Microneedling for Stretch Marks: Benefits, Risks, and More

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It can be incredibly frustrating to deal with stretch marks. Not only do they show up on different parts of your body, but they’re also difficult — if not impossible — to remove! 

However, before you give up on your quest to remove those pesky blemishes, you may want to check out a new and effective treatment: microneedling. 

A close up of a woman's skin with stretch marks

But wait — does microneedling work for stretch marks? Is it a safe and effective procedure?

In this article, we’ll answer these important questions in detail! We’ll discuss what microneedling is and how it can help you get rid of stretch marks.  

This guide will help you decide if microneedling for stretch marks is a good option for you to pursue. Read on to find out more!

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are common skin problems that can affect both men and women. They appear most commonly on the areas around the abdomen, thighs, hips, and breasts. 

These marks typically look like thin stripes across the skin. New stretch marks are slightly raised and may be pink, red, or purple in color, depending on your skin tone.

On the other hand, old stretch marks are typically flattened and white or silver in color. 

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks form when your skin stretches or shrinks too quickly. This can result from changes in the body, such as growth spurts during puberty and rapid weight loss or gain. 

Women also get stretch marks around their stomach when they get pregnant because their skin stretches to accommodate the growing baby and then shrinks once the baby is delivered.

These sudden changes cause the fibers in collagen and elastin — which are essential proteins responsible for the skin’s rigidity, strength, and flexibility — to rupture and break down, leading to the formation of stretch marks on the skin. 

How Do You Treat Stretch Marks?

While stretch marks are perfectly natural, their appearance may cause you distress or affect your self-esteem.

The good news is they may fade with time. Stretch marks are essentially “scars,” after all, which occur due to a rupture of proteins in the skin. 

The bad news is they may never disappear from your body completely.

Additionally, they may be more difficult to address if left untreated for a long time. 

That said, there are different treatment methods to help fade more quickly or make them less noticeable, such as the following: 

  • Retinoid creams, stretch mark lotions, or gels
  • Prescription medicine with hyaluronic acid or tretinoin
  • Medical procedures performed by dermatologists, such as chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion
  • Microneedling

It’s recommended that you consult a dermatologist who can advise you on which treatments are most suitable for you, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Some creams or treatments might have side effects that potentially harm the baby, so it’s always better to be cautious. 

Generally, most pregnant mothers wait for their babies to be born before getting any kind of treatment for their stretch marks.

What Is Microneedling?

When applying topical creams or taking prescription medications don’t work, many people with stretch marks resort to microneedling to achieve their desired results. 

Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive treatment done by dermatologists or aestheticians to help rejuvenate your skin. 

A close up photo of microneedle device being used on a woman's skin

As the name suggests, this procedure involves using multiple needles found within a device like a dermapen or dermaroller to puncture your skin repeatedly and create “wounds” in your skin. 

This then induces your skin to undergo biological phases of healing, namely inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling phases. 

  • Inflammatory phase 
    This is where an immediate release of growth factors or proteins to stimulate cell growth, inflammation, and tissue repair within the skin. This is also where immune cells remove the injured tissue or debris caused by the microneedling process. This phase can last up to 7 days post-treatment.
  • Proliferation phase 
    This is where the skin’s production and formation of collagen (type 3) and elastin happens. Formation of new blood vessels also occurs, leading to more blood flow, nutrition, and oxygen to the treated area. This phase typically lasts 3 to 14 days post-treatment.
  • Remodeling phase
    This is where the tightening and firming of the treated skin happen, which leads to smoother, more toned skin. This phase can last from 2 weeks to 6 months post-treatment.

Because it’s designed to boost collagen production and promote cell growth, microneedling can be used to address various skin concerns that result from poor skin health. It’s also safe for different skin types and suitable for different skin tones. 

What Skin Problems Does Microneedling Address?

Microneedling has many wonderful benefits, ranging from treating early signs of aging to relieving symptoms of complex skin problems. 

This cosmetic procedure is typically used to target skin issues like the following:

  • Large pores
  • Alopecia
  • Acne/acne scars
  • Hyperpigmentation/dark Spots
  • Sun damage
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Scars
  • Stretch marks

Microneedling is typically done on the face simply because blemishes and skin concerns are most prominent in this area. 

However, microneedling can also be done on parts of the body affected by certain skin problems, such as the legs, neck, abdomen, thighs, and back. 

Ultimately, microneedling will definitely help you look your best!

Does Microneedling Work on Stretch Marks?

Yes. Microneedling is definitely one of the options you can try to treat your stretch marks safely and effectively, whether they’re on your abdomen, hips, or thighs. 

One study found that there were significant clinical improvements or differences in the appearance of stretch marks in patients — with both light and dark skin tones — after consecutive monthly treatments. 

Some even demonstrated more than 75% clinical improvement! 

This study also showed that treating microneedling stretch marks on areas of the body where the skin is thicker, like the butt or thighs, is more effective than on areas where the skin is thinner, such as the breasts. 

Additionally, several studies in different countries also show that microneedling can improve the appearance of early and mature stretch marks in just a few treatments. 

They even found that microneedling therapy was more efficient in treating stretch marks than microdermabrasion. 

How Does Microneedling Help Stretch Marks?

Microneedling intentionally creates superficial “microinjuries” on the skin to jumpstart the overproduction of collagen and elastin. 

This helps heal the damaged tissues which created stretch marks in the first place and consequently improve the appearance and texture of the treated area. 

Also, microneedling temporarily creates small channels in the skin through which skincare products are absorbed. 

Simply put, it allows topical stretch mark treatments like creams and serums to penetrate the skin more easily, so you can make the most of their benefits.  

This may lead to better results in reducing stretch marks or making them appear less prominent.

How Is Microneedling Done on Stretch Marks?

Microneedling usually takes 10-20 minutes to complete, but the treatment time will ultimately depend on how big your area of concern is. It might take longer if your stretch marks are on your thighs, butt, abdomen, or stomach.

Here’s how the process of microneedling typically goes:

  1. Your dermatologist or aesthetician will first clean the area being treated, then apply numbing cream to it to prevent pain and discomfort.  
  2. The microneedling device will be moved all over the treated area to create “microinjuries.”
  3. A soothing cream or serum will be applied onto the treated area to prevent itch and dryness. 

After undergoing the process, your skin might look flushed or bright red. Don’t worry; this will fade within 48 hours after treatment. 

Pro tip: Remember to apply aftercare products onto the treated area to help your skin heal better.

How Often Should Microneedling Be Done on Stretch Marks?

You may need to undergo around 3 to 6 treatments before seeing a remarkable difference in the appearance of your stretch marks.

These treatments are also spaced out between 4 to 6 weeks to ensure that your skin has ample time to recover from the procedure. 

The results of microneedling stretch marks also last for 3 to 5 months, which means you may need regular follow-up treatments at least twice a year to keep stretch marks at bay. 

Are There Side Effects or Risks Involved in Microneedling Your Stretch Marks?

While it’s a minimally invasive procedure, microneedling still involves puncturing your skin, so there are certain things to consider before undertaking it.

First of all, you may experience pain and redness after the procedure. It may also cause your skin to peel, flake, or feel overly tight. 

It may also take several days or even weeks to heal, so you may need to limit exposure of your treated skin to environmental factors that may potentially cause harm to it.

However, you should call your doctor if the treated area bleeds for more than 24 hours or remains swollen for over a week. 

Lastly, while the risk of getting a skin infection from microneedling is low, it’s still important to be cautious. 

The best way to minimize your risk of infection is by getting treated at a reputable place and ensuring that all the tools for your treatment are properly sanitized before use. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Microneedling Remove Old Stretch Marks?

Old stretch marks may be more difficult to remove than newly developed ones, even with microneedling. 

That said, the procedure can still reduce or improve the appearance of mature stretch marks, although you may need more frequent sessions for the best results. 

Consult your dermatologist about how to improve the appearance of your old stretch marks with microneedling.

How Much Does Microneedling for Stretch Marks Cost?

The cost of microneedling may range from $200 to $700 for a single session. However, treating stretch marks may cost around $2000 for each treatment on average. 

Since microneedling typically involves multiple sessions, you can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 — or possibly more — to complete the treatment. 

Is Laser or Microneedling Better for Stretch Marks?

Generally, microneedling is better for stretch marks. 

Both treatments can smooth out large, deep stretch marks. However, lasers tend to be more expensive and result in a higher risk of redness and skin pigmentation than microneedling. 

On the other hand, microneedling has less risk of causing discoloration or scarring on the skin.

Still, it’s best to talk to your dermatologist for more information on which treatment option is better for you.

Is Microneedling Good for Stretch Marks? The Answer is YES!

Microneedling has been gaining traction over the years, and for good reason. It’s a safe treatment that’s both minimally invasive and effective at solving different skin concerns. 

This includes minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, which are notoriously hard to treat!

A woman is touching the skin with stretchmarks on her stomach.

If these blemishes bother you, then microneedling for stretch marks might just be the perfect solution to solve your problem.

Feel free to use this guide to help you weigh your options and decide whether microneedling is right for you.

If you’re ready to take the plunge, go ahead and schedule a treatment with a licensed professional in your area. 

After getting microneedling for stretch marks, you can finally say goodbye to these blemishes and say hello to clear skin!

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  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

  • Emily Zink

    With ten years in healthcare, Emily Zink bridges adult and pediatric medicine with cosmetic dermatology. A certified Family Nurse Practitioner, she's an expert in treatments like Botox, Dysport, and Sculptra, also diagnosing skincare concerns and offering wellness counseling. Specializing in neuromodulators and dermal fillers, Emily leads injections at her practice.

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