If you have stretch marks, you know it’s tempting to grasp for any product that offers to improve them. Maybe you’ve worked hard to lose weight and get in shape, but stretch marks don’t let you forget how you once looked. Or maybe you were blessed with a child, but those white-lined reminders of the changes your body went through remain.
Until now, stretch marks are something we’ve just had to deal with. Nothing has proved effective, regardless of product promises. Finally, (finally!) we have something that actually works. The Icon Laser Procedure deals with the problem and produces results that last.
How Does it Work?
Stretch marks obviously form because skin has been overstretched, but the reason they stay is because of a breakdown in collagen. What stretch marks need is new tissue. In this procedure, fractional laser light pulses through the skin to break down stretch marks. It also triggers new tissue production. The new collagen leaves the stretch mark smoother in texture and reduces its appearance on the skin.
What Should I Expect?
This procedure doesn’t take long and offers immediate recovery. In fact, you should be ready for whatever your day holds as soon as you leave the office. We begin the process with a consultation. In about 30 minutes, we gather information about you and your expectations so we can make sure this is the right treatment option for you. We want you to be happy with the results and a consultation helps us help you.
Once we begin an actual treatment, we apply a topical numbing cream to the marks, then trace each stretch mark with the laser. With the cream, there’s a low pain level and no need for prescription medications. If the stretch marks are highly concentrated in one area or the patient has a low pain tolerance, we can consider a stronger pain medication. Once treatments begin, patients can expect 3-6 treatments, one month apart to see their desired results.
What Doesn’t Work?
There’s always a new cream, oil, or natural remedy for stretch marks. The fact is these stretch marks aren’t going away that easily. The Icon Laser Procedure is one of the few options that produces drastic results.
Why don’t the creams work? Because topical products don’t penetrate the layers of skin and address the root of the issue. If a cream somehow manages to penetrate, it only reaches the epidermal (surface) layer of skin. Sometimes a cream will produce slight results, but they don’t last. It’s basically putting a bandaid on the problem, but leaving the real issue unchecked.
The fractional laser deals with the source of the scar. It goes into the deep dermis to elicit collagen and elastin production. In order for the scars to actually heal, they need new skin cells which is exactly what collagen and elastin bring about.
What Type of Results Should I Expect?
Because new skin cells are forming, the stretch marks soon become smaller and thinner. There may be some immediate redness after each procedure, but that subsides. The laser smooths the texture of the mark, so your skin should feel as it once did.
As a final recommendation, you should complete the healing process by having a photo facial. Even once the skin heals, it may still lack the right pigment in the scarred area. A photo facial deals with any remaining coloration issues. Targeting both pigments, red (hemoglobin-based) and brown (melanin-based), this takes your skin the final step closer to its original state.
Finally, there’s a treatment to reduce or even eliminate the unsightly scars that so often leave you frustrated and embarrassed. Contact us if you’re ready to eliminate stretch marks with just a few visits to the office.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.