What Is Laser Stretch Mark Treatment?
Laser stretch mark treatment is a safe, convenient way of rejuvenating the skin from within. At Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists of Newburgh, New York, Dr. Rubinstein uses the Palomar Lux 1540 fractional laser, a sophisticated technology recently FDA-approved for use in erasing scars and discoloration associated with stretch marks. The Lux 1540 blends the power of ablative (or resurfacing) lasers with gentle, noninvasive, non ablative treatments . It is the perfect process for healing the unsightly stretch marks that plague millions of women — and men — of all ethnicities and skin types.
Stretch marks are scar tissues that form when skin must expand more quickly than it can grow. Basically, they are microscopic tears that, when healed, lack collagen and elastin, hence the red color that fades to a dull, ridged shine. With this fractional laser treatment, scarred cells melt away while surrounding tissue rebuilds the missing collagen and elastin vital to plump, smooth, firm skin.
Why Have a Laser Stretch Mark Treatment?
Cosmetic surgeons and skin specialists are excited with the Lux 1540’s results. Many cite it as the only treatment “to effectively minimize stretch marks to patients’ satisfaction.” Studies showed an average improvement in skin appearance of 51 to 75 percent. Most patients recognize significant, easily visible improvement in three to five months. Even old stretch marks — notoriously difficult to treat — respond to fractional laser beams and improve significantly after only a few treatments.
In the past, options were expensive, limited and often ineffective because they focused on the top layer of skin. None targeted the dermis, or middle layer, where stretch marks originate.
The Lux 1540 is also the only effective means of reaching underlying skin cells while maintaining the integrity of the skin’s surface. Because the skin’s surface remains intact, risk of infection is extremely low. Patients do not have to worry about crusting, unattractive scabbing or scarring. It costs less than other methods and cause only mild discomfort. Downtime is negligible.
Laser Stretch Mark Treatment
The procedure is amazingly simple. The laser is actually a handheld device about the size of a microphone, with round treatment areas of 10, 12 and 15 millimeters. Laser strengths can range from 3 to 70 millijoules, depending on optimum settings and hand piece. The device has a rolling, cooling feature that coincides with the laser pulses. Dr. Rubinstein or one of his highly skilled laser staff will apply the laser tip to the site. You will hear a click and possibly feel a small pinch as the laser fires. Then the process repeats until the area has been treated. Over the course of several treatments, the dermis consistently repairs itself with fresh, elastic, voluminous skin.
Are You a Candidate?
If you have stretch marks, new or old, you are a candidate for Dr. Rubinstein’s laser stretch mark treatment at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists of Newburgh, New York. Stretch marks form on inner arms and thighs, breasts, abdomens, backs, hips and even necks —anyplace a body deposits fat.
Up to 90 percent of women acquire stretch marks during pregnancy. Even before that, up to 70 percent of young girls develop them through the rapid body changes of puberty. Men, too, suffer not only because of weight gain but also due to rapid muscle building. Unfortunately, once stretch marks appear, they are permanent unless treated.
The beauty of the Lux 1540 is its effectiveness and suitability for all skin types. All ethnicities, even those with darker skin tones, can enjoy significant stretch mark improvement simply due to the wavelength spectrum used. It is especially beneficial to patients who have tried other methods but were unhappy with the lack of desired results.
Laser Stretch Mark Treatment FAQs
How long will the procedure last?
The actual procedure is amazingly simple and convenient: about an hour to allow the topical numbing cream to act plus 30 to 40 minutes for the actual laser application. You will need to commit to four to six treatment sessions, each spaced two to four weeks apart to allow interim healing and rejuvenation. In three to five months, you should be able to see obvious results. Because this is a gradual, gentle process, you will experience no downtime other than the actual office appointments.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Your rejuvenating skin needs protection to heal optimally. The most important factor after the procedure is to use sunscreen at all times, daily. You can apply it almost immediately after treatment and should continue to use it until directed otherwise (usually 3 months).
Initially you may experience some mild swelling, itching (due to swelling) and redness for a day or two. Most patients liken it to mild sunburn. Often ice applied to the skin is all that is needed. Some patients notice light bronzing or flaking. Quality moisturizers with SPF 15 sunscreen help considerably and protect new skin from even inadvertent sun exposure.
Are there risks?
Risks are extremely low with the Palomar Lux 1540 treatment. The procedure is noninvasive and gradual, avoiding drawbacks common to ablative and non fractional lasers. Key to an optimal experience, however, is avoiding sun exposure, tanning products, bleaching creams or any other active-ingredient topicals at least two weeks prior to the procedure. These include benzyl peroxide, retinol and salicylic acid, so check labels carefully. Accutane use within the past 6 months is also an issue and may require a delay in laser treatment. As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, results depend on a surgeon’s expertise and a patient’s dedication to follow pre- and post-procedure instructions.
How soon can I return to work?
You can return to work immediately following the procedure as long as your skin is properly protected with sunscreen.