Stretch Mark Laser
La Jolla, California
Stretch marks often affect women in pregnancy, but they can also be brought about by adolescent growth spurts, hormones, weight gain or weight gain, steroid use, body building – and sometimes there seems to be no reason at all. No matter the reason, stretch marks are unwelcome, not easy to remedy and previous cream and lotion treatments had no effect once a stretch mark occurred.
Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks with Fraxel
Fractional laser systems have proven to provide the most efficient means of diminishing stretch mark appearance. In our La Jolla office we use the Fraxel Re:store laser to help rebuild collagen and smooth the skin surface. With multiple treatment sessions, patients will often see improved pigmentation blending as the process seems to assist melanin cell migration into the field of the stretch mark itself.
What is a stretch mark?
A stretch mark is actually a tear in the dermis of the skin. It occurs when skin is stretched beyond its natural ability to adjust to changes in volume accommodation. The tears are usually linear and can be very short, or as in the case of pregnancy, span many inches.
How does Fraxel work to lessen the appearance of stretch marks?
Because the tear is permanent, the only remedy is to force a collagen response to rebuild some of the collagen support layer adjacent to the mark. Fractional laser “turns on” the collagen rebuilding by the use of heat delivered into the deeper layer of the skin. As the collagen is restored, the tear in the dermis shrinks and the mark is less visible. Although Fraxel improves stretch mark appearance, it cannot remove the mark altogether.
How many stretch mark laser sessions will I need?
The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on several factors
- Your skin type and color
- Severity of the stretch marks to be treated
- Number of marks in the affected area
Is there preparation for Fraxel treatment for stretch marks?
For those with darker skin tones, yes. Because the heat from the laser can actually cause some level of hyperpigmentation in darker skins, we will provide you with a pigmentation suppression product that you will use prior to and after the treatments.
How quickly can I expect to see results for my stretch marks?
Stretch mark laser treatments are not instant. In fact, it’s actually pretty slow going and you may think we need to “hurry up”. But, the process, which takes place over many months, will improve the appearance of the marks if you follow the treatment plan and practice patience.
My stretch marks are red…do I still need laser?
Yes, but a different type of laser. Vascular laser can remove a great amount of red color in red marks. The redness is caused by broken blood vessels. A vascular laser will seal off the vessels and cause the redness to go away – again, this may not happen completely, but it will make a substantial difference.
Related and Alternative Treatments for Hyperpigmentation, Scars and Rough Skin
- Fotofacial, a light based treatment to reduce sun-induced pigmentation, redness and splotchiness. Fotofacial uses flashes of light and does not affect the skin’s surface during treatment.
- ActiveFX or Deep FX for more intense single-treatment for laser resurfacing and skin tightening.
- Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) for improving texture of sun damaged skin and removing actinic keratoses. PDT also has dramatic effect on resistant acne.
- Cosmelan for reduction and control of UV and/or heat-induced hyperpigmentation and facial discoloration. Cosmelan is a topical skin lightening program that begins with an in-office Lightening mask.
- Medical Grade Chemical Peels or Microdermabrasion may be used for light cases of skin discoloration and brown patches. Dr. Mani or our medical staff will be able to advise you of the treatment selection that will best improve your skin issues.