Stretch marks are a common problem, especially amongst those who have gained a significant amount of weight in a short time. These scars are medically known as striae and they are permanent. While no treatment can completely get rid of stretch marks, new treatments using lasers or radio frequency (RF) can reduce their appearance.
"Stretch marks are difficult to treat," says Dr. Lori Brightman of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. "The only proven treatments include fractional lasers, like Fraxel and fractional bipolar RF, sublative rejuvenation as well as pulsed dye lasers for the red or pink stretch marks." These technologies stimulate collagen growth to tighten the skin, making stretch marks look less visible, while also evening out skin tone. Dr. Brightman goes on to say that return visits are necessary. "It requires multiple treatments to help rebuild the collagen," she says.
Courtesy of Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York
Dr. David Verebelyi, who performs fractional resurfacing in his Denver office says, "We actually use the fractionated lasers there and this has been an area that has been really exciting for us lately." He has been performing a clinical trial and says that so far, the results have been exciting. "The results we're seeing are up to 50% improvement after 3 treatments."
Dr. Verebelyi says the treatments aren't painful at all. "It's virtually painless. What we do with our patients, we use a topical ointment, put it under occlusion, which basically means we stick it under a piece of saran wrap for a couple of hours. My patients do great with that. Nobody rates the pain at above a 1 ? 2 out of 10."
According to Dr. Drew Ordon of The Doctors, treatments are spaced out over the course of several weeks. physicians say that recovery is fast and only takes about a week or so. The cost varies depending on the type of laser used, how many stretch marks you have, and the number of treatments needed.