Stretch marks (striae) are caused when the elastic fibers in the skin are stretched past their capability to regenerate. Stretch marks can occur in many different circumstances including:
Medical treatment is not required for stretch marks. Over time the stretch marks will become less red, less deep and less visible. If you are bothered by the appearance, there are treatments that can help improve the appearance of stretch marks. Although, the treatments do not work 100% for every patient, improvement has been shown in scientific studies for the following options:
Tretinoin Cream (Retin A or Renova) helps to encourage new collagen making the striae less prominent. To support its effectiveness there are small scientific studies. Creams works best on new stria, present a few months or less and that are still red in color. Tretinoin can cause dry skin, so it is recommended to use a moisturizer after application. It is not suggested for use during pregnancy or while breast feeding.
The laser is absorbed into the blood vessels of new, red stretch marks. The laser helps settle the redness and encourages new collagen production in the body. After the procedure, stretch marks will look redder for 3-4 days. Red stretch marks will fade typically after 2-4 sessions.
Fraxel laser works for both new, red stretch marks and those that have faded. The laser light is absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin, at the same time the heat of the laser light encourages new collagen. This results in less deep or obvious stretch marks.
What’s the healing time for Fraxel laser for stretch marks?
The healing time is 2-4 days. While healing there will be redness and peeling of the treated area. You must avoid the sun for 1-2 weeks.
How many Fraxel laser treatments are needed for stretch marks?
Fraxel laser takes 3-5 treatments. Also, the number of treatments needed depends on the depth of the stretch marks.
What is the cost of Fraxel laser for stretch marks?
Depending on the size of the area treated each treatment can cost $700-$900.
Can Fraxel laser be combined with other treatments?
Fraxel laser can be combined with tretinoin. It can be used between treatments and discontinued 4 -5 days prior.
Does Fraxel hurt?
The laser light is not painful. The light feels warm or prickly. To prepare for treatment an application of topical numbing cream is applied for an hour. Also, during treatment a cool air blower is used to increase patient comfort.