Cosmetic surgery is something I'd never thought I'd ever consider, and certainly not at my age. If like me, you subscribe to the school of thought whereby any sort of invasive treatment for cosmetic purposes is completely narcissistic, you'll understand why a few months ago, when I was invited to try a new treatment, I was very hesitant.
DermaEraze is a treatment which employs skin needling techniques to "banish stretch marks, fine lines, acne scars, and skin trauma marks without aggressively removing the skin's epidermis...".
I had given birth a few months prior so I guess I was the perfect candidate, seeing as I had enough stretch marks to make up a road map of the whole of London. So on a Monday evening at around 8pm, off I went, casually (as you do), to Harley Street - the hub of private surgery and medicine in the UK- to have the treatment on a small section of my stomach. As I arrived, a middle-aged woman was leaving a neighbouring building, frozen-faced and with specs of blood evenly dotted around her whole face. My guess was that she'd just had a top-up of botox. Who was I to judge? I mean, I was there for cosmetic treatment too, right?
Anyway, I had the pleasure of meeting Lorena, who instantly made me feel at ease with her sincere and warm personality. She explained the procedure to me thoroughly but it was her informal approach that helped create a very relaxed setting in her London clinic. Just as well really because, in 20 minutes or so, she would, in essence, be harming me with a needle.
FYI, stretch marks are caused when the skin stretches too fast during growth; they are a form of scarring. Those of African/ Caribbean decent are more likely to suffer from stretch marks, Lorena explained: "There is a link to European diets and less stretch marks: over generations, the genetic make up of people who are of Caucasian origin has changed. Their diet has resulted in their bodies adapting better to growth- this is compared to those of African decent and their diets."
Lorena told me that lighter stretch marks work better. I had plenty of those, to her delight. She applied some numbing cream to the area that she would be working on. While we waited for it to do its job, we spoke more about the history of needling and her experience in the field.
Having read the press release beforehand, which stated: "For 95% of her clients, the technique offers between 20% and 50% improvement with just one treatment", I was eager to see some before and after photos of her clients. I must say, I was very impressed.
Lorena told me that working on dark skin can sometimes prove difficult due to hyperpigmentation (skin turning much darker than original tone) issues.
It's an odd sensation to describe. It wasn't painful, as such, just slightly uncomfortable at times. I'm such a wimp when it comes to needles (don't ask me how I got through childbirth) so I kind of screamed a little, but that was just me being silly.
The age range of most of Lorena's clients are 20-25 and 35-45, with the bulk being post-natal.
Aftercare treatment consists of an almond oil, avocado oil and olive oil mix, sold at her clinic. Why these ingredients? The idea is that the large molecules don’t penetrate but lock in moisture and act as a barrier to prevent infection; and the small molecules seep into the skin to heal from within.
|The treated area once procedure is finished.|
|Oil mix applied to the treated area.|
As you can see from the before and after picture, it doesn't get rid of stretch marks, as such. Instead, it improves the texture, thus smoothening the lines (or softening the scar tissue), which, in turn, fade them making them appear less visible. The 'after' photo (taken three weeks after treatment) shows minor hyperpigmentation caused by the needling. That's all gone now because the body naturally re-pigments the scar area, making it virtually unnoticeable.
Lorena told me that the best results will be seen after four treatments (which should be at least 6 months apart from each other to allow proper healing).
Now, each treatment will set you back at least £95 for a small section and £450 for a full area, so, I guess if I had the disposable income to rival an A-list celeb then it's likely that I'd consider undergoing the full treatment. In the meantime, I'm not overly concerned about my stretch marks but I'm very happy with the results.
For more information on DermaEraze, visit: www.dermaeraze.co.uk.
Have you had the DermaEraze treatment? Would you have it done? Please leave a comment below or tweet me your thoughts (@RebeccaMonique)