Laser treatments can effectively treat both red & white stretch marks. Here we attempt to answer your most common questions about laser treatment for stretch marks e.g. can men get stretch marks - to which the answer is yes men can get stretch marks.
Q1. Does laser stretch mark treatment hurt?
A1. During laser stretch mark treatment some patients experience a slight “twanging” sensation, similar to a small rubber band being flicked against the skin. Apart from this, the treatment is painless, and the cooling “chill tip” on our laser equipment is normally all that is required reduce any discomfort to an acceptable level. Some patients choose to apply a numbing cream prior to treatment. Following the treatment, the pain is minimal to nonexistent.
Q2. How long does laser stretch mark treatment take?
A2. Laser treatments generally last for 30 minutes per session depending on the area being treated. A visible improvement is usually being noticeable after each 30 minute treatment
Q3. How many laser stretch mark treatments are required?
A3. Generally 6 laser treatments are required to effectively reduce stretch marks to an acceptable appearance. The full effect of laser stretch mark treatment, will continue to appear over time as an improvement in skin texture caused by the laser stimulating the generation of new collagen deep in the dermis. You will receive advice on your own requirements during your free consultation.
Q4. How quickly will I see results?
A4. The majority of the stretch marks show significant improvement after just 2 treatments, but final results may not be apparent for a few months. Ongoing clinical studies have shown that patients treated achieved an average improvement of between 51% and 75% in the appearance of their stretch marks.
Q5. How long does recovery take?
A5. The treatment is non-invasive with virtually no recovery time necessary; you can resume your normal activities immediately after treatment although it is recommended that you avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours after laser vein treatment.
Q6. Are there any side effects?
A6. Some redness or skin lightening may appear, but this generally disappears within a few hours.
Q7. Can stretch marks be prevented?
A7. Between 75% and 90% of women develop stretch marks to some degree during pregnancy, usually during the sixth or seventh month as that is when skin tends to be subjected to higher levels of stretching forces. The application of massage and cream may result in fewer stretchmarks appearing, but has not been proved to stop stretchmarks occurring entirely.
Q8. What treatments are available for stretch mark reduction?
A8. Various treatments are available for the purpose of improving the appearance of existing stretch marks, including laser treatments, dermabrasion, prescription retinoids and surgery (tummy tuck).
Q9. What can laser treatment do to improve the appearance of red stretch marks?
A9. Laser treatment can help improve the look of red, brown and white stretch marks, and whilst some stretch marks may not disappear entirely, their appearance is significantly improved, along with an improvement in skin texture, making them look much less noticeable. Laser light is highly effective on red stretch marks, reducing redness by sealing the bllod vessels and diminishing the inflammation that causes it in the first place. Lasers also encourage collagen growth and some elastin remodeling which improves the look of the skin between 40 – 60%.
Q10. What can laser treatment do to improve the appearance of white stretch marks?
A10. Laser light also improves white stretch marks. If skin texture is a problem, best results will be seen with a monthly treatment program, with 30-50% possible improvement in the appearance of white stretch marks.
Q10. How effective is laser treatment for stretch mark reduction?
A10. A recent study in the journal Dermatologic Surgery showed laser treatment gave “good and very good” subjective improvement in stretch marks in 33 of 37 patients. Immediately after a course of 6-weekly treatments, nearly 40% of all patients enjoyed an improvement in the appearance of their stretchmarks of between 25-50%. The long term effect (6 weeks later) showed that over 26% of all patients’ stretchmarks improved by 51-75% and nearly 6% of all patients’ stretchmarks improved by over 75%. None of the patients were assessed as having no improvement in the appearance of stretch marks. Patient satisfaction was also measured and 65% of patients reported they were very satisfied with the treatment, 23% were satisfied and 12% were slightly satisfied.
Q11. What are stretch marks?
A11. Stretch marks are a form of skin scarring caused by tearing of the dermis, often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth. Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy or muscle building.
Stretch marks first appear as reddish brown or purple lines that gradually fade to a lighter shade. They can appear anywhere on the body, but are most likely to appear in places where larger amounts of fat are stored. Most common places are the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs (inner & outer), hips and buttocks.
Q12. What causes stretch marks?
A12. Hormones responsible for the development of stretch marks affect the dermis by preventing the fibroblasts from forming collagen and elastin fibers, necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal and epidermal tearing. Skin subjected to more stretching force than it can handle will tear. Hormonal changes and genetics influence the skin’s capacity to withstand stretching forces, as do diet and exercise.
Q13. How common are stretch marks?
A13. Between 75% and 90% of women develop stretch marks to some degree, especially during pregnancy. Teenage mothers-to-be are at highest risk of developing severe stretchmarks. Stretchmarks may diminish over time, but, without outside intervention; such as laser treatment; generally do not disappear completely.
Q14. Can men get stretch marks?
A14. Yes. Not just women, but men can also develop stretch marks, especially is they are overweight, have lost weight after being overweight, or if they work out a lot and build muscle mass that stretches the skin and produces a tear in the dermis. Stretch marks in men have also been linked to the use of steroids.