Scar and Stretch Mark Removal
Unsightly scars and stretch marks or striae, have presented problems for men and women for centuries. Scars and stretch marks are generally considered unsightly, disfiguring and unacceptable by many people.
What causes scars & stretch marks?
Scars form as part of the skin's healing process whenever multiple layers of skin are injured. The injury may be the result of an accident, lacerations, surgery, a burn or even severe acne.
Stretch marks are caused by a stretching or expanding of our skin at a rate that is faster than our bodies can accommodate it, which results in your skin's collagen and elastin breaking down under stress. When we grow, as children, it is usually at a rate that allows our skin to adjust and grow with us. But if there occurs a significant "growth spurt" children too can develop stretch marks. There are several instances besides pregnancy and growth spurts that can cause us to get stretch marks. They also may develop when we gain weight, start working out, lose weight or develop more muscle mass. Pregnancy, body building and weight loss are the leading causes of stretch marks. Stretch marks occur most frequently in areas of mechanical stress such as the breasts, abdomen, thighs, groin or buttocks. In the beginning, stretch marks are red and may be bluish. They turn silvery white as part of the healing process.
In the past, cryosurgery (freezing), excision, steroid injections and the use of topical creams and ointments were the standard of care for the treatment of scars and stretch marks. The results of these treatments range from fair to minimal, with recurrences commonly seen after many of these treatment options.
Today, Dr. Caglia performs CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing (SmartXide DOT) treatments for patients from Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Garland, Addison, Allen, Frisco, Mesquite, Southlake, Irving, Fort Worth and throughout DFW and Texas area to treat a wide variety of scars and stretch marks.
The laser's (SmartXide DOT CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing) energy cause injury in the dermis initiating the stimulation of the fibroblasts in the skin to begin the formation of new collagen and elastic fibers, helping to decrease the appearance of the stretch mark or scar. The heat generated from the laser also heats and shrinks the existing collagen making the skin tighter and making the stretch mark less apparent. This thickens the skin under the scar until it more closely resembles the surrounding normal skin.
Do laser treatments work for scars and stretch marks?
Our current laser technology (SmartXide DOT Fractionated Laser) 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 - 6 months after the laser treatment was given. Even those treatments that showed little if any initial improvement showed as much as a 50% improvement at their 6-month checkup.
Who are the best candidates for laser scar and stretch mark removal?
The patients that respond the best to laser treatment for scars and stretch marks are those with:
- Fair complexion and light pigmentation
- Shallow scars or stretch marks
- newer or more recent developing stretch marks
Note: Patients with a history of Vitiligo, pigmentation disorders, dark tans or dark pigmentation may require an initial skin test for evaluation prior to treatment.
What else can be used to treat scars and stretch marks?
Scarfade™ and Laserfade™ are silicone gels that when applied to the skin form a micro-thin layer of silicone on the scar. They can be worn under cosmetics and are both easily tolerated by children. The silicone is thought to moisturize the skin, reduce capillary irritation and allow the skin to return to its normal texture and color. These treatments by themselves result in minimal improvement. If patient has raised (keloid) scars injection with a steroid (Kenalog) triamcinalone can flatten the scar to appear more like the surrounding skin.
Do laser scar and stretch mark treatments hurt?
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. Generally a small amount of topical anesthetic ointment is place on the skin 30-60 minutes prior to the procedure.
What should you expect after treatment?
After Dr. Caglia performs a laser treatment, 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 treatment 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 and stretch marks. To enhance the results of your laser treatments your surgeon may recommend the use of tretinoin cream (Retin-A / Tazarac) or a glycolic acid cream prior to and after your laser treatments.
Find out if you could benefit from Scar and Stretch Mark Removal. Schedule your complimentary consultation with our practice today. 972-690-7070
[Page last edited on January 14, 2013]