Stretch marks can be a common result of weight change, rapid growth, or certain inherited conditions. While not of a medical concern, their appearance can cause significant emotional and mental distress. While there are many topical agents that are marketed for stretch mark improvement, the results are minimal, at best. However, non-invasive laser treatments are available for both newer pink-red stretch marks, as well as older skin-colored or pale ones, and are effective on all body sites and skin types.
Treatments for new stretch marks
New or pink-red stretch marks can be efficiently treated with a series of treatments using the Pulse Dyed laser (PDL). This treatment targets the pink-red color in the stretch marks, in addition to helping the body build new collagen. Generally, a series of three to six laser treatments is needed for optimal improvement. Although PDL treatments are well tolerated with minimal discomfort, slight redness, bruising, and or swelling can appear afterwards.
Treatments for older stretch marks
For older or skin-colored stretch marks, a different approach using fractionated, non-ablative lasers, such as the Fraxel re:pair or Palomar Lux 1540 can be employed. Fractional non-ablative lasers use broken-up, or fractionated, micro beams of energy to heat small columns of skin while leaving areas of untreated skin between the micro beams. The damaged columns of skin undergo new collagen formation and in turn, produce healthy, rejuvenated skin. This fractionated method of treating the skin leads to less down-time after treatments and results in less redness and swelling. Additionally, the application of a numbing cream during the procedure, along with using cooled air, minimizes discomfort. To treat skin colored stretch marks with this method, a series of 4-6 treatments is needed.
Treatment options at a glance
|New pink red stretch marks||Older pale stretch marks|
|Laser used||Pulse Dyed laser (PDL)||Fractional laser beam -Fraxel re:pair or Palomar Lux 1540|
|Discomfort||Minimal||Minimal with application of numbing cream & cool air|
|Side effect||Potentially light redness, bruising, and or swelling||Less redness and swelling|
|Number of treatment for optimal results||3 to 6||4 to 6|
If you are bothered by your stretch marks, consider booking an appointment with one of the dermatologists at Skincare Physicians to discuss these effective and non-invasive treatment methods.
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