I have stretch marks all over my body. Considered by society an ‘imperfection’, it was one of my biggest insecurities growing up. But the thing is, stretch marks are normal and sometimes inevitable as we grow old! It took me a while to love those marks spread across my body – but I got there.
Even the most beautiful model in the world has some kind of stretch mark because that’s just how bodies work.
People should not be ashamed and embarrassed of stretch marks. It’s normal and it’s more common than one thinks. It’s not always possible to prevent stretch marks. But at the same time, I’m also a firm believer that anyone should have the choice for doing whatever they want with their bodies and their insecurities.
One thing many people seem to turn to in hopes of improving their stretch marks is laser treatment.
As it’s becoming more and more common, clinics who offer the service also go up in numbers. If you’re deciding whether the procedure is for you or not, I’ve got you covered below with Laser Stretch Mark Removal 101!
What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are scars that appear on the surface of the skin. They appear as irregular or textured lines. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body. The most common areas that develop stretch marks include the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, and even on the upper arms.
Stretch marks are often caused by the rapid stretching of the skin due to either sudden weight gain or weight loss. When one gains or loses weight, the skin either stretches or shrinks. This can lead to stretch marks on the skin’s surface.
Pregnancy is also a common cause of stretch marks. Because women’s bodies go through huge changes during the stages of pregnancy, the skin on the abdomen and breasts stretch. This leaves behind stretch marks to deal with after the pregnancy.
Surprisingly, there is a hereditary link when it comes to stretch marks. Stretch marks can develop and be more common for certain individuals according to their genetics. If your parents or siblings have them, it’s more likely for you to develop them throughout your life as well.
Are stretch marks permanent?
Stretch marks are scars due to rapid stretching of the skin. And like any scars, stretch marks are permanent. There is really no way to treat stretch marks.
Stretch marks fade to a lighter color and flatten over time but they don’t completely disappear. They become less noticeable, yes, but they’re still there on the skin’s surface.
Laser treatment for stretch mark removal can help clients achieve much lighter and less visible stretch marks. Stretch mark treatments are an especially good option if stretch marks are causing low self-esteem. Though they don’t completely get rid of them, to treat stretch marks is to improve how they look and make them way less noticeable.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal: Is It Worth It?
If you’re looking into getting a laser stretch mark removal treatment to address your skin concerns, make sure you first know everything you need to know before proceeding. Fear not – I’ve got you covered below with everything laser stretch mark removal!
Laser Stretch Mark Removal: How Does It Work?
Laser treatment is a treatment method that can treat and improve a lot of skin conditions. One of these conditions the treatment can work on are stretch marks.
Laser therapy uses concentrated beams of light directed at the stretch marks on the skin’s surface. These pulses of light heat the skin’s layer with the stretch marks. The procedure works by removing and resurfacing the skin’s outer layer with the marks. The laser beams promote skin restructuring.
This, in turn, stimulates the skin’s tissue, elastin, and collagen growth to resurface after breaking down that topmost layer. With new layers of skin tissues, the stretch mark comes out with a smoother appearance, thus making them look less visible on skin.
Types of Laser Treatments
When looking at potential laser stretch mark removal procedures and treatment, it’s important that you are familiar with its types
There are generally two types of laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative lasers target the upper layer of skin and destroy them. By doing so, the laser skin resurfacing procedure leaves newer and also smoother skin on the surface. CO2 and Erbium YAG are types of ablative lasers.
On the other hand, non-ablative laser treatments do not destroy the skin’s topmost layer. Instead, they target the skin’s underlying layers to promote and stimulate rapid growth of the skin’s collagen production. This works on skin from the inside out. Non-ablative laser treatment includes Alexandrite and Fraxel.
Who Should Get Laser Stretch Mark Removal?
Anyone with stretch marks can get a laser stretch mark removal.
The procedure is most effective for new pink or red stretch marks as compared to old white stretch marks. Old stretch marks or those that appear white already may need more treatment to experience an improvement in how they look.
Those with darker skin tones should also proceed with caution as laser stretch mark removal procedures can result in hyperpigmentation. Always consult with the clinic first before proceeding with skin resurfacing treatments.
If you’re ready for the treatment, contact the clinic you’re interested in to schedule a consultation and they will take care of you from there.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal: The Treatment
To achieve desired results, one would need multiple sessions of the laser stretch mark removal procedure. The number of sessions would depend on the severity of the stretch marks and the type of laser treatment to be used.
Generally, 3-5 treatments are recommended to achieve your desired results. Each session can last for about half an hour. This varies depending on the treatment area and its size. A couple weeks should be in between sessions. It’s also essential that you take good care of your skin between sessions.
The procedure itself can be uncomfortable, especially on your first time. No worries though as it’s tolerable enough not to use numbing creams. But if you’re second-guessing your pain tolerance, make sure to bring it up during your consultation.
Laser stretch mark removal requires very little recovery time to allow for your body’s natural healing process. Keep in mind that you may experience some side effects. These side effects can include some redness, stinging, and sometimes even swelling on the treatment area.
After each session, it’s especially important that you take care of the treatment area. You should stay away from the sun and limit sun exposure. You should also avoid tanning bends and self-tanning products for a while. Make sure you protect yourself, especially the treatment area, with SPF whenever you head outside.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal: Does It Really Work?
Though creams and lotions that claim to reduce the appearance of stretch marks flock the market, laser stretch mark removal remains to be the most effective, non-surgical stretch mark treatment.
Laser treatments for stretch marks have been proven to work. It’s backed by several research and studies. The treatment works best for new and fresh stretch marks. While some other type of laser treatment still works for older stretch marks, it might take more sessions to see results on them.
The real secret is following through with your treatment plan. To see real results you can be happy and satisfied with, it’s important that you go to all your treatment sessions as scheduled and as recommended.
Where to Get Laser Stretch Mark Removal: Clinics and Services
If you’re interested in getting a laser stretch mark removal procedure done, we have below some clinics we found while researching for this article. We’ll be including their website and address to help you find one that’s nearest to you.
- Vanguard Dermatology – with several locations in New York
- Orange Coast Aesthetics – Irvine, California
- Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York – New York
- Chicago Aesthetics – Chicago, Illinois
- Dr. Michelle Green, MD – New York
- Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center – Fort Worth Texas
- Pacific Dermatology Specialists – with several locations in Southern California
How to Choose the Right Clinic
In looking for a clinic for your laser stretch mark removal needs, it’s best to look for clinics that are close to you or a clinic you have easy access to. Remember, you would have to go to the clinic for several sessions every few weeks to complete your treatment plan.
You’d want to consider a clinic that’s fairly close to you and a clinic you wouldn’t have problems driving and going to.
Laser stretch mark removal treatments should only be performed by a board-certified dermatologist and practitioner. Make sure you go to a clinic that you can trust and has only board-certified dermatologist and staff to do the procedure. You don’t want to be compromising your health and well-being for the sake of removing stretch marks.
The price for getting a laser stretch mark removal procedure varies. Generally, it can go from about $300 to $3,000. The price would depend on the clinic of your choice, the type of laser treatment, and the size of the treatment area among other factors.
Other Stretch Mark Treatment Options: Laser Stretch Mark Removal Alternatives
If you feel like laser stretch mark removal treatment isn’t for you, we have below some alternative stretch mark treatments you might want to give a try.
Exfoliating areas with stretch marks is one of the simplest ways to deal with it. Exfoliating, and regularly at that, works to remove dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. By removing dead and old skin cells, new skin is revealed at the top. This new layer of skin is smoother and softer.
Regular exfoliating is also a great help if you’re using other treatments, like topical creams, on stretch marks. It will help other treatments penetrate into skin better thus offering far better results.
Topical creams and lotions
Topical creams and lotions for stretch marks are readily available in the market. While some can be bought over-the-counter, some would need a prescription from a doctor or dermatologist.
There are many available topical treatments that can help lighten the appearance of stretch marks. It can also speed up its fading process so they appear less visible.
Retinol is one ingredient you might want to keep an eye out for in looking at topical treatments. Retinol increases skin’s cell turnover. It also boosts blood flow and is an effective ingredient in increasing skin’s collagen production.
Microdermabrasion uses fine and non-abrasive exfoliating crystals to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. By removing and gently sanding the skin’s topmost layer, it rejuvenates skin and reveals smoother and softer skin.
Microneedling involves tiny needles pricking the skin. The procedure helps the skin produce more collagen and elastin. This reveals younger-looking and renewed skin that is smoother, and softer as well.
Laser stretch mark removal is one of the most effective and science-backed procedures to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
By using concentrated beams of light against the skin and the treatment area, this promotes skin restructuring. This works by targeting and removing the skin’s outermost layer. The procedure promotes and stimulates skin regeneration. It also increases tissue, collagen, and elastin production.
The new skin appears with a smoother and softer appearance, lessening the appearance of stretch marks.
Laser stretch mark procedures would need multiple sessions for you to see actual results on skin. The number of sessions may depend on the severity of the stretch marks and the size of the treatment area.
The procedure itself may be uncomfortable, especially for first-timers. Rest assured that it’s tolerable enough for most.
And there you go – laser stretch mark removal 101 and everything you need to know about the procedure!