Stretch Mark Treatment
Stretch marks are caused by damage to the epidermis and dermis of the skin resulting from increased skin tension. Most stretch marks occur as a result of pregnancy or rapid weight gain. However, there are other less common reasons to develop stretch marks, such as prolonged exposure to corticosteroids or other medicines that weaken skin integrity.
As the skin is exposed to increased tension, noticeable stretch marks may begin to form. Red stretch marks are usually newer, whereas white atrophic stretch marks are usually older and well-healed. If the skin is olive-toned or darker, stretch marks may also become darker as a result of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
The good news is that stretch marks are treatable using a combination of skin-stimulating and skin-lightening dermatologic products combined with Thermal RF and laser treatment. It is important to first start out with topical creams because they can effectively stimulate collagen renewal and minimize the risks of laser treatment.
Kare Plastic Surgery + Skin Health Center specializes in the removal of stretch marks on the body using an advanced Hi-Def protocol that can stimulate cellular renewal. We advise patients to seek early treatment for stretch marks in order to maximize outcome.
Kare Skin Body Brightening Kit
Treatments for stretch marks are most effective when a regimented protocol is used to maximize outcome. Although lasers are effective in the treatment of stretch marks, a topical skin regimen can enhance outcome by stimulating the production of collagen within the dermis, smoothing the skin overlying the stretch marks, and minimizing the risk of pigmentation associated with stronger fractional laser treatments.
Our office recommends a pre-treatment skincare protocol that includes the Kareskin Body Brightening Kit that contains Luminase, Exfolase, Melapads, and Replenish Retinoid Cream. The Kareskin Body Brightening Kit should be started at least one week prior to laser therapy and should be applied throughout the duration of treatment.
Laser Therapy for Stretch Marks
There are three lasers used in the treatment of stretch marks. The decision to use each laser depends on the topographic and textural qualities of the stretch marks, including the severity of skin atrophy, textural changes in pore density, skin resiliency, and skin erythema. During your consultation for treatment, Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian will evaluate the location, severity, and characteristics of your stretch marks to determine which combination laser regimen is appropriate.
- Deep Fractional Ablative laser is used for the treatment of deep, atrophic stretch marks after skin pre-conditioning with the Kareskin Body Brightening Regimen. Three to five treatments are usually required and patients typically experience one to two weeks of downtime in which the skin heals and regenerates.
- Moderate Fractional Ablative laser is used for atrophic stretch marks in patients who desire minimal to no downtime. These lasers can be equally effective to deep fractional laser, but may require more treatment sessions. This laser is ideal for darker skin complexions and for patients who must abide by more structured recovery restrictions (pre-wedding or pre-vacation).
- The Vbeam laser is the gold-standard for red stretch marks that are relatively new. Kareskin Brightening Regimen is used as pre-treatment for this laser in order to stimulate collagen formation in the dermis.
If you are interested in stretch mark treatment, your next step is an initial consultation with Dr. Karamanoukian. Please call our office to set an appointment.