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Dr. Michael Miroshnik

Dr. Michael Miroshnik: Erasing Stretch Marks

November 08, 2011

Michael Miroshnik, MBBS, FRACS (Plast.), ASPS, is a fully qualified Australian trained Plastic Surgeon specializing in cosmetic plastic surgical procedures. In addition to 6 years of medical and surgical training at the University of Sydney, Dr. Miroshnik has trained for 10 years amongst all the major hospitals in Sydney. He is a recipient of the Sidney B Clipsham Memorial Prize in Operative Surgery, and is a member of numerous professional groups including the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS), the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the Australian Association of Surgeons, and the Australian Medical Association.

Dr. Miroshnik has been widely published within medical literature and regularly presents talks in scientific meetings around the world. Through his work in Royal North Shore Hospital, he is also actively involved in educating and training future plastic surgeons in both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery. His teachings emphasize both the scientific as well as the artistic aspects of the field.

Dr. Miroshnik gravitated towards medicine at a young age. “I was always fascinated by the human body and wanted to know more about how it works,” he explains. “Coupled with that, I have always felt that working with people and bringing happiness to others made my own life more fulfilling. Being a ‘hands-on’ type of person, I knew I would always be a surgeon. After doing internal surgery initially though, I gravitated towards cosmetic plastic surgery because I found this type of work immensely gratifying as all results are so visible and one can incorporate an ‘artistic side’ to one’s work. The ability to change people’s lives and see their gratification is very rewarding.”

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Dr. Miroshnik's Advice for Preventing and Minimizing Stretch Marks
  • Avoid weight fluctuations
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Keep your skin well moisturised
  • Use a topical cream that contains vitamen A unless pregnant
  • Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Dr. Miroshnik stresses that women should start considering stretch mark treatment when it’s a concern to them. “Some women just accept stretch marks as part of life, whereas others think about them all the time. If they are causing distress then it is worth investigating treatment options for them as treatments in this field are rapidly progressing.”

    Until recent years, there weren’t many options for treating stretch marks. “Stretch marks are actually scars just like traumatic or surgical scars so the only option for treating them was cutting them out when they were in an area of excess skin such as the tummy area post pregnancy. In recent years there’s been the addition of non-surgical options for treating stretch marks such as medical grade skin care and lasers. With both surgical and non surgical options, it’s possible to tailor the treatment to each and every individual patient.”

    Dr. Miroshnik is excited about how the advancements in laser surgery are helping to erase stretch marks. “The 1540 non-ablative fractional laser is the first FDA approved device for the treatment of stretch marks, and with the recent release of a new XD tip we are continuing to improve our results with increased depth of penetration,” he explains. “The pain is minimised through the pinpoint compression design of the laser hand piece and is well tolerated by patients, has no downtime and has shown very encouraging results with 3-4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. The energy imparted by the laser with its tiny columns of heat triggers the skin to form and remodel new collagen which although doesn’t completely eliminate, reduces the appearance of the stretch marks often quite significantly. I think treatments will continue to improve as current laser platforms are further refined and the results of further research becomes available.”

    Dr. Miroshnik advises those who live in particularly sunny or warm areas to be aware of the affects sun has on stretch marks. “If stretch marks are exposed to excessive sunlight, they may pigment and become more obvious! I recommend that you minimise sun exposure to the treatment area during the course of your treatments as well as 3-6 months post your final session.”

    There is little scientific data on how to prevent stretch marks. “It is difficult to advice patients on how to prevent stretch marks because the formation of stretch marks depends on so many factors,” Dr. Miroshnik explains. “The most important things to do would be to maintain a healthy diet and avoid major weight fluctuations as they are a common trigger for the formation of stretch marks. Keeping your skin well hydrated with the right skin care is also important. Topical creams that contain a derivative of vitamin A are the best for this. Note however, many stronger vitamin A containing products are contraindicated in pregnancy.”

    Patients with a lot of stretch marks can take steps to minimize their spread. “Try to avoid weight fluctuations, maintain a healthy diet, keep your skin well moisturised and use a vitamin A preparation of some sort,” Dr. Miroshnik advises. “If you are very worried by specific areas, then it is worthwhile to seek the opinion of a physician or surgeon.”

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