What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, also called striae, form as a result of quick stretching of the skin, usually seen in pregnancy, quick weight gain, and bodybuilding.

Areas of the body that have high fat content, such as the abdomen, breast and buttocks, are most commonly affected, but any part of the body is susceptible.

The rapid stretching of the skin creates tearing of the deep skin layer – the dermis, which is the portion of the skin that maintains its strength and elasticity. Initially, reddish and bluish discoloration develops along these tears, followed by gradually fading and leaving a whiter appearance than the rest of the skin.

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Treating Stretch Marks

There are many cosmetic stretch mark treatments. Because the tear or injury happens at the deeper levels of the skin, creams, over the counter products and superficial treatments will have no effect on stretch marks; they will only condition the epidermis, or superficial layer of skin.

While radiofrequency combined with pulsed dye laser may show some improvement, the best option for stretch mark treatment is Fractional CO2 Fractional resurfacing, or FX CO2, for short.

FX CO2 delivers micro-columns of laser light to only a fraction of the scar, creating microscopic wounds. The body responds by producing new collagen and skin. Multiple treatments are required, but improvement of up to 75% has been reported in medical journals.

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A tummy tuck, surgery that removes excess skin and fat, may be the preferred treatment for patients that have stretch marks only on the lower abdomen.

Treatments can be done with topical creams, and with minimal to no down time, thanks to the fractional technology utilized. The areas treated may be pink for 48-72 hours, but will return to their previous appearance as new skin is formed.

Cost will vary depending on the areas treated. Dr. Siegel has extensive experience in Laser treatments, and has been using Fractional technology as well as other laser treatments for over a decade.