Jordanna Cobella has been plagued with stretchmarks since she was 18. WHETHER they’re on your boobs, bum, tummy or thighs - having stretch marks is something that affects millions of people in the UK.
A staggering eight in every ten women are likely to get them during pregnancy but they can also occur during puberty, after rapid weight gain or simply because they run in the family.
For Jordanna Cobella, 27, a hair salon owner from London, it’s something she’s lived with for nearly a decade.
“I’ve tried every cream, oil and remedy available; I’ve even spoken to surgeons about how I can get rid of them but so far, nothing has worked.“It would mean the world to me to get rid of all the scars on my bum and legs, so I decided to try the latest method available and get them ‘tattooed’ off.”
Medical tattooing and scar camouflage is a private treatment offered by Nicole Zysk, a permanent and semi-permanent makeup specialist, at her clinic in Kensington, London.
“I use a method called dry tattooing, where a tiny micro needle penetrates the top layer (dermis) of the skin and then a pigment is pushed in,” Nicole explains.
“By bruising the skin of the scar, the treatment promotes natural collagen and pigment to return. We then also add pigment to the area which matches the skin tone which speeds up the results.
“Dry tattooing can also firm stretch marks by making the skin tighter. The scars then become smoother to touch too. ”
Jordanna is a petite 5ft and size 8. She has never yo-yo dieted and doesn’t have kids, but she suffers from stretch marks that run from the top of her bum to her thighs.
“I’ve inherited them from my dad and we have a running joke in my family that the lines on my body are an A-Z map,” she says
“I’m quite small but I’d say the scars cover about 30 per cent of my body.
“I’ve lived with them for my entire adult life but I’ve never worn a string bikini on the beach or posted an un-edited bikini snap on Instagram because I feel so self-conscious of them.”
Jordanna – who’s in a relationship- also says her stretch marks even play a part in her sex life.
“When it comes to sex, I’d always choose to do it in a dark room,” she adds.
“But it’s not just how they look, it’s how they feel too. If you run your hand across them you can feel the ridges.”
“Thankfully they don’t seem to bother my boyfriend but they make me feel like I always want to cover up.”
Jordanna had two rounds of medical tattooing and scar camouflage with Nicole and the results after three months were astonishing.
“When I first sat down to have it done I was really worried about how painful the treatment may be but the pain was outweighed by the thought of having smoother skin and feeling more confident in myself,” she says.
Twenty minutes before Jordanna went under the needle, Nicole covered the treatment area in an anaesthetic cream to numb it.
Each treatment can take up to two hours per session and Nicole advises at least two rounds of skin camouflage to see the results.
Each round costs £650 and the results can last up to 24 months.
“On a scale of pain from 1-10, I would say it’s around a 5,” Jordanna explains. “It felt like a dry needle scratching the surface of the skin but it’s not too bad at all, a tattoo would be far more painful.”
After the first treatment the skin is often sensitive to touch and Nicole explains that clients will have scabbing for around a week before they can begin to notice any change.
"It looks far, far worse than it feels," says Jordanna. "I couldn't feel it when I walk around but if I touched it, it was slightly sore."
Nicole also advised Jordanna to avoid hot showers and baths and to apply a cooling cream to help with any discomfort.
Four week after her first treatment, Jordanna said she was blown away by the results but Nicole advised her to have one more round to ensure the effects lasted.
Now she says she’s even been out bikini shopping and for the first time ever is looking forward to showing off her body this summer.
“I can’t believe the difference, not only does it look so much better but also the ridges are completely smooth too,” she explains.
“When you first get it done the scars are red raw, which is quite scary but they heal so quickly and I couldn’t quite believe it when it was finally done.
“It has been amazing for my confidence," she says. "I’ve bought some new bikinis and can’t wait to wear them on the beach.
“When my boyfriend saw it he just said “Wow” – he couldn’t believe it either!
“I’ve already told three on my friends to come and have it done – they are new mums and have stretch marks on their tummy. I would recommend it to anyone!”
Despite Jordanna being an avid fan of this cosmetic procedure, many critics and body-confidence advocates continually bang the drum that women should ‘accept their body no matter what’ but Jordanna explains that she believes this is almost anti body-positive.
“I think we are living in a world where people are talking more about the things they don’t accept about their body," she says.
“What we’re told when we’re younger is to just accept what you have got, but what’s amazing about our day and age is that you shouldn’t be embarrassed if you want to change something.
“If it’s going to affect your mental, as well as physical, state it should be accepted – it’s liberating to be able to change parts of your body that you don’t like, especially if it’s going to affect your happiness,” she says.
“I’m not ashamed about having this treatment," Jordanna continues.
“For those people who just say ‘love your body’ and ‘accept what you’ve got’ I would say, ‘Why?’ If there’s the choice and the technology to change something then why shouldn’t I?
“I have the choice to. Before this treatment I would never have posted a full body bikini shot on Instagram. I’d get the Facetune App out and smooth out the skin – I’ve now deleted the app!"