Should you be concerned about stretch marks? Lots of factors contribute to whether a person is prone to stretch marks including hormones, body shape, weight, heredity and more. Stretch marks often affect women in pregnancy, but they can also be brought about by adolescent growth spurts, hormones, weight gain, steroid use, body building – and sometimes there seems to be no reason at all. No matter the reason, stretch marks are unwelcome, not easy to remedy, and most old fashioned cream and lotion treatments have little to no effect once a stretch mark occurred.
Fractional laser systems have proven to provide the most efficient means of diminishing stretch mark appearance. We use our specialty lasers to rebuild collagen and smooth the skin surface. With multiple treatment sessions, patients will often see improved pigmentation blending as the process seems to assist melanin cell migration into the field of the stretch mark itself.
What is a stretch mark?
A stretch mark is actually a tear in the dermis of the skin. It occurs when skin is stretched beyond its natural ability to adjust to changes in volume accommodation. The tears are usually linear and can be very short, or as in the case of pregnancy, span many inches.
How does the laser work to lessen the appearance of stretch marks?
Because the tear is permanent, the only remedy is to force a collagen response to rebuild some of the collagen support layer adjacent to the mark. Fractional laser “turns on” the collagen rebuilding by the use of heat delivered into the deeper layer of the skin. As the collagen is restored, the tear in the dermis shrinks and the mark is less visible. Although we can dramatically improve the stretch mark appearance, total elimination may not be possible.
How many stretch mark laser sessions will I need?
The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on several factors
• Your skin type and color
• Severity of the stretch marks to be treated
• Number of marks in the affected area
How quickly can I expect to see results for my stretch marks?
Stretch mark laser treatments are not instant. In fact, it’s actually pretty slow going and you may think we need to “hurry up”. Because the skin continues to heal for weeks after the treatments, you’ll see improved appearance of the marks if you follow the treatment plan and practice patience.
My stretch marks are red…do I still need laser?
Yes, but a different type of laser. A vascular laser treatment can remove a great amount of red color in red marks. The redness is caused by broken blood vessels. A vascular laser will seal off the vessels and cause the redness to go away – again, this may not happen completely, but it will make a substantial difference.