How Do I Correct Stretch Marks?

Q:  I am 24 years old, and have suffered from stretch marks since puberty.  Unfortunately, at the time, options for removing fresh "red" stretch marks were not readily available.  I have seen ablative lasers used on older "silver" stretch marks to help blend and improve their appearance and texture.  Is this something your clinic is able to offer? 

Dr. Reichel:  Stretch marks are easiest to treat when they are still new and red in color.  However, there are some resurfacing lasers that can improve texture and help to blend older stretch marks.  We have had good luck in some patients with the Fraxel Restore Laser.  What I recommend is that we perform a series of "test" patch treatments with the Fraxel laser in and area where the stretch marks are the worst.  We repeat the test treatments a total of 2-4 times, 4-6 weeks between each treatment; I like to perform these tests for two reasons.

1.  We want to determine efficacy in the individual patient.  I have found that while we can achieve some improvement in all patients, the percent of improvement varies and I certainly want to make sure this treatment works for you before you invest the money.

2.  We want to be sure that you do no have any adverse reactions.  In some patients, the Fraxel laser can cause a redish-brown discoloration to the skin.  Although this fades over time, it can be very noticeable for many months.  With the test treatments, we can determine if this discoloration is going to happen with your skin.

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