Stretch Mark Treatment Options
Stretch Marks represent a tear in the dermis. Early stretch mark treatment improves the potential outcome, but stretch marks of any age can be improved.
Fractional technology of collagen “remodeling” is an FDA approved treatment to improve the appearance of stretch marks. New collagen production fills in the stretchmark from the bottom up to help it become more level with undamaged skin and therefore less obvious.
The newer use of RF Micro Needling expands the use of fractional laser and fractional RF.
Why stretch marks require multiple treatments.
Stretch marks are persistently difficult to treat, but with some dedication and willingness to follow the treatment timeline and plan, you’ll be rewarded with skin that is smoother and more uniform in color.
Fraxel Stretch Mark Treatment Plan
Your treatment plan will consist of 5 to 10 sessions of the Fraxel Restore Erbium laser or the eMatrix. The number of treatments will be determined by the severity of your stretch marks and the extensiveness of the area involved.
Treatments are spaced 4 to 5 weeks apart. If you have skin with a predisposition for hyper pigmentation, you will use pigment suppressors before, during and after the treatment process.
Darker Skin? Patients who are more likely to experience post treatment pigmentation are Asian, Persian, Hispanic, South American and Southern European. These patients may select the eMatrix or Intensif Micro Needling as a lower pigmentation option for their skin coloration.
Throughout the process, no matter what your skin type, you must protect your skin from the sun with a recommended sun block. Skin “in treatment” is more susceptible to sun damage and pigmentation.
Stretch Mark FAQs
What is a stretch mark?
Stretch marks are tears in the dermis. The resulting depression can be either red (early stage) or white (final stage).
Treating red stretch marks can help lessen their obviousness early on. Older marks which no longer contain pigment can be improved with fractional resurfacing
What can I do to get rid of red stretch marks?
You typically won’t be able to totally resolve stretch marks. Vbeam is the most commonly used laser for treating red marks of almost every kind, including scars such as stretch marks (medically termed as striae). Vbeam is a vascular laser and targets the small red blood vessels with very focused heat. The heat seals the vessels, they wither and are eliminated by the body.
The redness will be resolved but the actual tear in the dermis won’t be corrected.
How can I get rid of white stretch marks?
Stretch marks physically can be improved with Fraxel laser and with the eMatrix system which uses radio frequency (better for darker skins). Again, it is impossible to totally get rid of a scar, but improvements can be attained.
How much improvement can I expect from Fraxel or eMatrix?
Fraxel or eMatrix are procedures that are repeated over a number of months. Why? The body reacts to heat treatments with a build of new collagen. Each subsequent treatment causes another collagen reaction, so over time you will see some softening of the stretch mark.
No laser or resurfacing system can completely eliminate a tear, but your skin will look smoother and the marks will be less obvious. Expect 6 to 8 treatments for maximum response.
Stretch marks are one of the most challenging problems women face. The fractional laser process takes time, and treatments are spread out over months. But persistence and patience pays off with smoother skin and less visible marks, plus improved pigmentation blending.
Are stretch marks preventable?
To a certain degree you can minimize the development of stretch marks by keeping your skin moisturized. During pregnancy or weight gain, skin will stretch. Skin that is kept moist (cocoa butter creams, lotions, etc) will have more “give” and experience fewer marks during times of growth, pregnancy, muscle development and weight increases.