Stretch Marks

About Stretch Mark Treatment

Stretch marks often occur during pregnancy or periods of rapid weight gain as the skin stretches to accommodate increased body volume. Once the skin stretches to its limit, deeper layers beneath the surface may tear causing thin streaks in the outer layer. Certain medications or hormonal changes are also believed to contribute. Once stretch marks occur, they are permanent unless treated.

While stretch marks are harmless and pose no health risk, many consider them unsightly and seek ways to have them lightened or smooth their texture.

At the Gateway Aesthetic Institute & Laser Center, we offer the most effective and advanced methods of stretch mark treatment available today.

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What causes scars and stretch marks?

Pregnancy, body building and weight gain or loss are the leading causes of stretch marks. Once the skin stretches to its limit, deeper layers beneath the surface may tear causing thin streaks to appear in the outer layer. They occur more frequently in areas of skin stress such as the breasts, abdomen, thighs, groin or buttocks. Certain medications or hormonal changes are also believed to contribute. Initially stretch marks are red, but turn white or brown as the skin heals.

How does laser treatment for stretch marks work?

As the laser light passes beneath the skin, it disperses energy to create heat. The targeted heat causes existing collagen beneath the skin to tighten, improving the appearance of stretch marks. In addition, the laser energy encourages new collagen growth that continues to fill in, lighten, and improve the color of stretch marks.

How quick does the treatment work?

It’s important to understand that the treatment of stretch marks is a process. Plan on five or six laser treatments, spaced approximately four weeks apart. Even those who show little initial improvement, often show marked improvement about three to six months later.

Treatment effectiveness may vary with the severity of the stretch marks. Newer, shallower stretch marks respond better than older and deeper scars.

Do you offer other stretch mark treatments besides lasers?

At the Gateway Aesthetic Institute & Laser Center, we have all of the latest methods of stretch mark treatment at our disposal. While treatments with the Long Pulse Nd:YAG laser generally provide the most effective and pleasing results, we may also, if required, use intense pulsed light (IPL) and radio-frequency technology (Thermage) treatments as well.

How do laser treatments compare to creams and gels I see advertised?

Although many over-the-counter creams and gels claim to remove or improve stretch marks, they only treat the top layer of the skin. In contrast, medical lasers treat the stretch mark area from the deeper skin layers where the damage occurred. As new collagen is generated in these layers, it thickens the skin and fills in the stretch marks from below, something creams and gels can’t do. 

Is the treatment painful?

Most patients describe only mild discomfort. Some have described the sensation of the laser as feeling like a rubber band snapping quickly on the skin.

Is there any downtime?

No. All laser treatments for stretch marks are performed in our office as an outpatient procedure with no downtime.

What are the risks of treatment?

After treatment, the skin may temporarily turn a light pink, as with a mild sunburn. Very rare side effects may include blistering, changes in pigmentation, and bruising.

How do I know if my stretch marks can be effectively treated?

Call the Gateway Aesthetic Institute & Laser Center at (801) 595-1600 to schedule a consultation. We are located at the south end of the Gateway Mall at 440 West 200 South, Suite 250, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.

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