Can a 20% TCA Peel Combined with Jessner's Solution Fade my Stretch Marks?

they are still in their "very red" stage...and what if i would continue doing these peels once a month would my results get better?? thank you!

Doctor Answers 3

Better Solutions

This is the stage of stretch marks we call striae rubra and is far more amenable to treatment than the second and more permanent stage called striae alba.

I am sorry but I can not see the scientific basis of why the above two peels would be effective. There is nothing in the literature that I know about that would say they work. If you are consulting a dermatologist I would certainly defer to their opinion and maybe they would work. If this is being sold to you by a spa or a non-dermatologist, I would my skepticism would linger.

It is difficult to judge the clinical effectiveness of various treatments. As you know, the red strech marks (striae rubra) lose their color and become pale and white. Thus, whether they did this due to nature or the treatments they were subjected to, is problematic. Objectivity can also be a problem.

Nonetheless, there are a number of treatments in the dermatology literature which suggest some modalities work.

There is scienitific evidence, though not the greatest, that glycolic acid peels work. Dr. David McDaniel here in Virginia Beach did a study showing the efficacy of 20% glycolic acid peels.( Dermatologic Surgery 1998: Aug 24 (8). This would take 3-4 treatments but should produce noticeable results. The strength could be increased or decreased depending on the skin color (obviously darker would use the weaker).

Using a Retinoid in combination with the glcolic acid, or prior to the glycolic acid, would help enhance the benefit.

Vascular lasers are especially helpful in the striae rubra stage. After all vascular lasers are called vascular lasers because they work with dilated blood vessels. Since this is a characteristic of striae rubra, they can be a powerful weapon. Besides this, they have been shown to incrrease collagen production and elastic remodeling, These lasers work in the 585-nm, 595-nm or 940-nm wavelength.

The 1064 long-pulsed Nd: YAG laser, which also encourages collagen production, is also effective as shown by Drs. Prati, Goldman and Rossato ( Dermotolgic Surg. May 2008. ) They examined patients in the striae rubra stage and found that 55% of tha patients determined that their results were excellent and 40% of physicians who were submitted photographs felt the same.

Any clinic treatment should be augmented with at home treatments. These would include the above mentioned glycolic acid ( Neo-Strata Ultra smoothing Lotion or MD Forte 20% which has the highest glycoloic acid content...20%), Vitamin C ( SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic), and Retinoids ( Retin A or Tazarac. do not use if nursing).

I am not discussing the striae alba stage, in which the stretch marks are white and much more difficult to treat. I strongly advise you, if stretch marks bother you, to have them treated at this stage.

I hope this has been helpful.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Depends on what you mean by "fading" stretch marks

The previous comment is a very impressive response to your question and there is not a lot to add. Your steretch marks are barely visible in this photograph.

By the way:

Striae Rubra = Red stretch marks.

Striae Alba = White stretch marks.

If your stretch marks are dark or red, it is possible that any peel will fade the color. However, there is a risk that the scars could become darker, particularly in individuals with this tendency. You may want to try out a test area in a less visible location.

Generally, lasers are more effective at targetting the red component which is due to blood vessels and tend to not be treated by chemical peels.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Peel for stretchmarks that are red

Unfortunately stretch marks cannot be removed by any non-surgical method. Fresh (red) stretch marks have a better chance of being treated and lightened, by peels or laser but not removed. The only way they can be removed is through surgery. Stretch marks are caused because the skin is stretched beyond its capacity to recoil. Its like a rubber band that is over stretched and can never regain its original shortened length. Any laser that claims to tighten skin has not addressed the basic physiologic problem which is a dermis that is overstretched. The laser will however help the coloration but the stretch marks themselves will persist. You have to ask yourself if the goal is stretch mark removal or if its the discoloration that bothers you. Your best option is to have them surgically remove where appropriate. Unfortunately not all areas are amenable to surgery. Visit with a plastic surgeon.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.