Laser Resurfacing Stretch Marks - What Works?

I've seen before and after photos of laser treatments that had great results on stretch marks and saggy skin. I just don't know what laser treatments they were! I would like to find out so I could find a doctor in my area who offers those typical treatments. Thanks so much for your time!

Doctor Answers 12

Stretch marks, No good treatment

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I agree that there is no "good" treatment to repair stretch marks. The red color of new stretch marks can be reduced with pulse dye lasers. Surgical Tummy tuck can cut out some of the marks on the abdomen. There are no effective creams.

San Ramon Dermatologist
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

What Lasers Work for Stretch Marks

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Dear wxy228,

This depends at what stage the stretch mark is currently at. Initially they appear purple or red but gradually may fade to a silvery white colour.

The purple or reddish colour stretch marks are due to the increased presence of blood vessels in the newly-injured skin. To treat successfully, we use lasers that attack blood vessels and vascular structures. The following lasers could be used include, the V-Beam Pulsed Dye laser, IPL Intense pulse Light lasers and Pulsed Dye- NdYAG combination laser. These lasers can reduce and eliminate the redness of the stretch marks, making them appear less noticeable.

The atrophic stretch marks (white or silvery marks) are more mature than the purple and red stretch marks. White stretch marks occur after the blood vessels have faded and the inflammatory response has died down. The following lasers could be used for white stretch marks; fractional resurfacing lasers and radiofrequency devices, including the Fraxel  CO2 laser, erbium fractional lasers, the fractional radiofrequency resurfacing Fractora™, InFini RF, IntensiF, INTRAcel and eMatrix.  These fractional ablative lasers create small columns of injured tissue from the top right through into the stretch mark. The fractional nature of these devices leaves some of the stretch mark untreated between the columns of fractional injury. This allows for a reservoir of tissue to produce new collagen and elastin to smoothen the appearance of white stretch marks.

I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck. 

R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D. 

Certified Plastic Surgeon 

Yorkville, Toronto, ON

R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Do lasers work on stretch marks: Tratamientos con láser puede ayudar con el enrojecimiento de las estrías

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Laser treatments can help with the redness of the stretch marks which then helps the stretch marks to get lighter.  Abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) can also be an option to take away the stretch marks.  There is also PRP treatments that can help with the collagen. The growth factors contained in the signal proteins concentrated in PRP create the production of new collagen and elastin. There a few options out there, but  unfortunately, they will never disappear completely and lotions and creams can not help with the disappearing of your stretch marks. I recommend you call a plastic surgeon nearest you to schedule a consultation. 

Tratamientos con láser puede ayudar con el enrojecimiento de las estrías, que luego ayuda a las estrías que se aclaran. La abdominoplastia (tummy tucks)  puede ser una opción para quitar las estrías. También hay tratamientos de PRP que pueden ayudar con el colágeno. Los factores de crecimiento contenidos en las proteínas de señal concentradas en PRP crean la producción de nuevo colágeno y elastina. Hay algunas opciones por ahí, pero por desgracia, nunca van a desaparecer por completo las estrias. Y las lociones y cremas no puede ayudar con la desaparición de sus estrías. Le recomiendo que llame a un cirujano plástico más cercano a usted para programar una consulta.

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Laser Resurfacing Stretch Marks

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There is no laser treatment that provides consistently excellent results. Patient selection is key. Consult in person with an experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon to understand your options. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks

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Thank you for your question. Until recently there have been very few good options for treating stretch marks. IPL treatments can reduce the redness but not much more. The newest laser, the ICON1540 is FDA approved for treating stretch marks. This is what's called a non-ablaitive laser, which stimulates new collagen and causes the scar or stretch mark to change appearance. Often several treatments are needed, but there is little or no down time. I hope this helps. Good luck.

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Laser treatments help but do not eliminate stretch marks

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Laser treatments can be helpful for stretch marks but no laser works very well and no treatment completely removes stretch marks. Pulsed dye lasers cank be helpful for red strectch marks and Fraxel laser treatment can improved older or more wrinkled or depressed stretch marks.

What laser treatment works well for stretch marks?

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Many treatments for stretch marks can improve their appearance, but none so far have been able to remove them completely.

If stretch marks are still fresh, that is red or violet in color, topical treatment with a tretinoin or tazarotene cream might be sufficient for treatment.

Intense pulsed light has been shown to work in treating mature stretch marks by increasing collagen production in the dermis.

Fractional laser resurfacing works by removing columns of tissue in the areas treated, which stimulates both the contraction of the tissue and deposition of new collagen.

The excimer laser works by repigmenting the striae but does not improve the loss of collagen in the area.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser resurfacing for stretch marks

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Stretch marks are better treated when they are "fresh" or red- this can be addressed with either a light device or a topical cream. When they are no longer red (darker or lighter streaks in the skin) then treatments are geared towards lessening their appearance. Stretch marks are caused by the breaking of elastin/collagen in the skin from expansion of the skin. To lessen the appearance of older stretch marks, the skin is re-wounded using an ablative laser technique (usually a pixelated/fraxilated device). The body then heals the wounds from the inside out, depositing collagen and elastin to fill in what was not there. The stretch marks never disappear all together, and any pictures showing such are not completely accurate. Suspicion should be raised as to the motive of such pictures.

Laser for stretch mark removal

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If you are looking for laser treatment of stretch marks the Fraxel Re Store and SmartXide Dot treatments seem to be giving the best results. However, you should realize that neither treatment is 100 % successful and you should only expect an improvement not a cure.

I would also consider surgery such as a tummy tuck since that would address both your sagging skin issue and the stretch marks. I would recommend consulting a board certified plastic surgeon.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Great for saggy skin, hit and miss for stretch marks

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Laser resurfacing is FANTASTIC for loose, saggy, sundamaged skin, especially on the face. Using a combination of erbium and CO2 we can achieve remarkable results. 

As for stretch marks, the use of fractional laser resurfacing is far safer- however not everyone will respond, and you WILL need several treatments. 

If stretch marks are EARLY, red, pink, or purple, then the V Beam vascular laser is more predictable- it can reduce the width and obviously colour. I usually combine this with tretinoin vit. A cream

Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane and Gold Coast

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.