Radio Frequency Treatment Works for Stretch Marks?

I saw a recent news release about a dermatologist that is using both a radio frequency treatment and a laser that improves skin texture to reduce stretch marks. She says the improvement is about 50% and is the most effective treatment she has seen in 15 years. Do you think this would be a more effective way to treat stretch marks?

Doctor Answers 6

Hard to imagine that

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A stretch mark is a full thickness injury to the skin that spares the most superficial layer. The radio frequency energy might improve the appearance of new stretch marks but it is very hard to imagine that it will change old stretch marks.The only way i know about is excision of the skin having that stretch mark.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Radio frequency for stretch mark removal

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I wish that was the answer!  Unfortunately stretch marks cannot be removed by any non-surgical method. Fresh (red) stretch marks have a better chance of being treated and lightened, 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.

Laser vs. Radiofrequency for Stretch Marks

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Stretch marks are caused by permanent damage to the dermis of the skin. There are no effective treatments for quantitative improvement of stretch marks; however, there are many effective strategies to qualitatively improve the texture, visibility, and overall contour of stretch marks. I use these modalities frequently to improve stretch marks.

Some patients are not candidates for surgery, so these alternate modalities are truly effective in this patient population.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Radiofrequency for stretch marks too good to be true

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There are many agents that have been developed over the years to fight and reverse both cellulite and stretch marks. These two problems effect a large segment of the population and people are willing to try almost anything to eliminate them.

I find these claims hard to believe. If this worked everyone would be using it.

The only stretch marks that respond to treatment are usually early, red, or raised stretch marks. These will usually get better on their own.

Retin-a has been shown to be of some benefit but it will not produce a 50% improvement.

I would be skeptical of these results and would only proceed if you have personal knowledge of someone who has undergone the treatment with a satisfactory outcome.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews


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The radio frequency and laser may help but not 50%. These treatments may help the fresh stretch mark and get rid of the redness , but will not remove stretch marks.If there is a treatment that sounds too good ,it is too good to be true.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

What does 50% improvement mean???

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Nothing can get rid of stretch marks other than excising them as we can do in a tummy tuck. In this bad economy, it is critical for patients not to waste their money on treatments that don't offer REAL and SIGNIFICANT change! There are no refunds if you aren't happy.

A 50% improvement in stretch marks is impossible to calculate or understand. I can guarantee you, though, that they would still be 100% present and you would feel taken advantage of.

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.