Stretch Marks: How Lasers Can Help
For many, stretch marks are the bane of their existence. Threatening to complicate the strive for an amazing beach body, stretch marks are an unwelcoming reality. Yet, there is a way to get rid of those annoying growth lines. No, we don’t mean using messy creams that take forever to work. We’re talking about lasers. Yes, lasers can help you reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Welcome to the 21st century!
What are stretch marks and why do we get them?
Medically known as striae, stretch marks are impressed lines most often found around the stomach and hip areas, breasts, and buttocks. Stretch marks appear when parts of your body grow rapidly. When this happens, the skin often struggles to keep up with the growth, forcing it to stretch beyond its normal capacity, resulting in stretch marks.
This is why stretch marks are most often found on pregnant women. The rapid expansion of her tummy really tests the limits of her skin. Individuals with less amounts of collagen in their bodies are also likely to develop stretch marks. Collagen is responsible for giving our skin its elasticity. Without a healthy amount of it, the skin becomes tight and stiff, restricting itself from expanding with the body, thus creating striae.
There are also other circumstances, like having a condition or taking medication that weakens skin fibers, that make an individual prone to stretch marks.
How can lasers help?
Over the years, lasers have been called upon to treat a number of conditions both medically, and cosmetically. For stretch marks, lasers are used to resurface the skin. There are two options you can choose from; using an ablative laser or a non-ablative laser. In ablative laser treatment, CO2 or Erbium lasers are used to resurface the epidermis, or top layer, of the skin. As the laser beams destroy that top layer, new, smoother skin takes its place. This helps to smooth out the stretch marks which reduces their visibility.
Non-ablative laser treatment, on the other hand, uses Alexandrite or Fraxel lasers to penetrate beneath the epidermis down to the dermis to damage the cells underneath and promote the growth of collagen. Remember, collagen helps bring elasticity to our skin, so as our bodies produce more of it, our skin regenerates from the inside out, creating smooth skin that helps to make stretch marks disappear.
Ablative treatment is considered to be more aggressive than non-ablative and can get rid of your stretch marks with one treatment. Non-ablative is a little more gentle and may require up to 6 treatments before you see your marks disappear.
While laser treatment may be the perfect solution for some, not everyone is a good candidate for undergoing such treatment. Be sure to speak with a dermatologist about any pre-existing conditions you may have.
If you are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, our experts at The Dermatology Group can help you go over your options and see if laser therapy for your stretch marks is a good fit for you. Give us a call today!