STRETCH MARKS AND SCAR REMOVAL
Stretch Marks and Scar Removal
STRETCH MARK AND SCAR REMOVAL
Got scars or stretch marks? Erase them at Blue Star Dermatology & Cosmetic Center. We now offer some of the most revolutionary scar removal technology available with fractional CO2 laser treatments.
cars and stretch marks can cause significant cosmetic disfigurement in men and women and damage their self-esteem. Patients feel uncomfortable in shorts, short-sleeved shirts and bathing suites. Unfortunately, they are common problems due to lifestyle choices, poor eating habits, pregnancy, diet, rapid weight gain or loss, hormonal changes and many other factors that are present in our day-to-day activities.
Today there is help for these problems so you can live your life free of the unsightly stretch marks and scars.
What causes scars & stretch marks?
Scars are a normal part of the skin’s healing process after an injury such as lacerations, traumatic injury and burns. Stretch marks commonly occur after pregnancy, hormonal changes or rapid weight gain or loss. Stretch marks are most often observed on and around the breasts, abdomen, thighs, groin and buttocks. They start out as red uneven lines, which become white and somewhat iridescent over time, but remain just as visible.
Stretch marks occur when the body grows or expands faster than the skin can accommodate causing a stretching and tearing of collagen and elastin (rubber band) fibers in the skin.
Popular methods to deal with scars and stretch marks in the past ranged from cryosurgery (freezing), to excision and steroid injections with minimal to no results. Today the “gold standard” for reducing these stretch marks and scars are CO2 fractional laser skin resurfacing..
Do laser treatments work for scars and stretch marks?
The laser technology (SmartXide DOT CO2 Fractional Laser) we use is known to significantly improve and eliminate red or uneven scars. Recent studies show that laser treatments stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers, which improves the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
Not only that, but stretch marks continue to improve over the months following each laser treatment., showing as much as a 50% improvement by the 6-month checkup.
Patients generally need 2-4 treatments about 2-4 months apart. Most patients see improvement after the first treatment and much more with the second, with scars and stretch marks loosing their iridescence and shinny appearance with improved skin texture. In between treatments the areas treated will remain pink for 6-8 weeks. This is an important time in the resurfacing process for healing and remodeling of collagen.
Who are the best candidates for laser scar and stretch mark removal?
Patients with best results to laser treatment for scars and stretch marks are usually people with fair complexion and light skin tone to patients that have olive or slightly darker skin tones. Patients with very dark or black skin would not be good candidates for this procedure.
Note: Patients with a history of Vitiligo, pigmentation disorders, tans or dark skin tone need to undergo an initial skin test prior to treatment.
What other methods are there to treat scars and stretch marks?
Scarfade™ and Laserfade™ are silicone gels that form a micro-thin layer of silicone on the scar upon application. They are tolerated by children, gentle on the skin and reduce irritation. However, these treatments result in minimal improvement if used on their own.
Raised (keloid) scars show the most improvement with a steroid (Kenalog) triamcinalone injection that breaks down the thick scar tissue and flattens the skin. This can then be evaluated for treatment with IPL therapy.
Do laser scar and stretch mark treatments hurt?
This is a well-tolerated procedure and our patients report a slight tingling sensation during the procedure. Generally a small amount of topical anesthetic is applied 30 minutes prior to the treatment along with the use of cooling blower on the skin if needed.
What should you expect after treatment?
Results vary for each individual case and they are not immediately visible. They become more apparent with time and after several procedures. Generally, up to 70% of patients undergoing laser treatments for their stretch marks notice a marked improvement after 4-6 following their first procedure. Newer and shallower scars and stretch marks respond better to treatment than older and deeper ones. Results can be enhanced with the use of tretinoin cream (Retin-A /Tazarac/Differin) after the skin has healed.