Stretch Mark Laser Treatment in San Diego, CA
Stretch marks are a type of skin scarring that develops when the abdomen is overextended due to pregnancy or being overweight. At La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic, we offer stretch mark laser treatment options for men and women in San Diego, Encinitas, La Mesa, El Cajon, and surrounding areas of California.
Remove Unsightly Stretch Marks With Our State-of-the-Art Laser Treatments
Stretch marks often affect women in pregnancy, but they can also be brought about by adolescent growth spurts, hormones, weight gain, steroid use, or 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 have no effect once a stretch mark has 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 Restore 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 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?
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 Treatment?
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.
For a complimentary consultation to discuss laser treatment options for removing stretch marks, please contact La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic online or call (858) 225-8380 today. We are pleased to serve patients throughout the San Diego area and nearby.
Stretch Mark Laser Treatment FAQs
What causes stretch marks to form?
Stretch marks are the result of skin that is stretched faster than its ability to grow. They form in the dermis layer of the skin when the constant stretching of pregnancy or sudden weight gain causes tears in the skin. The connecting fibers in the dermis overstretch and break. That’s why stretch marks are red or purple when they first appear, because blood vessels are showing through the tears in the dermis. Over time, they fade to a silvery, white, glossy appearance.
How do laser procedures lessen the appearance of stretch marks?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a procedure or treatment out there that completely removes stretch marks. At La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic, we use different laser treatments to address stretch marks for our patients. For newer red stretch marks, pulsed dye lasers are the most effective. For older, white stretch marks, fractional laser treatments are best. Depending on the patient, we may use our Fraxel, Starwalker, ResurFX, or SP Dynamis lasers for stretch mark treatment.
- Pulsed dye laser treatment – For pink and red stretch marks, we use pulsed dye lasers. The laser energy is absorbed by the blood vessels of the new, red stretch marks. This heat energy helps resolve the redness. For the first 3-4 days after treatment your stretch marks will actually become redder, but then will begin to fade. Pulsed dye lasers also trigger new collagen development as we describe below with fractional laser treatment.
- Fractional laser treatment – When the laser light energy penetrates the epidermis it converts to heat and it triggers a remodeling of the collagen, the skin’s support protein that gives the skin its underlying support structure. The body perceives this as a wound and responds by removing older, damaged tissue and producing new collagen and elastin. The new collagen gives the skin a smoother texture and improves the skin tone, lessening the appearance of the stretch marks.
Is it possible to prevent stretch marks from forming?
Considering up to 90 percent of pregnant women develop stretch marks, their formation is not easy to stop. They tend to develop most rapidly during the final trimester of the pregnancy when the baby is growing the most. There are some options for trying to prevent stretch marks from forming, but they are far from foolproof.
- Manage your weight gain – You hear the “eating for two” advice often during pregnancy, but that’s not true. While an average, healthy, non-pregnant woman should eat around 2000 calories per day, pregnant women need only increase this by 200 calories per day. Not going crazy with rapid weight gain is the best way to prevent stretch marks.<.li>
- Hydration – Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin supple and more resistant to the formation of stretch marks. Pregnant women should drink at least 12 cups of water per day.
- Eat sensibly – Good foods are good for your skin. Rather than binging on junk food, eating plenty of foods with antioxidants, vitamins, zinc, and fatty acids will help your skin and will be better for your baby.
- Vitamin D – Certain studies have shown a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and the formation of stretch marks. Sunshine provides vitamin D (but don’t get burned), as does dairy, fish, and other sources.
- Moisturize – Massage topical creams or oils into the high-risk areas for stretch mark development. Products that contain shea butter, vitamin E, and aloe vera are the most effective. Massaging them in helps to also stimulate blood flow through the area.
Can Laser Treatment Remove Stretch Marks?
Yes! In fact, laser treatments are some of the most effective solutions when it comes to removing stretch marks. This is because lasers can heat the skin below the surface, where stretch marks originate. By carefully targeting the pigmented cells, laser treatment reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
How Many Laser Sessions Does it Take to Remove Stretch Marks?
The number of treatment sessions needed to completely remove stretch marks will depend on the severity, size and color of your stretch marks. Generally, three to five treatment sessions are ideal for most patients.
Can You Permanently Remove Stretch Marks?
Yes, you can permanently remove stretch marks with laser treatment. This treatment will destroy the skin pigments that are causing the appearance of stretch marks, and they will fade away as a result. However, keep in mind it is possible to develop stretch marks in the future as a result of pregnancy or other rapid weight gain.
Is Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks Painful?
Laser treatment may be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Patients rarely describe the treatment as painful. While there may be minor discomfort during treatment, it is best described as a warming or stinging sensation.
When Will I See Results from Laser Stretch Mark Removal?
Laser stretch mark removal does not produce instant results, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results in the first few days. In fact, it’s common for stretch marks to appear darkened or reddened in the days immediately following treatment. As long as you stick to your treatment plan, you will see your stretch marks gradually fade away over a few months.
At La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic, we help men and women in San Diego, Encinitas, La Mesa, El Cajon, and surrounding areas of California, feel more confident with our advanced cosmetic laser procedures, such as stretch mark laser treatments. To learn more about how we can reduce your stretch marks, contact us today to schedule a consultation.