Boston, MA-NH – Stretch marks occur when the dermis, the middle layer of your skin, is stretched to a point where its elasticity breaks down. As the injury heals, scar tissue develops which becomes a stretch mark. Stretch marks are most often caused by rapid weight gain, pregnancy, weightlifting, and accelerated growth during adolescence.
Initially these narrow grooves have a reddish appearance. As the stretch mark ages it tends to take on a silvery white appearance. Stretch marks can occur in both men and women and most commonly appear on the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs, hips and buttocks.
“Stretch marks are a common concern for both men and women. Women are more affected because the skin often becomes compromised during the large weight gain seen in pregnancy,” says Peter Kruy, M.D. of Finesse Cosmetic Laser & Lipo Center in Waltham, MA. “Even after losing weight, many of these women refuse to wear a bathing suit due to the visible stretch marks. Until recently, there really haven’t been any good treatment options.”
Stretch marks do not pose any health risks, but can greatly impact one’s self confidence. Topical creams may help hydrate the area but they do not penetrate effectively to show any real improvement.
With the advancements in fractional lasers, there are now options to treat stretch marks with very little to no downtime or discomfort. Laser treatments can offer visible improvement in the appearance of stretch marks. At Finesse, we us the Cynosure Affirm and SmartXide fractional CO2 lasers to soften stretch marks on all skin types.
With fractional laser resurfacing the laser beam is broken up or fractionated into many small micro beams which are separated so that when they strike the skin surface small areas of the skin between the beams are not hit by the laser and are left intact. These small areas of untreated skin promote a much more rapid recovery and healing with less risk of complications. The small areas treated by the fractional micro beams, called micro treatment zones, cause sufficient laser injury to promote new collagen production and resultant skin rejuvenation. The lasers also coagulate existing collagen to provide skin tightening.
The Affirm utilizes a Multiplex system combining a 1320nm and 1440nm laser wavelengths to boost collagen deep within the skin to help flatten stretch marks. This non-ablative fractional laser allows for comfortable treatments with little to no impact on the patient’s daily activities. The SmartXide fractional CO2 helps to resurface stretch marks by coagulating tissue and stimulating new collagen development which rebuilds the elasticity of the skin and retexturizes the stretch mark. The recommended number of treatments will vary depending on the severity of the stretch marks and patient expectations. While we cannot completely remove the stretch marks, we can help diminish their appearance which may restore the patient’s confidence to wear a bathing suit.
Finesse Cosmetic Laser & Lipo Center is a Boston area cosmetic surgery center specializing in skincare, cosmetic laser procedures and Smartlipo laser-assisted liposuction. We offer some of the most comprehensive skincare and body contouring solutions in New England. For more information on treating stretch marks with the Cynosure Affirm and SmartXide Fractional CO2 lasers or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our staff, please contact our office at 781-899-SKIN (7546) or visit our website at www.finesselaser.com.