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I tried the stretch mark treatment that everyone's talking about. But did it actually work? 

stretch mark treatments 
Credit:  Delmaine Donson

It doesn’t take more than a changing room full of women to see that stretch marks are not uncommon. Nor do they discriminate against race, body, age or size.

Of course, there are contributing factors that can make you more susceptible to developing stretch marks, such as poor skin elasticity, but for the most part, they are just an inevitable part of being a woman - or indeed a man. 

I developed my own stretch marks when I hit puberty. Suddenly my body became more shapely and, with the sudden change in shape, came my ‘tiger stripes’ on the upper part of my hips. Sure, they were mild and, in the grand scheme of things they didn't impact my health in any way. In fact, I’ve lived with them for so long that the logical option is to fully embrace them - or as the Instagram movement says ‘love your lines’.

Naturally, I support body positivity and seeing celebrities like Katie Holmes and Kourtney Kardashian candidly share their own stretch marks on social media is empowering. But, I'm only human and my own stretch marks have left more than a physical mark, they impacted my confidence. So, when I heard about a new stretch mark treatment  that promises to significantly reduce the appearance of 'old' stretch marks with little downtime, I was intrigued to learn more. 

After trying every topical cream, oil and at-home-remedy with little-to-no difference in the appearance of my stretch marks, I knew I needed to opt for something more invasive to see results. Most skin clinics offer ablative lasers, non-ablative lasers and microneedling to tackle stretch marks, but when I searched the internet for reviews I was put off by images of post-treatment swelling and soreness that can come from such treatments.

Once I started researching, I quickly discovered that certain lasers weren't suited to my darker skin type. Or at least, there weren't many practitioners who were experienced in using laser devices on darker skin tones, so I had a fair few rejections following my consultations for fear of the powerful lasers burning my melanin-rich skin.

Microneedling also had its caveats. I was aware of the damage these needles can cause by dragging the skin when they are withdrawn from the puncture site, and so not willing to risk chances of hyperpigmentation, I decided against it.

I felt stuck. Until a couple of months ago, when I heard about Biodermogenisi, a new technology from Italy that claims to successfully fade stretch marks on all skin tones - even fading older, silvery stretch marks that are notoriously known to be harder to treat. Without the use of needles, the risk of laser burns, or any significant down time, it sounded too darn good to be true.

Eager to put it to the test, I attended an initial consultation at London Real Skin (the only clinic in the UK so far to have acquired this patented technology) I decided to put it to the test and undergo a recommended course of six sessions.

What is Biodermogenisi? 

Biodermogenisi is a non-invasive method to fade the appearance of stretch marks and to increase skin firmness. Using combined electro-stimulation and vacuum technology to regenerate the structure of the skin, this powerful method enhances the quality and production of collagen and skin elasticity. And those advanced white, silvery stretch marks blend with surrounding skin due to an increase in blood flow and oxygen supply to the tissue. 

How is it different to existing stretch mark treatments?

Unlike lasers and microneedling, Biodermogenisi does not cause 'trauma' to the skin in order to encourage the production of collagen. Instead, it uses electronic energy combined with vacuum technology to stimulate collagen, which in turn heals the scar tissue that causes stretch marks in the first place, which improves the texture of the stretch marks and fills in the hollowed, sunken areas with an average of 83.6% improvement. 100% of patients undergoing a full course of treatments also noticed increased melanin production or tanning in older white stretchmarks. 

What happens during a treatment?

With no needles or lasers, the treatment itself is virtually painless. The practitioner repeatedly runs a handheld device across the affected area of your skin creating a slight vacuum effect to stimulate the skin-rejuvenating and healing process. I felt no discomfort at all during or after the treatment. In fact, I almost drifted to sleep during my sessions. However, if you have sensitive, looser skin, you may feel more suction and pulling from the vacuum, but in this case, you can ask your practitioner to apply less pressure.

Are there side effects?

A slight initial reddening of the area is normal due to the suction of the tool but this fades in minutes. I had my treatments on my lunch hour and returned back to the office as normal with little to no sensation in the treated area.

What results can I expect?

It takes three months post treatment to see the optimum results and for the treatment to take full effect, but I noticed slight improvements in the colour of my stretch marks after the second treatment. 

It's now a month since I completed my full course of six weekly sessions and the results are impressive. In particular, my smallest stretch marks have almost faded and blended with my natural skin tone completely.

I still have two months remaining before I see the final results - I now look at my stretch marks with a level of excitement and intrigue to see the gradual improvements and changes, which has given me a new sense of appreciation for my lines. It's not a perfect fix, but if I were to estimate, I'd say they are currently 50% improved, which has given me a new sense of confidence.

At £2,200 for a course of 6 treatments or £440 for a single treatment, it's not a process to be taken lightly, but I can say that the results I've seen so far are worth it and are lasting.