I met with a consultant at one of the clinics in Toronto that offer the Palomar Lux1540 Fractional Laser for treatment of stretch marks. I had already read everything I could find about this laser so I wasn't there for advice or because I needed convincing, but because I needed to know how much money I had to prepare to shell out for this. The answer is: a lot. Apparently this clinic offers excellent prices, but I knew the cost was going to be high regardless. It was even higher than my highest estimate. I have two large areas I want to focus on: the hip/thigh/butt [upper] area, and the calves/inside of knees [lower] area. I was told that for the upper area, each session would cost $1000, and for the lower, $400. It was recommended that I do 5-6 sessions.
Let's do some math here. If I were to do the maximum recommended amount for both the areas: 1400 x 6 = $8400 +tax, but you get 10% off if you buy the package, so best case scenario, we're looking at $7560 +tax. At that point, my thoughts turned to "do I really need this? can I not learn to just live with this?" I'm a student with close to no money, so this would have to be a loan, and a huge one at that. But I figured I would try at least a few sessions (I was told I could be pleased with the results after three sessions) on the less expensive lower area, and cross that remaining bridge when I got there.
I made an appointment for my first session, which was three days later.
Now the truth. Yes, it hurts. It hurts like someone is snapping an elastic band on your skin over and over and over until you want to punch the technician in the face. That part isn't so bad though, it gets worse when it's over because it feels like an aching stinging burn, radiating all over the surface of your skin. Just like when you accidentally burn yourself while ironing or baking. I had to take the bus home after my session, which was a bad choice because it was really hot and I'm pretty sure I looked like I was in a lot of pain and about to cry. The good thing is, the pain doesn't last very long - I sat on some ice packs during a long car ride and once the swelling went down, the pain was gone for good. I was able to walk without a problem.
In all honesty, I wouldn't trust this treatment if it didn't hurt. If you're expecting your skin to be remodeled, you've got to accept that some pain will be involved, realistically. No pain no gain, right?