Stretch Mark Treatments
Stretch marks (Striae) are one of the most common and undesirable cosmetic defects of the skin. Millions of people have them in Canada. Every day many women and man look at them every day and their mood is low. Stretch marks reduce the joy of walking on the beach or being intimate. For many young people, stretch marks are like curse.
Stretch marks form when skin is over-stretched and its elasticity cannot prevent structural damage to the skin matrix. No part of body except of face and neck is immune from stretch marks. Tummies, hips, thighs, arms, breasts, shoulders are the most commonly affected sites. Rapid growth at puberty during a growth spurt, growth of the tummy in pregnancy or during weight gain, all make the skin being stretched out. Stretch marks are literally scars from over-stretching the skin. Stretch marks usually are pale but many women have purple stretch marks from pregnancy. The color will eventually fade with time but the marks will stay.
Surprisingly, there are also many fortunate people whose skin was over-stretched but they did not get any stretch marks. Simply put, their skin was so elastic that the damage did not occur. Most of these fortunate people have ‘good genes’ that protected them from skin damage, some people were aware of the risk of the stretch marks and was using special oil formulas (one of them is available in our clinics) that make skin very elastic and reduce the risk of stretch marks.
Treatment of stretch marks
Until very recently, there was not a lot one could do to improve or to remove stretch marks. Microdermabrasion, collagen remodeling with lasers were all attempted but the results were not encouraging. At best, stretch marks were looking slightly better and were minimally less visible. Only skin tightening with Thermage® during a procedure known as Tummy by Thermage™ was making some positive changes and was able to shrink stretch marks. With the development of FRAXEL Laser, collagen remodeling in stretch marks through the entire thickness of the skin was made possible and the results are very promising. Fraxel Laser was the first laser that utilized a principle of partial ablation of the skin with laser light and leaving more than a half of the skin surface untouched till the next treatment.
With a series of treatments (usually at least 4 sessions a few weeks apart), the entire skin surface received treatment over time. Though the FRAXEL Laser did not yet received FDA clearance for treatment of stretch marks (it got clearances for treatment of surgical and acne scars), the results were really appealing even though the treatments were rather painful and had a down time of few days. MD Spa and Laser Clinic was using an older technology of Fraxel laser in 2007 and helped several Clients with stretch marks to get either good or else very good results.
With our newest laser resurfacing Fraxel Dual Laser, we look forward to combine our experience in skin resurfacing with Fraxel from 2007 with superior technology and only minimal treatment discomfort. That is, Fraxel causes very little skin discomfort and definitely is a biggest breakthrough in laser skin rejuvenation since the introduction of lasers! All our Clients with stretch marks will have a great chance to improve their appearance as Fraxel does remodel collagen up to 1.5 mm deep! In addition to Fraxel, the stretch marks will be reduced by Tummy by Thermage Procedure that will shrink them even more and soften the skin so it is very natural to touch. One will need 2-6 sessions of Fraxel laser skin resurfacing to get a very decent result. With adding Thermage, you will not only loose a couple of inches from the waist but give the skin a much more even and natural silky appearance.
At MD SPA and Laser Clinic we offer a combination protocol for stretch marks and we customize the treatment for each Client. Most commonly we use the following treatment modalities: