneedling can also be combined with radiofrequency energy for a warming response that enhances results.

Laser treatments such as TotalFX

TotalFX is the combination of two lasers (ActiveFX and DeepFX) used for CO2 laser skin tightening and resurfacing, as well as collagen production.


Intense pulsed light therapy sends pulses of light into the skin at different wavelengths to stimulate the natural healing response in the body. This can be used to alter the color of the existing marks.

Chemical peels

A method of skin resurfacing, a chemical peel involves a safe topical chemical application, which causes the old layer to exfoliate and peel off, revealing a fresh layer of skin. This is used only rarely with stretch marks if the surrounding skin is dicolored as well.

Personalized Treatment with Dr. Gendler

Using her expertise and experience with the treatment of the skin and stretch marks, Dr. Gendler takes a highly personalized approach to all patients and their needs. A consultation at Gendler Dermatology in New York City, Dr. Gendler will conduct a thorough assessment of your skin, and discuss your goals and expectations with you.

She will produce a personalized treatment plan for you, detailing the treatments and products she recommends, as well as any tips on aftercare and how to get the most out of your treatments.

You can rest assured knowing that the utmost care is taken to ensure the best experience and result for you throughout your skincare journey.

With a personalized plan and under the gentle, knowledgeable care of Dr. Gender, you can achieve your skin goals, and most importantly, feel happier and healthier in the skin you are comfortable and confident in.

For more information about radiofrequency microneedling treatments in New York, contact Gendler Dermatology today at (212) 288-8222 to schedule a consultation.


People often find they get stretch marks on parts of their bodies as they go through puberty and have growth spurts.

Treatments vary in technique, timing, and extensiveness, and so vary in cost. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding payment methods.

In general, there is little pain associated with the non-invasive treatments DR. Gendler uses to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Depending on the treatment, there may be some slight discomfort – such as a feeling similar to a rubber band snapping on the skin that is often described during laser treatments, or a sunburn-like feeling during or after a chemical peel.

Evidence is inconclusive as to whether popular over-the-counter oil or skincare treatments can prevent stretch marks, though some can aid in reducing their appearance. Research has found that some products that contain retinol, tretinoin,lactic acid, hyaluronic acid or Centella may help to prevent stretch marks. Consult your dermatologist before undertaking any topical treatment for stretch marks.


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