If you feel self-conscious about stretch marks, you are not alone. The very words make many people nervous, and they are a very common source of frustration and embarrassment. Living with stretch marks can take the fun out of everything from pool parties to picnics and birthday parties by making you worry about the way you look and what you are wearing.
It’s all too easy to feel like stretch marks are there to stay once you get them, but this isn’t always the case. Today, there are more effective options for dealing with stretch marks and other unsightly issues than ever before thanks to continuing advancements and innovations.
We’re sharing the following guide to help you learn more about stretch marks and the many available treatments, including the state-of-the-art Fraxel Re:Store and Fraxel Dual treatments we offer here at Innovations Medical.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are actually a type of scar that can form when the skin stretches or shrinks quickly. They take the appearance of lines that develop when the elastic fibers of the skin break by being stretched beyond their normal capacity. When this happens, these fibers are unable to regenerate.
Risk factors for stretch marks include family history, fluctuating hormones, and rapid changes in weight.
Who gets stretch marks?
Anyone can get stretch marks.
When you think about who gets stretch marks, pregnant women may be the first group that comes to mind. While pregnancy very often causes stretch marks as a result of weight gain and changes in hormones, other people get stretch marks too.
For example, another common cause of stretch marks is losing weight or gaining weight within a very short period of time. Bodybuilders can also develop them as a result of weightlifting.
Some people develop stretch marks as a result of taking certain medications, especially topical steroids. Even teenagers are prone to stretch marks because of rapid growth.
Treatment Options for Stretch Marks
When seeking to treat stretch marks, it’s important to understand that they are a purely cosmetic problem and do not have a negative effect on your physical health. While some people don’t mind them, many others find them to have a negative impact on their self-esteem and lifestyle.
Popular options for people who decide to take steps to address stretch marks include:
- Topical Creams: Treatments for stretch marks include topical creams containing tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, such as Retin A, to promote collagen growth in the affected areas. Using these products can help reduce the visibility of stretch marks. This treatment is often successful for stretch marks that are very recent. Note: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid topical creams containing tretinoin or retinol.\
- Tattoo Cover Up: Another way some people are covering their stretch marks is by tattooing them. This method uses skin-colored ink to tattoo over striae to make the surface of the skin appear smooth. Tattoos can be used to cover up old stretch marks, and although this method is increasing in popularity, there are some drawbacks. It can be painful for some individuals, take several weeks to heal, and over time, the ink used to cover over the stretch marks can fade.
- CO2 Laser: CO2 laser is also an option available at Innovations Medical to treat stretch marks. The CO2 laser has been shown to yield great improvement in the appearance of stretch marks, but it may leave skin sensitive after treatment and may require a few days of downtime for healing.
One of the most exciting and effective options for improving the appearance of stretch marks on a long-term basis is the Fraxel Laser skin therapy performed by Dr. Bill Johnson and the talented team here at Innovations Medical.
Fraxel Laser Skin Therapy for Stretch Marks
Fraxel Laser skin therapy is ideal for people who want to treat stretch marks. Unlike other approaches, Fraxel Laser works for both new and old stretch marks by stimulating new collagen and healing damaged skin. Fraxel is not painful and most patients heal in a matter of days versus weeks.
Fraxel can also be combined with other treatments to improve results.
Who is an ideal candidate for Fraxel Laser therapy?
Fraxel Restore and Dual treatment is suitable for patients of all ages, genders, and for people with a one to four grade on the Fitzpatrick Skin Pigment Scale. In addition to addressing stretch marks, Fraxel Laser therapy can treat a wide range of issues including sun-damaged skin, aging skin, crepey skin, melasma, irregularly pigmented skin, mild to moderate wrinkles, and acne scarring.
Fraxel Laser Cost Considerations
The cost of Fraxel laser therapy can vary depending on the number of treatments you need, the extent of stretch marks, and your overall treatment and lifestyle goals. Costs for sessions can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000, depending on these and other factors, such as your location, and the individual provider.
We’re committed to meeting the full spectrum of budgets and treatment plans at Innovations Medical. From financing options, to combining treatments, to breaking up procedures, we will work with you to help you find the right balance of value and results.
One of the biggest cost drivers for Fraxel laser therapy is the disposable tip required for the laser. This means that the provider must use a new tip for each session, but the advantage is less risk of skin damage compared to cheaper lasers that don’t use replaceable tips.
Successful results for Fraxel laser therapy are technique dependent. Above all, patients are paying for time, training, and experience. Dr. Johnson and the Innovations Medical team were one of the first providers performing this technique throughout Texas, and have been getting successful results for years.
Contact Innovations Medical to Learn More About the Benefits of Fraxel Restore
If you’re looking to address unsightly stretch marks, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.