Stretch marks are common scars that many people have, but the appearance of these scars can still make many people feel self-conscious. For example, stretch marks can make it hard to confidently wear certain clothes. And unlike other scars, fading the appearance of stretch marks can be more challenging. Luckily, stretch mark removal techniques at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX can quickly and effectively improve the appearance of these persistent scars.
How Effective Is Stretch Mark Removal?
Stretch mark removal treatments can effectively remove newer and older stretch marks. Treatments for stretch mark removal can include microneedling and laser treatments, although laser treatments tend to be more efficient for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. In particular, at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center, we use the Icon laser system to improve stretch marks and other scars.
How the Icon Laser System Works
The Icon system is designed with fractional laser technology that encourages new cellular production from deep inside the dermal layers. When new skin cells are overturned, the surface appearance of your skin will drastically improve. Paired with moderate collagen production that improves the elasticity of the skin, this treatment can address stretch marks at the root.
What Should You Expect During Treatment?
This treatment is designed with a special cooling system that will keep the surface of your skin comfortable even during the laser system. Additionally, a topical cooling and numbing cream will be used on any area of the body you want to treat to make your appointment more comfortable. Your appointment may take 30 minutes to one hour to complete depending on the number of stretch marks you want to treat, as well as the size of these scars and the treatment location.
What Should You Do Before and After Treatment?
Before any laser treatment, it’s a good idea to avoid any activity that can trigger melanin production in the skin so you can reduce the chances of developing hyperpigmentation. For example, you should avoid direct contact with sunlight when you are outside, self-tanning lotions, and tanning beds for at least one to two weeks. You may also be directed to temporarily stop using any prescriptions or supplements that cause photosensitivity.
After your treatment, you should continue to avoid activities such as sunbathing and tanning beds for at least two weeks. If you plan to be outside for an extended length of time, you will need to wear sunscreen between 30 and 50 SPF for best broad-spectrum protection. It’s also a good idea to avoid hot water, swimming pools, saunas, and hot tubs for a few days after your treatment. Using aloe vera gel or fragrance-free lotion can soothe your skin.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Most people will need a series of three to five appointments to see optimal results from this treatment. Your skin type, the severity of your stretch marks, and the number of stretch marks you want to treat will influence the number of appointments you will need. Usually, your laser treatment appointments will be scheduled at least four weeks apart so your skin has enough time to turn over new skin cells.
When Will You See Results?
People who have relatively healthy skin and follow lifestyle habits that can optimize collagen production may be able to see optimal results within three to six months after their initial appointment. Those who have severe stretch marks may require additional treatments, which is why results may take longer to develop.
Are Results Permanent?
Stretch mark removal treatments do not necessarily remove stretch marks – instead, these treatments will reduce the appearance of these scars by increasing cellular turnover and collagen production. Sometimes, there may be slight textural or pigmentation deviations in your skin, although stretch marks will be much harder to notice. That said, as long as you can prevent stretch marks in the future, you should be able to enjoy long-lasting results.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Candidates for laser treatments to remove stretch marks generally include anyone who has unwanted scarring on the body. Laser treatments can be used by people of all genders, ages, and skin tones. Because this treatment is designed to keep your skin cool during your treatment session, Icon is even an appropriate option for people who have very sensitive skin.
Additionally, this treatment may be a particularly good option if you have tried other stretch mark removal methods with little success. At-home products for scar reduction do not always fade the appearance of older stretch marks, while treatments such as microneedling may not be effective for large or severe stretch marks. Laser treatments, on the other hand, are effective for virtually all types of stretch marks.
When and Where Do Stretch Marks Occur?
Stretch marks can occur at any point in your life. However, because stretch marks are formed by skin stretching past the point of elasticity, these scars are more common during times when the body is undergoing drastic changes in composition. For example, puberty is a time when many people will develop stretch marks. Pregnancy and rapid weight gain are also times when stretch marks may form.
As for where stretch marks can form, virtually all areas of your body are potential places. For example, stretch marks commonly form on the abdomen, hips, inner thighs, knees, buttocks, and underarms. Women may also experience stretch marks on their breasts. That said, the most common area for stretch marks to develop is the stomach, typically around the middle section near the belly button and around the hips or flanks.
Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
To a certain extent, there may not be much you can do to prevent the development of stretch marks. Your genetics will determine the level of elastin and collagen in your skin, as well as how well your skin holds onto moisture. This is particularly true for young people going through puberty, since the rapid changes in body composition may not allow for any preventative steps to be taken. That said, some things that may prevent the development of stretch marks include:
Hydration is important for the prevention of stretch marks on two fronts. First, in order for your body to produce an adequate amount of collagen, you must be hydrated. Drinking enough water every day for your weight, age, gender, and activity level will ensure your body has enough resources to stimulate collagen and elastin production.
Keeping the surface of your skin hydrated may also be important. Many pregnant women apply lotion made with fatty ingredients to the skin several times a day to prevent the development of stretch marks. Using a lotion made with cocoa butter, shea butter, vitamin E, and collagen is a good way to keep your skin hydrated and supple, which will protect your skin elasticity. Lotions made with ceramides and other lipids may also be a good choice.
Diet may also play an important role in preventing stretch marks from developing. In particular, people who eat a diet rich in healthy fats such as vitamin E and Omega-3s may be able to produce collagen more easily. Some research also suggests getting enough vitamin C and zinc in your diet may also improve collagen formation and help the skin remain more elastic. You can manage a healthy diet rich in collagen-boosting minerals by eating whole foods and using over-the-counter supplements.
Finally, managing your weight is another way you may be able to prevent stretch marks. Rapid weight gain and other lifestyle factors may make it easier to develop stretch marks, so maintaining a consistent body weight may be helpful. Ideally, you should not gain more than 10 pounds during a short period of time. Although it’s natural for your weight to fluctuate throughout the month due to activity level and water retention, gaining a significant amount of weight will make it easier to develop stretch marks.
Erase Stretch Marks With Laser Treatments Today!
Although stretch marks are commonly associated with puberty and pregnancy, many people still feel embarrassed to have these scars. A treatment system such as the Icon laser can safely and effectively remove stretch marks in three to five treatments and produce results that last for a long time. If you think this laser treatment is appropriate for you, reach out to Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, to schedule a consultation today.