Stretch marks in men and women have been considered to be unsightly for many centuries. At Beautiful Canadian Laser and Skin Care Clinic ( BC Laser) we have been treating stretch marks for many years with successful results.
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What causes Stretch Marks?
The exact cause of stretch marks is unknown but it is thought that they are the result of your skin’s collagen and elastin breaking down under stress. A leading cause of stretch marks is pregnancy. However, body building and weight loss are also leading causes for stretch marks. The breasts, abdomen, thighs, groin and buttocks are all areas where stretch marks appear as these are the areas where there is more “mechanical” stress. The initial appearance of stretch marks is red but over time they turn white as a result of healing.
In the past, stretch mark treatments included freezing, excision and topical creams. The results were minimal with stretch marks reappearing after many of the treatment options.
Laser treatments for Stretch Marks
There are several treatments available today for treating stretch marks. The Fraxel laser is a relatively new procedure that treats new and old stretch marks. The Fraxel Laser, also known as the Fraxel Re: store, works by creating thousands of small columns in the skin where the broken collagen is situated. The columns of skin create a response that promotes the generation of new collagen and elastin where the stretch marks are. The stretch marks start to get narrower and tighter and the skin appears smoother. Multiple sessions of the Fraxel laser are necessary for best results but there is very little down time, if any, after each session. To obtain the best results in the treatment of stretch marks it is very important to treat the areas of the body as soon as the stretch marks appear or at least whilst they are still red. At that stage the Fraxel laser will induce a response in the skin and 4 -6 treatments at 2 to 4 week intervals will commonly result in a 50- 90% improvement in the appearance of the stretch marks.
If the stretch marks have already turned white and have thinned out texture or sharp borders then a 10-30% improvement is about the best that can be achieved by the Fraxel laser. However, The white stretch marks are already a little less noticeable than red stretch marks and so even the slightest improvement is enough to make them less obvious.
The latest treatment for stretch marks is the combination of Fraxel Laser and Thermage CPT.
The combination of these two treatments have shown even better results than when each treatment is used separately.
Thermage CPT works by using Unique Radio frequency ( RF) to cause tightening of existing collagen and the formation of new collagen deep in the tissues under the skin. The Thermage CPT is the latest technology for stretch marks, loose and wrinkled skin for all over the body. The Thermage technology has been around for many years but more recently the Thermage CPT , a newer technology, provides comfortable treatments but also gives more consistent results over the older Thermage Treatments.
Results for stretch marks after laser treatments
Results for stretch mark treatments vary from patient to patient and may not be immediate. Multiple treatments are required and there is improvement after each successive Fraxel treatment. Sometimes the results are not apparent until the second or third treatment. Dr Shah may also recommend the use of certain creams before or after your Fraxel and/or Thermage treatment for stretch marks in order to enhance your results even further. Studies further show that the appearance of stretch marks continue to improve after a Fraxel laser and/or Thermage treatment over a period of time ranging from 3 to 6 months after the treatment. Even those stretch mark treatments that showed little if any improvement initially can show as much as 50% improvement at their 6 month check up.