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 10

Stretch marks, No good treatment

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
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Laser Resurfacing Stretch Marks

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
4.4 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Laser treatments help but do not eliminate stretch marks

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.

Elizabeth F. Rostan, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
4.2 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

What laser treatment works well for stretch marks?

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Laser resurfacing for stretch marks

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.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Laser for stretch mark removal

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Stretchmark laser treatment

Although there is no technology or cream that will completely erase stretch marks, there are options available to improve the appearance of stretch marks. For example, red stretch marks are treatable with pulsed dye lasers to resolve the redness associated with these newer lesions. Current research supports that early treatment may enhance the outcomes for both color and texture improvement.

For brown stretch marks, treatments with Q-Switched Yag lasers offer dramatic results. For older, more mature stretch marks, the Excimer laser is used to restore pigment that has been lost by blending in the stretch marks to match the surrounding skin. Unfortunately, these treatments are quite tedious and offer only temporary results when treating hypopigmented (white) stretch marks.

Our facility incorporates the Aramis Quantel laser for collagen stimulation to improve the appearance and texture of the stretch marks.

In some situations, surgical intervention may be more appropriate for those patients that present with very large lesions depending on the location of the stretch marks. However, when surgery is not appropriate or not an option that a patient would like to consider, class IV medical lasers provide a good alternative.

If a patient does not have realistic expectations, then lasers are not the best option. If one's goal is improvement, then laser treatments for stretch marks is a good treatment to consider.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Great for saggy skin, hit and miss for stretch marks

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

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Stretch marks can be improved by laser treatments but not eliminated

To date, no laser treatment (or any treatment for that matter) has yet been shown to eliminate or cure stretch marks. Laser resurfacing can make some improvement in the appearance of white or mature stretch marks and pulsed dye or photoselective laser light treatments can reduce the redness of new or early stretch marks.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 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.