I am having treatments for stretch marks that are not from pregnancy. I am now trying Fractional. I had my first treatment and so far it's okay - not seeing anything quite yet but will fractional laser treatments help me? I do not have large stretch marks they are small skinny lines but everywhere. Thank you for your help!
Laser Stretch Marks
Doctor Answers 8
Stretch mark lasers can work
There is an obvious loss of dermal collagen in stretch marks. We have found, quite strikingly among our patients, that three lasers can work on stretch marks, even on darker skin types. We use these three lasers for all types of stretch marks, including red, hypopigmented, and loose stretch marks.
How many laser treatments for stretch marks?
Laser Stretch Mark Removal
Encouraging collagen remodeling via lasers can help the marks become less noticeable. Unfortunately, they will never disappear completely.
For newer stretch marks which are red or purple (striae rubrae), the Pulse Dye laser works best. This can give nice improvements in the color and help fade the stretch marks after a few treatments.
For mature white stretch marks (striae alba), fractionated CO2 laser will encourage collagen remodeling and help improve their appearance.
Combining the CO2 laser with platelet rich plasma can be a great option to supercharge collagen remodeling.
Unfortunately, there are no creams, lotions or potions that will improve stretch marks, despite what the internet tells you.
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Laser Treatment for Stetch Marks
Palomar Lux 1540 works best
Until now there were few options for stretch mark treatments. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared Palomar's fractional laser treatment for stretch marks, practitioners now have an excellent aesthetic solution for their clients. Palomar's fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing laser minimizes the appearance of stretch marks with no downtime. The Lux1540 laser handpiece improves the unsightly color and skin texture associated with stretch marks, leaving clients with smoother, better-looking skin. A single treatment session typically costs $500 – $1,000, and at least three treatments are usually required.
Nothing gets rid of stretch marks
Unfortunately, no lasers or creams can get rid of stretch marks. The best they can do is to lighten those in their darker earlier stages. A stretch mark is a split of the dermis layer of the skin with the outer epidermis layer left intact. Because of this the only way they can be removed is if they are in an area that can be surgically excised such as in a tummy tuck.
Fractional laser treatments are your best bet for treating stretch marks
Stretch marks are very difficult to treat. They form when a person grows quickly, gains weight rapidly, or is pregnant. The skin stretches so quickly that the elastic tissue in the skin actually tears. That is why stretch marks don't go away when the person loses weight or is no longer pregnant. There seem to be genetic factors that make some people more prone to stretch marks than others.
Fractional resurfacing is the treatment of microscopic columns of skin within the treatment area. It doesn't treat all of the skin at once, which could create a large wound, rather it treats a fraction of the skin at a time. The skin in these fractional zones then heals from the untreated adjacent skin. Ablative fractional resurfacing, with the carbon dioxide laser, appears to be the best treatment option for stretch marks. At the very least you should get some fading and blending into the surrounding skin, and in some people (with multiple treatments) they may go away completely. Fractional lasers that do not use carbon dioxide will give you more subtle results, and will require many more treatments.
Adressing stretch marks is a difficult task
Stretch marks are perhaps one of the most bothersome issue to patients yet, aside from cellulite. Stretch are areas where the skin has been stretched beyond it physical property and a layer of the skin has become very thin.
Fraxel may help tighten the skin slightly but it will NOT remove the stretch marks. For now the only way of removing the stretch marks are by excision alone (i.e. Tummy Tuck).
Hope that helps.