Stretch marks may be a fact of life, but most people don’t find them flattering and they can actually be a source of low self-esteem for many who have them. But since it’s hard to avoid developing stretch marks and even harder to treat them, how can you restore your body confidence? At Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, we know that laser stretch mark removal is an ideal option to treat the majority of stretch mark concerns for everyone, regardless of skin type or tone.
Can You Permanently Remove Stretch Marks?
Yes. Although stretch marks are a type of scar that is generally permanent themselves, there are ways to permanently remove stretch marks. Any permanent treatment for stretch marks will involve rebuilding healthy skin tissues beneath the scar and fading the appearance of the current scar. This can be done through exfoliating treatments or specialized laser treatments, including the laser stretch mark removal treatment system at our clinic.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal Treatments
Laser treatments for stretch mark removal are done with a specialized system that stimulates the production of collagen, elastin, and other healthy skin proteins in the sub-dermal layers of the skin beneath the existing scar tissue. Repeated treatments will reduce the pinkish or reddish appearance of the stretch mark so that the new skin tissue will match your existing skin tone, as well as even the texture of the skin. For many patients, laser treatments for stretch marks almost work like a magic eraser – your skin after several treatments will be as good as new.
What Can You Expect From Laser Stretch Mark Removal Treatments?
Like any other laser treatment, this treatment involves a specialized handheld tool that will be operated by one of our skilled skin specialists. The laser system will be pressed briefly to each patch of the stretch marks to deliver a powerful combination of thermal heat and light wavelengths that penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to kick-start your body’s natural regenerative properties.
For most patients, treatments will take about 30 minutes to complete unless you are treating multiple areas of the body at one time. This treatment is not painful and will not cause any harm to the surrounding skin tissue, which is why our laser treatment is so compatible with patients of all skin tones and types. This type of laser treatment is an appropriate option for both new and old stretch marks.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
It’s likely that you will require between three and five treatment sessions for any stretch marks that are being treated. New stretch marks, in particular, may require five or more treatments since the tone and depth of the scar is darker and deeper. Old stretch marks, on the other hand, or smaller stretch marks, may be resolved in as little as three treatments.
We will determine the number of treatments you require for optimal results based on your skin condition and how well your skin responds to the laser treatment.
What Should You Do Before Your Treatment?
Because laser treatments utilize light and thermal energy, it’s important that you do your best to avoid direct sunlight, tanning beds, and self-tanning products so that the laser treatment does not darken your skin pigment. You should not wax or tweeze the treatment area before your appointment. You should also not wear lotion, perfume, or body oils to your treatment appointments.
What Should You Do After Treatment?
After laser treatment, your skin will be vulnerable so it’s essential that you take measures to protect your skin, particularly because any exposure to additional light energy may darken your skin or cause photodamage. For that reason, you should stay out of the sun, avoid tanning beds and self-tanning products, and also wear strong SPF when you are outside. UV rays can pass through clothing, so it’s important to wear SPF under clothing, as well.
How Soon Will You See Results?
It will take some time to see the results of your treatment because laser treatments simultaneously break down old scar tissue and build up healthy tissues. Creating more collagen in the sub-dermal tissues of your skin to reduce the appearance of stretch marks will require several weeks, so you may not notice any improvement until four to six weeks after your second or third treatment appointment.
Your results will continue to improve with subsequent treatments and as collagen continues to fill-in the stretch mark scar. You may notice results sooner if you happen to have minor scars or scars that have already reached a silvery appearance before your treatments began.
Where Do Stretch Marks Appear?
Stretch marks do not discriminate based on location, so you can develop stretch marks on virtually any area of the body. Although these marks are most common on the stomach and hips, it’s also common to see stretch marks on areas such as:
Stretchmarks have a tendency to form on areas of the body where fat growth is easiest and where the skin is thinner or more delicate. Stretch marks can also appear on areas where muscles grow, such as the biceps.
Can Stretch Marks Go Away by Themselves?
Yes and no. Stretch marks are truly a permanent skin condition, but sometimes the appearance of these scars can fade over several years. Depending on your skin type and your lifestyle, as well as how well you take care of your skin, some stretch marks can start to fade in as little as one to two years. However, more likely than not, stretch marks will continue to be pink and visible unless they are treated, even if you lose weight or use stretch mark creams.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused when your skin stretches or is stressed beyond its current elasticity – in other words, stretch marks happen when there is a sudden shift in how much the skin has to work to maintain its shape. Over time, enough stress on the skin causes new skin to develop to alleviate the stress, which is what causes the stripes on your skin.
In truth, a stretch mark is the exposed portion of your new skin tissues that were under-developed and do not match the texture of the surrounding skin. There are specific factors and times where developing stretch marks is more common, such as:
The genetics of your skin actually play a huge role in how your stretch marks develop, including whether or not your stretch marks will fade by themselves. If your skin is prone to scarring, then it’s more likely that you will develop stretch marks. The genetics of your skin may also be related to the amount of cortisol your body produces since high cortisol levels weaken skin elastin and make it harder for the skin to stretch comfortably.
Puberty is probably the most common time when people, both women and men, will experience stretch marks. It’s not uncommon for those in puberty to develop stretch marks on their hips, knees, or backs. Stretch marks caused by puberty are generally associated with growth spurts, as well as the maturation of secondary sex characteristics (breasts).
Pregnancy is another common time for women to develop stretch marks. During pregnancy, stretch marks can develop on the breasts and on the stomach, as well as the hips, thighs, and buttocks depending on where pregnancy weight is carried and how much weight is gained through pregnancy. Pregnancy stretch marks tend to be wider and deeper than stretch marks developed during puberty.
Gaining weight over a short period of time is also another common cause of stretch marks. Weight gain refers to the excess storage of fat in the body, which is predominately in the stomach, underarms, buttocks, and thighs. Sometimes, stretch marks associated with weight gain fade when weight is lost, but this is not always the case.
Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
Although stretch marks are perfectly normal and happen to most people during the lifespan, there are some things you can do to prevent stretch marks from forming or becoming worse. Knowing how to prevent stretch marks depends on how well you know your skin and your lifestyle choices. However, understanding stretch mark prevention may make the results of your laser stretch mark removal treatment last longer. Some prevention methods include:
Managing your weight will help prevent future stretch marks since you will be ensuring that your skin is not stressed by additional fat. Staying in the same 20 lbs weight range is a good goal for lifetime weight management, which can be done through a combination of diet and exercise.
Keeping your skin moisturized can be incredibly beneficial for preventing future stretch marks, particularly since sometimes stretch marks are made worse by skin dryness. Using moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, Vitamin A, and cocoa or shea butter may be beneficial. Some research suggests that lavender oil, argan oil, and coconut oil are also good choices to support skin health.
Collagen Building Creams
You can also use collagen-building creams, even after your stretch marks have been reduced, to help maintain the elasticity of your skin. This is particularly important for mature patients who are experiencing a natural decline of collagen production in the skin, which may make it easier to develop stretch marks as the skin continues to lose elasticity due to aging.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Candidates for laser stretch mark removal include any woman or man who has stretch marks that are interfering with their daily lives or feelings of self-confidence. Laser treatments for stretch marks can be good options for people of all skin tones and types, including medium or dark skin tones pending a consultation. You are likely a good candidate for stretch mark removal regardless of how new or old your scarring is, or where the scars are located.
Restore Your Confidence With Laser Stretch Mark Removal
Stretch marks can often make us feel less confident about our bodies or our overall appearance. Since hiding behind your clothing isn’t a viable long-term solution, it may be time to find a cosmetic solution that can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and enable you to feel more confident about your body. If you think that laser stretch mark removal is a good treatment option for your appearance concerns, please contact Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX to schedule your initial appointment today.