It's possible to treat both the colour and texture of stretch marks (striae distensae) by using a microneedling device.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused by the tearing of the dermis layer of your skin. They'll be most noticeable immediately after forming and often be a deep red or purple colour, before fading away to white over time. Once they have faded you'll be left with a type of scar tissue, made up of fibrous tissue, which is not elastic and doesn't look or feel great.
How Does Microneedling Help?
Microneedling has some success in treating the colour of new stretch marks. However, most of the evidence for this is from personal testimony and not clinical research. It is likely that the microneedling process leads to a reduction in colour by encouraging the body to bring nutrients into the damaged area, whilst also increasing cell proliferation. Both these factors would speed up the healing process and lead to skin redness diminishing more quickly.
Clinical research has mostly been done on reducing the textural appearance of stretch marks, and for this, it is very positive. Take for instance the following quote from one research paper:
"Marked to excellent improvement in 43.8% with minimal-to-moderate improvement in remaining patients" - CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE.
The above-mentioned results were achieved after 3 sessions, spaced 4 weeks apart.
So how exactly does microneedling achieve this? Well, the act of making hundreds of tiny skin tears encourages your body's healing response, and over time, the damaged tissue which makes up stretch marks is replaced with healthy (and elastic) normal skin. With repeated sessions, you will notice the ridges on either side of deep stretch marks start to diminish, and you should also notice patches of healthy skin appear in place of the old damaged skin.
Is This Backed Up by Science?
Check out these other studies done on microneedling for stretch marks:
"The clinical results obtained in this study support the safe and effective treatment of striae distensae with microneedling in light and dark skin tones in various body locations. Standardization of treatment protocols are anticipated with further (ongoing) studies." - CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE.
"The results of microneedling alone were as follows: 20% showed marked improvement, 40% showed moderate improvement, and 40% showed minimal improvement with significant increase in collagen in microneedling with platelet-rich plasma groups." - CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE.
Which Needle Length Is Best to Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks?
We generally recommend long needle lengths for this purpose as stretch marks are quite deep scars, and you'll need to reach the dermal layer of your skin. Try a 2.00 to 3.00mm unit for best results. Personally, I have used a 3.00mm derma roller for mine (which are quite severe) and have not experienced any bad side effects, except for the pain involved with using such long needles.
You should treat your stretch marks no more than once every 6 weeks. Your body needs time to heal and the longer needles do more damage to your skin.