Stretch Mark Treatments | Westchester Center for Dermatology
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Using Light-Based Treatments to Help Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Published on March 31, 2017

Are stretch marks stretching your patience? These unsightly visible marks and lines can make it difficult for you to wear bathing suits or other fashionable styles of clothing that show off your skin.

Why Do Stretch Marks Appear?

Stretch marks usually appear on the hips, buttocks, abdomen, thighs, arms, breasts, and near the navel. Also called striae, stretch marks are tears that form when the layer of the skin called the dermis is stretched rapidly. This stretching occurs as a result of conditions like:

• Pregnancy
• Weight gain
• Adolescence
• Body building

During puberty, girls and boys can rapidly begin to accumulate more muscle and fat, stretching the skin. Body builders also face the problem due to expansion of muscles.

During the third trimester of pregnancy, there is also increased stress hormone production and decrease of a skin health protein called collagen. Collagen helps keep the skin taut and shapely.

How Do Light-Based Treatments Work?

Light-based therapy uses infrared light to effectively treat stretch marks. The infrared light wavelengths are powerful enough to penetrate into the deeper layers of the stretched skin.

This light can help stimulate collagen production, which can address the broken dermis layer by helping in new tissue growth. The light only targets the stretch marks and does not affect other healthy cells around it.

The number of sessions required for each patient depends on the extent of their stretch marks, but typically, around 15 to 20 sessions may be needed to erase the stretch marks. Different wavelengths and duration of treatment can also vary based on the extent of the stretch marks. The light treatment also makes the skin softer and smoother in appearance. The results are long lasting.

What Are the Steps Involved?

You should first make an appointment with a dermatologic surgeon. A detailed examination of the skin where the stretch marks have appeared will be performed, and your overall health and medication history will be taken.

You should not use harsh lotions, undergo chemical peels, sunbathe, or get waxing done for a period of time before and after the procedure. Strong perfumes and chemicals should also be avoided for a time after the treatment.

What Are the Advantages of Light-Based Treatments?

Light-based treatments offer many benefits over other treatments for stretch marks:

• Non-invasive procedure (no surgery or needles required)
• No toxicity involved
• No downtime or elaborate preparations
• Healing is faster
• No allergic responses (unlike with certain creams)
• Stimulation of collagen formation and new tissue growth
• Improved blood circulation in the area treated
• Healthier skin without inflammation
• No need for pain medications
• Improved immunity
• Can have positive effects on mood and seasonal depression, as the treatment echoes a day out in the sun

Reduce Stretch Marks Today

At the Westchester Center for Dermatology, we offer light-based treatment for stretch marks, along with a wide variety of other cosmetic treatment options. Arrange a consultation with experienced dermatologic surgeon Dr. David Kriegel to find out more about the best treatments for your aesthetic issues. For a consultation, contact us today.