You see them every time you change your clothes or look in the mirror, but they never seem to go away no matter how many miracle-promising creams you try. For many women and men, stretch marks are a blight on the skin that serve as an unwelcome reminder of weight gain or other body changes – but just like any other scar, there is a way to make stretch marks a thing of the past. At Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX we believe that stretch mark removal treatment is the right solution for any patient searching for a way to perfect their appearance.
How Can You Get Real Results for Stretch Mark Removal?
The first thing many patients ask about stretch mark removal is how effective the treatment is. Maybe we’re all skittish because of failed promises from over-the-counter products that promise to reduce the appearance of scars, but it’s still a wise question to ask.
Can you get real results with stretch mark removal treatment? The short answer is yes, you can. The long answer involves finding the right treatment that will work for you, your skin type, and the severity of your stretch marks.
Finding the Right Treatment
Finding the right treatment to remove your stretch marks is not something you have to do alone. In fact, because there are several treatments that can reduce or remove stretch marks, it’s best to leave the decision of what will work best for your particular case up to a professional.
A certified cosmetic physician will be able to examine the condition of your skin and easily determine the treatments what will work the best for you. But while there are several treatments for the removal of stretch marks, many professionals agree the most reliable treatment is the Icon Aesthetic System.
Icon Aesthetic System
The Icon Aesthetic System is a trusted treatment with a reputation for effective, long-lasting results. Icon is a system developed by Cynosure, one of the leading brands for laser-based cosmetic treatment systems. Icon is regarded as a versatile system that can greatly improve the appearance of skin, resurface the skin, and reduce the appearance of all types of scarring, stretch marks included.
How Does Icon Work?
Icon is a fractional laser system that penetrates the sub-dermal layers of skin to incite new cell production. Fractional lasers are a light-based treatment that shatters a laser beam into thousands of microscopic fragments to treat each skin cell individually, one fraction at a time.
The Icon fractional laser penetrates the skin deeply enough to induce the body’s natural regenerative properties without causing any thermal damage to the surface of skin. Icon is a laser skin treatment that takes advantage of the body’s natural abilities to rejuvenate and enhance the appearance of the skin.
When Can You See Results?
When prospective patients talk about results, they usually want to hear that results are instant or at the very least show up very quickly. For most energy-based treatments, the fact of the matter is that results rely on the speed of the body’s natural regenerative abilities, and for most people that means the first results show up after a cycle of new cell turn over, which takes between 3 and 4 weeks for adults.
The majority of patients can see initial improvement from Icon treatments between 4 and 6 weeks after the initial appointment. Most patients require a series of 3 to 5 treatment appointments to produce the desired flawless result. The appearance of stretch marks and other scars can be fully removed or greatly reduced in as little as 6 months.
Are Results Permanent?
You can think of the Icon Aesthetic System as being an eraser for scars on the skin. When patients attend all required appointments and follow treatment directions, the removal of stretch marks is permanent.
However, this treatment does not prevent the formation of new stretch marks. It is important for patients to maintain a healthy weight and take care of their skin to prevent new stretch marks from forming on the body. If you have skin that is prone to scarring, please talk to one of our skilled staff to determine the skincare products that are right for you to protect your skin.
Is Icon for All Skin Types?
Icon is a treatment that is compatible with both sensitive skin and normal-sensitivity skin. However, as is the case with most laser treatments, not all skin tones are compatible with this treatment because darker complexions are more at risk of pigmentation, or a leeching of pigment from the skin that can create lighter patches of skin. Icon is generally approved for use on fair-to-medium complexions as well as very dark skin tones. If you have a darker complexion, please speak with our staff to determine if treatment with Icon is right for you.
Stretch Mark 101
While stretch marks might be the bane of your aesthetics and a blight on your skin, most patients still don’t know that much about this type of scarring. Before you seek treatment, learn everything you need to know about stretch marks, from why they form to how to prevent them from forming again.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are long, narrow lines on the skin that develop as a result of weight changes over the lifespan. New stretch marks can be red or pink, while older stretch marks can appear very pale, sometimes almost blending into the skin. Stretch marks can be lines, stripes, or streaks on the skin – and some people even call them “tiger stripes”. Identifying and diagnosing stretch marks can be done independently of a skin specialist; when you have stretch marks, you know without being told.
Where Do Stretch Marks Form?
Stretch marks can form on virtually any part of the body. Where there is skin, there is a possibility for stretch marks. However, some areas of the body are more susceptible to the formation of stretch marks, including:
How Common Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are very common. In fact, stretch marks are considered “normal” for the skin, especially when stretch marks are formed during puberty. An estimated 80% of Americans have stretch marks, and not even celebrities are immune to having them – Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Hudson, and Brittany Spears have all been vocal about their stretch marks in the media.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Why do stretch marks form in the first place? While skin is fairly elastic and able to heal itself, rapid stretching of the skin can disrupt the production of collagen, which is a protein responsible for supporting skin structure. When the collagen is disrupted, skin loses its elasticity and becomes overstretched, which is when stretch marks become visible. To put it simply, stretch marks form from skin stretching too much. As to what causes stretch marks, there are a few factors that can take credit for the development of these lines on the skin, including:
- Weight gain
- Increase in muscle size
- Side effects of medication
Can Stretch Marks Go Away Naturally?
For some, stretch marks fade naturally. Minor stretch marks that occur because of puberty, for example, can nearly match the natural skin tone within 1 to 2 years after formation. However, most stretch marks do not go away naturally for a very long time, with some people having new-looking stretch marks for several years or even decades. Moderate-to-severe stretch marks require treatment to remove.
Can You Stop Stretch Marks From Forming?
While genetics play a factor in how easily you can develop stretch marks, there are some things you can do to prevent new stretch marks from forming. The first is to maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise and a balanced diet, since a healthy weight will ensure you do not rapidly stretch your skin from weight gain. The second thing you can do is properly moisturize your skin, as maintaining supple moisture in the surface of your skin will help support the collagen and elastin in your skin from being overtaxed.
What to Expect From Stretch Mark Removal Treatment
When patients hear about laser treatments, they sometimes get nervous about what they can expect from a laser treatment. For your peace of mind, here are a few steps you can anticipate with Icon Aesthetic System treatment:
A consultation will help us determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment. The consultation will include an examination of the condition of your skin, particularly your skin type, skin tone, and the severity of your stretch marks. We may also gather information about you, such as your lifestyle habits and your aesthetic goals. We will discuss your expectations for treatment and also explore other treatment options that may be available to you.
Each treatment appointment with the Icon system takes about 30 minutes to complete. You will need 3 to 5 treatment sessions to achieve desired results, although some patients may require fewer or more appointments. During your treatment, we will apply a cooling gel to the treatment area to help protect your skin and ensure your comfort while the laser is being used. Most patients do not feel any significant sensation beyond a gentle heating of the skin.
After the initial 7 to 10 days after treatment, your new skin cells will begin to turn over and will not be fully healed until after another 10 to 20 days. This means that recovery from one treatment takes about 2 to 3 weeks. During this time, you will be able to do your normal daily activities, but you will also need to keep skin moisturized and protected from the sun.
Are You a Good Candidate for Stretch Mark Removal?
If you have stretch marks on any area of your body and you are committed to maintaining a consistent weight, then you are likely a good candidate for Icon treatments to remove stretch marks. Good candidates are those who have ideal skin tones and types for laser treatment as well as those who do not have any medical restrictions for laser treatments. You may be a good candidate if you want to remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks on any area of the body, including:
Leave Your Worries Behind With Stretch Mark Removal!
It’s time to stop staring at your reflection with dread and hiding your body behind clothes. You can leave your worries and your self-consciousness over your appearance behind with stretch mark removal treatment! If you think that you might be a good candidate for treatments with the Icon Aesthetic System, contact Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX to schedule your initial consultation. Our compassionate staff are eager to help you love the way you look again!