Today, several new laser techniques are available to treat a wide variety of scars and stretch marks. The laser's energy stimulates the skin under the scar and causes the fibroblasts in the skin to divide again. It also stimulates the production of collagen. This thickens the skin under the scar until it closely resembles the surrounding normal skin.
Most patients do not require anesthetic. Some patients have indicated that they feel a slight tingling when the laser pulses, or that the laser pulse feels like the snap of a rubber band against the skin.
Results vary from patient to patient and may not be immediate. Results from laser scar and stretch mark treatment are generally progressive and may require multiple treatments. If you respond to the first treatment, your second treatment will usually be as good as the first, and the third will be almost as good. About 70% of patients receiving laser treatments for their stretch marks notice a marked improvement. Newer and shallower stretch marks and scars respond better than older and deeper scars ands stretch marks. To enhance the results of your laser treatments your surgeon may recommend the use of tretinoin cream or a glycolic acid cream prior to and after your laser treatments.
Our current laser technology has been shown to improve or eliminate red or raised scars. Recent studies have demonstrated that laser treatments stimulate the production of collagen and improve or eliminate the appearance of stretch marks.
Additional studies show that the appearance of stretch marks continues to improve over a period of time ranging from 3 to 6 months after the laser treatment was given. Even these treatments that showed little if any initial improvement showed as much as a 50% improvement at their 6 month checkup.
The skin in the immediate treatment area may red for up to two weeks, but it does not usually cause any discoloration or other markings on the skin. The low power setting of the laser only stimulates the skin and does not harm any healthy tissue.
The patients that respond the best to laser treatments for scars and stretch marks are those with:
1. Fair completion and light pigmentation.
2. Shallow scars or stretch marks.
Lasers are used to treat a variety of skin conditions including: