If there's anything moms dread after their pregnancy, it's dealing with stretch marks, which are stubborn and quite hard to fade.
Hence, most of the time, people just give up on addressing them.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) turned to celebrity dermatologist Dra. Vicki Belo to know more about this skin problem, and how to address it. The interview took place after she received her Tala Award on Tuesday, August 13, at Shangri-La at The Fort, Bonifacio Global City.
Most people tend to believe that stretch marks only appear on women, particularly those who already got pregnant. But contrary to this popular belief, men can get stretch marks, too.
Dra. Vicki revealed to PEP.ph how stretch marks are formed: "Stretch marks kasi happen when you're pregnant or when you get fat, you overstretch the skin. Our skin loses collagen and the other thing that it has is elastin.
"Elastin is an elastic fiber, like a rubber band that can stretch and go back when you gain weight or lose weight.
"When you're pregnant and you gain too much or let's say, when you really don't have firm muscles, the skin has to take most of weight of the baby, napupunit yung mga elastin.
"And like a rubber band that's torn, it cannot anymore bounce back. That's why stretch marks used to be very permanent."
To treat this problem, Dra. Vicki said the skin must regenerate from the inside. This is also why most creams or oils do not work, as they supposedly erase stretch marks by being applied on the epidermis or the outermost layer of the skin.
Dra. Vicki said, "The fixing of stretch marks has to come from inside [of the skin]. Hindi kaya from outside. Kasi it has to build again good skin."
The beauty doctor further noted that erasing stretch marks might take even longer than the pregnancy.
She explained, "It takes a long time. If you're pregnant for nine months, it can even take up to a year of treatments every month.
"Once a month lang naman 'cause you have to let the skin rest. In between, kailangan mag-rest siya muna.
"But after one year of treatment every month, if you're very dedicated, then you won't have anymore stretch marks."
Dra. Vicki said stretch marks can be erased using the Unison machine.
She told PEP.ph, "It's really invented for stretch marks. It uses parang a combination of radiofrequency and it's like an ultrasonic wave therapy. It's really good on stretch marks."
Based on the Belo website, patients who undergo this treatment may experience "moderate to no pain." Each session can take from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the area being treated.
Another machine that helps erase stretch marks is called the Enerjet.
Asked how it works, Dra. Vicki said, "It's a needleless inject and it shoots into the skin vitamins, minerals, 59 different coenzymes that make the skin healthy.
"So you make the skin healthy from down, inside up, and it really works on stretch marks."
Da. Vicki revealed they're also bringing in another treatment called Salt Facial, which will also help address stretch marks.
"It goes to the dermal level. It uses salt, which has so many benefits for the skin, and we're bringing that machine. It's a brand new machine that we're bringing in, and we've seen amazing results for stretch marks."