Can Lasers Help in Reducing Stretch Marks?
Skin, the largest organ in the human body has the remarkable ability to expand and contract as and when required. Even though the skin is strong and elastic, the supporting tissues can be damaged if they are stretched too far or too quickly. This frequent and rapid expansion of the skin can lead to the formation of stretch marks. They often occur during periods of growth and body changes, such as significant weight gain, puberty, and extreme muscle building. In today’s time, with the advancement in technology, laser therapy appears to be highly effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
At Global Aesthetics, we have a team of skilled LCP Certified medical aesthetic specialists and doctors led by Assoc Prof Dr. Morthy, a renowned LCP Certified Aesthetic Physician and Trainer who is an expert in the field of Aesthetic Medicine. With our insignia of “For All Your Aesthetic Needs” at Global Aesthetic we aim to deliver safe, effective, and affordable procedures.
In today’s article, we will talk all about stretch marks and how laser treatment for stretch marks works!
What are stretch marks and how are they formed?
Stretch marks are basically scars that tend to appear as depressed streaks in the skin and are pinkish, reddish, or purplish in color. They are most often present on the breasts, upper arms, thighs, buttocks, or stomach area. They are more common in pregnant women or people who experience rapid weight gain. Stretch marks should not cause concern as they provide no physical threat and can fade over time. However, stretch marks all over the body overall for a long period of time can signal disease conditions such as Cushing’s Syndrome or another adrenal gland condition.
Stretch marks are formed when the skin stretches beyond its breaking point resulting in the development of thin pink or red lines. As a result, the elastic collagen layers of the middle layer of the skin where stretch marks occur, called the dermis, tend to break down. This damage causes the dermal tissue to become inflamed and may cause micro bleeding and the formation of scar tissue typical of stretch marks. Consequently, rough, irregular reddish lines begin to form. As the middle layer of skin stretches the epidermis or exterior layer of skin, it becomes transparent. Eventually, the stretch marks from the middle layer of the skin begin to protrude through the outer layer so that the stretch marks are not covered at all by the epidermis. As the inflammation and bleeding heal, scar tissue is formed, leaving a stretch mark.
What are the types of laser treatments?
To begin with, every laser stretch mark removal treatment procedure is different from one another catering to each patient’s specific needs. A typical treatment protocol to remove stretch marks usually includes 3-4 different lasers per session, as well as a variety of non-laser modalities such as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) with Physiological Regulating Medicine (PRM) formulations, and hyperbaric oxygen treatments. First, every stretch mark is individually targeted with the help of the laser. Pulsed dye lasers and intense pulsed light can improve the appearance of stretch marks and increase collagen production over time.
Next, a color blending laser treatment is done causing the “turn-over” of excess melanin that may be held in the stretch mark. Color blending is a way of using a laser to try to make the hyperpigmentation lighter so that the color is much more even. It also accomplishes some improvements in texture, pores, and mild wrinkling or scarring with no downtime and is painless.
Removing the Redness
Some stretch marks are red because of excess vascularization. Vascularization refers to the abnormal or pathological formation of blood vessels. Using laser technology, the micro-vasculature is targeted to make the redness go away.
Once the treated area is identified and confirmed by the patient, the skilled doctor or practitioner will program the laser machine with appropriate settings and pick up a handpiece. The handpiece is placed on the skin, and either a trigger or foot pedal is used to fire the pulse of laser energy targeting a 1–3 cm area of skin. The sensation during treatment is very brief and is often described as a heated pin-prick for each laser pulse. Treatment times vary due to the size of the area to be treated and the machine used, but a typical treatment takes approximately 15–30 minutes.
Stimulation of Collagen
The next step in laser scar removal includes the administration of intense collagen treatment with lasers to stimulate the production of new collagen to fill in the stretch mark from the inside out. This treatment targets old deteriorated collagen fibers deep in the dermis that are beyond repair in order to accelerate its removal through your body’s own natural processes. Other less damaged collagen will be remodeled into new and younger collagen. The fibroblast cells present throughout the dermis are also targeted, stimulating them to produce amplified quantities of new, young, and healthy collagen.
Smoothing of the Skin
The final part of the laser stretch mark removal treatment involves smoothing out the surface of the scar with an epidermal resurfacing laser which is also known as a laser peel treatment. This phase helps to exfoliate the outer old dry layer of the skin thereby rejuvenating the skin. This procedure removes the scars, discolorations, fine wrinkles, and roughness and gives you a smooth, wrinkle-free, flawless appearance.
What are the benefits of using a laser?
Laser treatment for stretch marks tends to offer certain advantages over the other procedures, making it a lucrative option for most patients. Here are a few advantages of using laser-based treatments for stretch marks-
Non-surgical treatment for stretch marks using a laser is time effective. There is no need to worry about all the planning. The patient can be back to their daily activities in no time as the aftercare required in a non-surgical operation is minimal and generally would not require specialized medication.
Results May Be Seen After a Series of Treatments
Depending on how deep in the dermis stretch marks form, a patient may need a series of treatments for visible results. Most people will begin to see improvements after their first few sessions. Since the laser light is effective at stimulating collagen and elastin, it will cause noticeable changes in the appearance of the skin and gradually make your stretch marks less noticeable.
No Pain Involved
One of the best things about non-surgical treatment for stretch marks using a laser is that it is painless and that there is only a minimum amount of discomfort throughout the treatment procedure. This applies not only during the treatment but also afterward. “Pain Management is crucial for us and we take pride in delivering comfortable Aesthetic procedures” quotes Assoc Prof Dr. Morthy.
What are the precautions you need to take?
Use ice to reduce swelling
Some swelling and redness are common after laser treatments, particularly after ablative treatments that affect the outer layers of skin. Cold compresses and ice packs can help to bring down swelling and minimize redness. They can also feel soothing to irritated skin.
Keep the skin moisturized
The doctor will most likely recommend a particular type of moisturizer for you to use after a laser treatment. It’s common for people to apply petroleum jelly to the skin after an ablative treatment. The petroleum jelly not only helps to hydrate the skin but also forms a protective barrier along the healing skin, keeping germs out.
Wait for makeup
After laser treatment, skin often looks worse on its way to looking better. Redness, flakiness, and crusting are all common after laser treatment. One might be tempted to cover up that redness or to minimize the appearance of flakes and scabs using foundation or other types of makeup. Like other skincare products, however, makeup can irritate the healing skin. It is better to wait a few weeks until the skin has had a chance to fully heal.
Why is it important to choose the right doctor?
Choosing the right doctor is crucial because laser treatment procedures can be dangerous if administered incorrectly. Your doctor should-
Be aware of the principles of the procedure
Your aesthetic practitioner must know the principles of laser procedure for stretch mark removal, and the exact type of laser treatment required for safe and effective results.
Have knowledge about the patient and procedure
A good practitioner must discuss the following steps with you before administering the procedure-
What type of laser treatment would suit you?
What layers of the skin would be affected?
How will the procedure work?
What are the complications that may arise and how can the doctor avoid them?
What can you expect after undergoing the procedure?
What are the precautions you need to take after the procedure?
Be aware and keep you informed of the probable risks
Laser treatments have certain risks that may arise if done incorrectly. Complications include chemical burns which can be so intense to a point it may cause discoloration of the skin, scarring, or infection. The aesthetic practitioner should keep you informed.
Able to avoid and manage the risks if needed
Your aesthetic practitioner should have proper knowledge about the procedure and should be trained thoroughly from a certified institution and know how to avoid any complications and also be aware of the steps that need to be taken to resolve the complications that may arise.
Advanced cosmetic procedures at GlobalAesthetic
At Global Aesthetics, our team of skilled LCP Certified aesthetic medical specialists and doctors are led by Assoc Prof Dr. Morthy, a renowned LCP Certified Aesthetic Physician and Trainer. We ensure our doctors have a solid understanding of facial anatomy, dermato-cosmetics, aging skin, as well as the science behind the technologies and procedures. With an insignia of “For All Your Aesthetic Needs”, our aim is to first understand your facial features & proportions, deliver safe & effective aesthetic procedures and restore your beauty & confidence.
At Global Aesthetics, we also offer-
Laser Skin Rejuvenation to refresh & rejuvenate your skin with our elite collection of Lasers.
Skin Booster Rejuvenation to refresh & renew your skin with our new generation of Skin Boosters.
Chemical Skin Rejuvenation to get brighter & radiant skin with our Chemical Skin Rejuvenation.
Total Facial Augmentation to enhance your features with our Signature Augmentation Procedure.
Jawline & Facial Reshaping to get a smooth & sharp “V” shaped face with a well-defined jawline.
Facial Fat Reduction to get rid of unwanted facial fat with our clinically proven treatment.
Botox, Fillers & Booster to restore a naturally youthful look with our Signature combination.
PDO & Aptos Thread-lift to restore your skin’s firmness with our PDO & Aptos Thread-lift procedure.
Tissue Regeneration to restore youthful skin with our Tissue Regenerative procedure.
Excessive Sweating our clinical treatment guarantees to reduce excessive sweating.
Cellulite & Stretch Marks to get rid of cellulite and stretch marks with our clinically proven treatment.
Tattoo Removal to remove your unwanted tattoos with our state-of-the-art Lasers.
Assoc Prof Dr. Morthy of Global Aesthetic is also an internationally renowned trainer who is currently the course director for Aesthetic Academy Asia (www.aestheticacademy.asia)- a leading private institution that provides Aesthetic Medical training for doctors, dentists, nurses, aestheticians, and spa owners. For more information about Global Aesthetics, please visit our official website.