Stretch marks are not painful or harmful. But their presence on our skin is enough to make us less confident about our body, especially when we need to wear skin-baring clothes such as bathing suits. We can definitely get rid of them although it is not easy. Frustrated enough about stretch mark? You may just have never heard about laser stretch mark removal.
Stretch Marks and the Causes
Stretch marks are the narrow and long stripes, streaks, or lines that develop on the skin. They are disfiguring lesions that are also called striae distensae (SD), striae gravidarum, and striae atrophicans. Stretch marks usually occur on thighs, upper arms, abdomen, buttocks, breasts, flank, and hips. Although these scars usually affect women, anybody has the possibility to develop these streaks.
Stretch marks happen when the skin is overstretched. Our skin is resilient, yet, when the skin receives too much stretching, the collagen production can be disrupted and thus stretch marks occur. The appearance and formation of stretch marks can be attributed to the main causes as follow:
It is pregnancy or striae gravidarum. 90% of women who get pregnant end up in the formation of stretch marks. The high possibility of them developing these scars is due to the stretching in the abdominal area to let a baby grow inside. A woman starts to form stretch marks when she enters the third semester of her pregnancy or when the rapid growth of the baby happens.
Her abdominal skin is forced and stretched to facilitate the uterus that keeps growing. Apart from the abdominal area, the pregnant woman may develop other stretch marks on hips, thighs, breasts, and buttocks.
The other main cause of stretch marks is the rapid weight loss or weight gain or body growth during puberty. Although stretch marks can happen in any phase of life, they have high possibility to occur on the skin of young teens who enters puberty.
During puberty, many parts of the body grow and the growth stretches the body skin. As the result, teenagers develop stretch marks on various areas such as hips and breast. When someone adds up more weight, their skin is overstretched and thus the collagen in their skin is changed. The change is what forms the stretch marks.
What is Laser Stretch Mark Removal?
Although stretch marks don’t cause any pain, they leave uncomfortable feeling to us. That’s why people hate stretch marks so much they really want to remove them. If you have been frustrated about these marks, you may have never heard about laser stretch mark removal. Not only is it effective, it is also painless.
Laser stretch removal is an easy and fast way to remove stretch marks. This treatment has been approved by FDA, meaning that this treatment guarantees its safety and effectiveness. Laser stretch mark removal has a very high rating of patient satisfaction.
Laser stretch mark removal is also a fast treatment only takes 30 minutes at the maximum with the possibility of being faster. Although the treatment is done in a short time, the result of it is long lasting and superior. What is more, this treatment can be used to remove stretch marks on any parts of the body no matter what the causes are. And best of all, laser stretch mark removal has no downtime and can be well tolerated by many individuals, both people with dark skin and the ones with light skin tones.
Best of all, laser stretch removal can provide smoother look on your skin and overall improved appearance of your skin without conducting any surgery. Besides, right after you finish your treatment, you can proceed to your regular activities without being under some activities limitations.
What is the Laser in Laser Stretch Mark Removal Work?
In the laser stretch mark removal, burst of lights at a single color or wavelength are emitted by the laser. Based on a certain condition, different frequency, duration, and wavelengths or the pulse are used. That condition results in a high-energy light that will be taken up and then absorbed by the targeted and desired target. This is what is called Photoepilation.
In conducting laser removal for stretch marks, there are a couple of different laser types that are utilized to minimize the stretch marks. The types of the lasers that are commonly used are fractional laser and pulsed dye laser. Different type of laser has different target of stretch marks, which can be white or purple, or red, or darker, although the eventual goal is the same: removing the skin scars, smoothening the skin, providing healthy skins.
Both kinds of the laser therapies utilize light wavelengths that can stimulate the new collagen and elastin growth. When the heat from the lasers touches the targeted skin, the light is absorbed by the skin. The skin then receives triggers of stimulation that can renew the skin and remove the stretch marks.
Which Type of Lasers Should Be Used?
As explained above, there are commonly two types of laser in performing laser stretch mark removal. You may have been wondering about which type of laser is best for you. To give you some references and guidance, checkout the following differences on both lasers:
Pulsed dye laser works best if your stretch marks are red. The red color of the stretch marks occurs because your skin is currently suffering from the inflammation. The inflammation needs stopping and this laser can do the job well. The way pulsed dye laser works is by reducing the redness of your stretch marks and by improving the inflammation that causes the stretch marks.
Meanwhile, if your stretch marks are white, fractional laser should be your choice. The main issue of white stretch marks is the texture of the skin. Choosing fractional laser for this kind of stretch marks can offer small injuries on the skin where the stretch marks are leaving the untreated and normal skin in between.
The untreated and normal skin is usually about the hair shaft diameter. The normal and untreated skin then produces a response to the body that can help the targeted area more quickly and replace the skin with stretchmarks with healthier and new skin.
How Does the Procedure of Laser Stretch Mark Removal Work?
As mentioned above, in the removal treatment, it is the light of the laser that does the job. The pulse of the laser light is utilized to break down the scars and after that to trigger the reproduction of new tissue at the targeted area. As the result, the color of the skin where the stretch marks occur can be improved and renewed.
The laser also triggers the production of new collagen that can make the stretch marks’ texture smoother and stretch marks’ look reduced. The whole procedure of the removal can take anywhere from a couple of minutes up to 30 minutes to conduct.
What Happen Before, Whilst, and After Laser Stretch Mark Removal?
Before starting any procedure of laser stretch mark removal, it is advisable for you to have an initial consultation with your doctor to have consultation. Tell your doctor all the areas of your body that suffer from stretch marks and that you want to get them treated. You may also need to tell your doctor your skin conditions to prevent any unwanted side effects later on.
After the consultation, you will soon begin the laser removal. To begin with, an anesthetic cream is applied on the targeted skin. You may need to wait for the cream to be absorbed by your skin up to an hour before you can wash it off. After that, a gliding gel is applied to ease the movement and the glide of robotic hand piece over your skin.
Typically, the treatment only lasts for half an hour. During the treatment, there is a cooling machine that keeps you comfortable. After the treatment, you may see red color on your skin. Don’t worry about that as it will only last for up to 5 days. Besides, you may also feel a mild sunburn sensation in the first hour after the treatment.
Due to the possibility of those mild side effects in the post treatment, it is suggested for you to really be careful in choosing a skin specialist to give you this treatment. Make sure that the skin specialist has been properly and well trained to carry out the procedure.
Another tip for this stretch mark removal is to always ask for pre and post photos from the treatment. Also, you need to ask who are assisting your doctor during the treatment. Any person assisting the procedure of stretchmark removal should be the one who has been specially trained in fractional laser treatments.
What to Expect from Laser Stretch Marks Removal?
You may now in between being willing to try the laser removal and worrying about getting hurt due to the treatment. While you may still experience few mild discomforts, there shouldn’t be any terrible pain from the laser treatment.
Not only does laser stretch mark removal offer fast and effective result, it also provides you with easier recovery time compare to the traditional method or the surgical ones. In the traditional method, you may end up with swelling and some redness on the first few days after the removal treatment. Meanwhile, in this laser removal, you can go straight back to your daily routine or your regular activities.
Taking this removal treatment will require you to take it more than one time and to be patient as your treatment result may not be the same with the other patients’. In other words, the result of laser removal can vary from one person to another, but you don’t need to worry too much as you have just taken a further step for being proactive about the health of your body and your skin and for going closer to smoother, better look skin, and the freedom of using any clothes with high confidence.
Read Also : The Guidance for Stretch Mark Laser Removal
Are There Any Side Effects of Laser Stretch Mark Removal?
Although laser stretch mark removal is very effective, easy, and fast, it still leaves you with some side effects and risks. The original laser used in the treatment is so strong it leaves patients with a very long downtime. Meanwhile, the new lasers such as Fraxel can leave patients with swelling and some redness. Those side effects even may last for three days up to one week.
The possibility of getting side effects form this treatment is various, depending on the kind skin someone has. People with fair skin are the luckiest as their type of skin do the best with lasers and develop fewest risks and side effects. People with darker skin such as Asians are the opposite. With their type of skin, they may develop more and higher risks from the laser removal treatment. Yet, Asians are not the unluckiest. Caucasian people are.
Although you may develop some side effects such as redness right after the procedure, they shouldn’t be a serious problem to your skin. The redness and swelling occur because the skin is penetrated by the laser and microscopic holes are made on the dermis layers. Those things create some breaks to the skin and thus trigger your body to give reaction. You don’t need to worry about the holes as they are not detrimental. The holes are even important to give your skin stimulation to heal and to speed up the stretch marks healing.
Other side effects you may experience are some itching on your skin due to the inflammation, short burning sensation after the procedure, blister on the skin under the laser, and some infection due to the blister. However, the chance of getting the infection is very small and rare.
Laser stretch mark removal can surely be your top choice to regain your confidence about your skin look. It is effective, easy, fast, and low in risk and side effects. The procedure of the treatment is also quick and the result is long lasting