Laser Stretch Marks

Will fractional laser treatments help with small skinny stretch marks? 

Doctor Answers 11

Laser Stretch Mark Removal

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As many others have commented, stretch marks can be challenging, though not impossible to treat with the laser. The marks are essentially a form of scar where there has been a loss of collagen un the deeper layers of the skin known as the dermis. 

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. 

Best wishes!

Dr S


Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Adressing stretch marks is a difficult task

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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.

How many laser treatments for stretch marks?

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My office uses a combination of vascular lasers for red stretch marks and one or more modalities for atrophic white stretch marks.  Microneedling, ProFractional Laser and Infini all have their place in improvement of stretch marks.  Studies show that controlled injury to stretch marks with micro-injuries stimulate collagen and elastin production and encourage 'injured' skin to return to a more normal appearance over time.  Can we totally eliminate stretch marks?  No. but we can make them look a lot better.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Laser Treatment for Stetch Marks

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I use the Palomar Lux 1540 fractional erbium laser for stretch marks. It is FDA-approved for this indication and gives good results. Some time has to pass to see results because the laser works by initiating biologic changes in the tissue, like new collagen and elastic fiber formation. The initial effect of the laser is a micro wound caused by hundreds of tiny beams that penetrate the sklin and coagulate tissue in place. As the body cleans up these microscopic wounds, growth factors are secreted and new tissue replaces the old. Gradually as the weeks go by and more treatments are done, the changes can be seen on the skin surface as smoothing and blending of the stretch marks. The shininess diminishes, and red stretch marks lose their red color. Laser stretch mark treatment takes a commitment for 4-6 treatments, and depending on how extensive a body area needs to be treated, a series of treatments may be needed to get coverage. Discomfort is handled with some anestheteic ointment applied an hour before the treatment and the application of a cold rolling device that chills and soothes the skin. This is an office procedure without down time, but there is some redness and swelling for a day or two.

Lasers for stretch marks - Las estrías

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Thank you for your question, Stretch marks are most frequently bothered by patients as well as cellulite.  With stretch marks it all depends if they are new or mature stretch marks to determine how we should be treat it. Stretch marks are basically a from a scar which causes of loss of collagen. The skin stretched way too much and the skin then becomes very thin. Lasers can help with the lighting and texture, with that said they may become less noticeable. Unfortunately, they will never disappear completely and lotions and creams can not help with the disappearing of your stretch marks. All they will do is keep your skin moisturized. If you have any concerns, call a plastic surgeon closes to you  for a consultation.  

 Gracias por su pregunta. Con estrías todo depende si son estrías nuevas o maduras para determinar cómo debemos tratarlo. Las estrías son básicamente cicatrices que causan la pérdida de colágeno. La piel se estiró mucho y se vuelve muy delgada. Los láseres pueden ayudar con la iluminación y la textura, con eso dicho que pueden llegar a ser menos perceptibles. Desafortunadamente, nunca desaparecerán completamente y las lociones y las cremas no pueden ayudar con la desaparición de sus estrías. Todo lo que harán es mantener su piel hidratada. Si usted tiene alguna preocupación, llame a un cirujano plástico  cerca de usted para una consulta.

Stretch marks

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The best way to treat difficult stretch marks is to use a combination approach. Typically fractional lasers with skin tightening technologies can be used. Mesotherapy and microneedleing with PRP can also be tried. Several sessions will be necessary. A perfect result is not possible.

Cynthia Stolovitz, MD
Montreal Physician

Fraxel Laser can help you beat those stretch marks

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While a tummy tuck is the best way to rid yourself of those terrible pregnancy induced stretch marks, consider getting a Fraxel laser to help you minimize those abdominal stretch marks. When looking for a non surgical treatment consider seeking out a provider who has the latest in technology. ICON Fraxel Laser. 

Palomar Lux 1540 works best

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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.

Marisa Lawrence, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Nothing gets rid of stretch marks

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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

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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.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

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.