Stretchmarks treatments At A Glance
- Best Results2-5 treatments
- Treatment Recovery0-3 days
- Procedure Time10-30 min
- Skin SpecialistDermal therapist, nurse
- Duration of ResultsYears++
- AnaestheticNumbing cream
- Back to WorkImmediately
Stretch mark removal is one of the most commonly requested treatments. This page will reveal the truths and myths regarding stretch mark cures, and prevention. More than half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks- prevention and early management with lasers is the key to minimising stretch marks. Early stretch marks are easier to treat old stretch marks.
FactsFacts on stretch marks
- Stretch marks occur when the skin receives uncontrolled expansion
- Pregnancy, puberty & growth spurts, as well as weight lifting can cause stretch marks
- Weight loss may also cause stretch marks
- Early stretch marks are red, pink or purple
- Late or old stretch marks are white, silvery or papery in feel
- Early stretch marks respond well to lasers & creams
- Old stretch marks can respond to fractional skin resurfacing
- Having a treatment plan, especially during pregnancy is the key to prevention
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks occur when the skin cannot cope with the expansion or reduction of weight. This rapid change results in breaking the organised bonds of collagen and elastin. These substances form the scaffolding of the skin. Once broken, stretch marks can occur.
What kind of lasers can be used for stretch marks?
Stretch mark removal is one of the most confusing conditions to treat, as most laser companies will have ‘some miracle treatment.’ This is not so. We have access to over 14 lasers, however only a handful of treatments will make any difference to stretch marks.
Early stretch marks- red, pink, purple lines are the best to treat, as they respond very well to vascular lasers. My favourite laser is the V Beam Pulse Dye laser.
Old stretch marks (white and papery stretch marks) can respond to RadioFrequency treatments or Fractional Lasers such as CO2, Erbium, LaseMD or Fraxel.
The best lasers include the GentleLase Pro and the Pulse Dye Laser 595 or V Beam Prima or Perfecta by Syneron Candella. This targets the vessels in early red/pink/purple stretchmarks and can remodel collagen, making stretch marks less visible in colour, width and length.
Older stretch marks are white and are devoid of blood vessels (hence they do not have a pink-red look to them). They are much harder to fade. A series of 3-4 treatments will be required. Results are extremely variable- the most important being your own body’s response to collagen stimulation. My favoured laser is the Fraxel, LaseMD, Mixto laser, eCO2 or CO2 CORE Fractional laser. Tixel is another sensible fractional device that is good for older stretch marks
Can microneedling treat stretch marks?
Yes. Simple microneedling can improve stretch marks. You can do this at home with a 0.2 to 0.25 roller from eBay or Amazon. Choose a 256 or 512 needle device. I have done many Instagram & YouTube videos on how to DIY microneedle safely. The main points are-
- Needle length does NOT need to be deep with stretch marks
- Maximum of 0.25 mm
- Provide traction & counter- traction when needling
- Conduct every 2-4 weeks
- Best for old stretch marks
Obviously microneedling is not as effective as targeted lasers as controlled heating (required for maximal collagen stimulation) is not achieved with microneedling.
Once your gains have plateaued, book an appointment with my clinical staff for options such as RF microneedling, Tixel or one of many lasers we employ for stretch marks.
Does stretch mark removal hurt?
No. I use a special laser that cools the skin prior to delivery of the laser beam. Treatment feels like a rubber band flicking on your skin- slightly uncomfortable for a second or two, but very well tolerated.
If Fraxel or CO2 CORE is used I apply a special cream called 23/7- this makes treatments painless.
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How long does it take to laser stretch marks?
It depends on the surface area. Small areas take 1-2 minutes, larger areas take 4-5 minutes. Because of the built in DCD of cooling of the laser, treatments are not only fast but painless.
What is the best cream for stretch marks ?
Stratamark has the most amount of studies. This gel is readily available at most pharmacies. Used daily it can-
- Prevent stretch marks
- Treat new (pink, red-purple) stretch marks
- Treat old (white-silvery-paper like) stretch marks
- Reduce the symptoms of stretch marks (itch)
- It is safe in pregnancy.
How many treatments will I need to have my stretch marks fade?
My advice is to undertake a series of 3-4 treatments spaced 10-14 days apart for early red stretch marks. This gives the best results. I always combine the use of a medically prescribed cream called Stratamark for best results. Sometimes I also prescribe a Vitamin A cream as this can remodel collagen.
White stretch marks are a little harder to treat. Patients will require 3-5 sessions of either FRAXEL or CO2 CORE.
How long will it take me to recover from laser for my stretch marks?
Following treatment of red stretch marks, the areas will be bruised for up to 5-6 days. Pain during & following the procedure is minimal. Swelling can be reduced with the application of ice. Red stretch mark vascular laser does not break skin, so healing is uneventful.
Fractional devices used for the treatment of older stretch marks are associated with a longer healing up process- up to 10 days. The lasers we employ for stretchmarks include CO2, Fraxel, LaseMD & Tixel Fractional Resurfacing. We often combine retinol creams with devices for the best results.
Should I treat my stretch marks?
If you have early red, pink, or purple stretch marks, you should consider the combination treatment with anti stretch mark creams AND laser. This combination works well, and the majority of patients will have a good to excellent outcome. If possible plan for treatment– example – if you are pregnant, plan for treatments as soon as you give birth. The earlier the treatment, the better the results.
If you have old, white & papery stretch marks, you will receive a modest improvement in most cases. Older stretch marks have variable outcomes, the most important factor is your own body’s ability to produce & remodel collagen and elastin.
Do creams works on stretch marks?
Yes, in early cases of stretch marks, the use of creams such as Stratamark and lasers can give better results than just lasers alone. See the relevant stretch mark creams in the skin care section for a compressive review.
In summary, silicone based topicals can be effective, in combination with vitamin A based creams. Bio-Oil has no efficacy but can moisturise the skin. Combining topicals with procedures gives the best results.
Why should I have a stretch mark plan in pregnancy?
Simple- the earlier we treat stretch marks the better the result. Over 80% of women will have stretch marks post delivery. If you consult myself (or our senior clinicians @cutis_dermatology) during the end stages of pregnancy, we can start the laser sessions within 10 days of giving birth. This includes laser to your C-Scar should you undertake a Caesarean Section. We also combine laser with stretch mark creams (safe in breast feeding, and in pregnancy.)
Red, pink, purple stretch marks can be improved markedly with the combination of laser & topicals.
How much are stretch mark treatments?
Vascular laser for early red stretch marks
- Small area (2 hand sizes) from $190 per session
- Large area (greater than above) from $290
- Discounts apply for packages- enquire during your consultation
Fraxel, LaseMD, Tixel, CO2 CORE for old stretch marks
- Pricing: variable depending on device & area. Book an obligation free assessment with my clinical team @cliniccutis
How do I make a booking for treatment of my stretch marks?
Call Cutis Dermatology to make a booking. The consultation process involves identifying the type of stretch marks you have. We will then formulate a treatment plan using lasers, creams such as Stratamark & Vitamin A. In most cases you can start on a stretch mark laser program the day of the consultation. All stretch mark treatments are done by my clinical staff at Cutis.
Davin’s viewpoint on treating stretch marks
This is one of the most frequently requested treatments for a laser specialist . If they are early red stretch marks– you will receive a noticeable reduction in colour, length and width of your marks. If they are old white stretch marks, variable responses can be expected. I either use the Fraxel laser or the eCO2, CO2 CORE, or LaseMD 1927/ Fraxel for white or papery stretch marks. The best results are obtained if I treat stretch marks as early as possible. Microneedling with or without PRP is another option, as is Tixel skin fractional treatments.
A stretch mark reduction plan, especially when you are pregnant is the optimal method- once you deliver, we can laser the stretch marks, and if you have a C section, we also laser the scar line. Combining creams such as Stratamark, retinoids with laser delivers the best outcomes.
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