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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.
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.
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.
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.
The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on several factors
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.
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.
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.