Stretch marks can happen throughout any woman’s life, especially if she has gained or lost weight through pregnancy or other means, according to the Mayo Clinic. While these marks are unsightly, they aren’t dangerous and may fade over time. However, some women may want to consider trying laser cosmetic surgery as a means of minimizing the appearance of those unwanted stretch marks. Unfortunately, even the best laser therapies won’t remove stretch marks entirely.
Pulsed dye laser therapy, fractional photothermolysis and the excimer laser are the most common cosmetic means for removing stretch marks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Depending upon the type of procedure you select, the therapy will promote the growth of more collagen, elastin or melanin so your skin tones will hopefully blend together once again.
Not all types of laser surgery for stretch marks are created equal, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some types of surgery cannot help older stretch marks. Also, no over-the-counter creams can truly diminish the appearance of stretch marks.
Cosmetic surgeries, including laser treatment for stretch mark removal, are not covered by insurance, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, the therapy may not fully work; sometimes laser stretch mark removal doesn’t work at all. Arming yourself with the appropriate financial and medical information by consulting with a qualified dermatologist can help you avoid potential disappointment.
Each type of laser treatment uses wavelengths of light to treat the layers of affected skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, fractional photothermolysis is not considered “nonwounding.” This process causes fractional damage to small dot-like areas of skin. However, the skin usually heals quickly as if it was never damaged.
For older stretch marks, the excimer laser usually is most effective, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, some women may see results on older marks after pulsed dye laser therapy. In almost all cases, the skin heals quickly, and the patient notices at least some improvement in the appearance of the stretch marks as well as the surrounding undamaged skin.
Women who don’t want to try laser therapy might enjoy some reduction of stretch mark appearance through using prescription Tretinoin cream, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, this treatment is best attempted soon after new stretch marks appear and also is not guaranteed to be as effective as the patient might hope.
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