Laser treatment for stretch marks may be among the most efficient techniques used to reduce the appearance of these striations on the skin. The stretch marks, also known as striae, may occur during pregnancy or after the skin is forced to stretch due to a significant weight gain.
Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can be eliminated only if the affected skin is removed. This may happen through an aggressive plastic surgery, which will result in other scars that may be worse than the actual stretch marks. Other non invasive stretch marks treatments may only diminish the visibility of the stretch marks. The laser beams can be applied on the surface of the skin and will repair it, stimulating the regeneration of broken skin.
There are a number of laser treatments that may be applied for stretch marks:
- Fractional laser treatments
- Ablative laser procedures
- Non ablative laser procedures
While each of these treatments has advantages, the fractional laser treatments are gaining in popularity, as the lasers will be applied on small portions of skin at a time and so the skin will be repaired in more detail.
The patient may require several sessions of laser therapy, depending on the stretch marks and how extended they are. The stretch marks may affect only the stomach area, but they may also be present on the buttocks, thighs, arms or breasts.
Laser Treatment Benefits
The laser treatments for stretch marks have many benefits such as:
- Reduces the visibility of the striae
- Smooths the skin and improves skin texture
- Improves skin color and equalizes the skin color, as the stretch marks may stand out, being either purple or white
- Stimulate the production of collagen, tightening the skin
- Minimal downtime
- Minimal side effects (i.e. swelling, redness, skin flaking and possibly bruises)
- Outpatient procedure and in some cases only 1 session is sufficient
- Gives immediate results
Disadvantages of Laser Treatment
The laser treatments for stretch marks may have a number of disadvantages including:
- The costs, which may not be available for all patients
- Cannot be applied during the pregnancy and lactation period
- Are not recommended for patients that have diabetes or other immune system mediated diseases
- Don’t eliminate the stretch marks, only reduce their visibility
- May cause depigmentation or hyperpigmentation, but this is only temporary
Laser Treatment Effectiveness
If applied properly, the laser treatment for stretch marks can significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks, more than other creams and lotions used for the same purpose.
The majority of patients show significant improvement. Patients with lighter skin tones may experience the best results, as the stretch marks will transform from purple of red to a light color, which is difficult to distinguish from the light skin tones.