Stretch Mark Removal Overview
Stretch marks, also called striae, form when the skin quickly expands. This is typically seen in pregnancy, rapid weight gain, and bodybuilding. Areas with naturally higher fat content, such as the abdomen, breast, and buttocks, are most commonly affected, but any part of the body is susceptible. Stretch marks form because the rapid stretching of the skin causes tearing in the deep skin layer – the dermis, which is the portion of the skin responsible for strength and elasticity. Initially, reddish and bluish discoloration develops along these tears. These marks gradually fade in color, leaving behind a whiter appearance than the rest of the skin.
Since about 80 percent of people have stretch marks, and many of them wish to diminish the appearance of these streaks, there are many cosmetic stretch mark treatments available. You can probably walk into your local spa or even drug store and find a variety of creams, over-the-counter medications, and superficial treatment options. However, since the essential tear or injury that causes stretch marks happens at the deeper levels of the skin, these so-called “remedies” will have no real effect on stretch marks. All they can do is condition the epidermis, or the superficial layer of skin.
In light of this, plastic surgeon Dr. Michel Siegel takes a different, high-tech approach to removing stretch marks. While radiofrequency combined with pulsed dye laser may show some improvement, he has found in over a decade of experience that the best option for stretch mark treatment is Fractional CO2 resurfacing, or FX CO2 for short. If you’re interested in this successful, state-of-the-art treatment, contact Houston stretch mark removal master, Dr. Siegel.
The Stretch Mark Removal Process
The first step in stretch mark removal treatment is meeting with Dr. Siegel. During this appointment, he will examine your stretch marks, discuss your desired results, answer any questions you have about this process, and design a customized stretch mark removal treatment plan for you. In the course of this conversation, Dr. Siegel will also go over alternative treatments. There is no fixed amount of time for this consultation. Dr. Siegel will spend as long as it takes to understand your needs and make you feel comfortable proceeding with your stretch mark removal.
Stretch mark removal at our Houston office is minimally invasive, so it does not require much preparation. Dr. Siegel will give you personalized instructions to ensure you are completely ready for your treatment.
Dr. Siegel performs laser stretch mark removal for optimal outcomes. FX CO2 delivers micro-columns of laser light to only a fraction of the mark, creating microscopic wounds. The body responds by producing new collagen and skin. Multiple treatments are required, but medical journals report up to 75 percent improvement in stretch marks with FX CO2. This procedure typically requires only topical anesthetic in the form of a numbing cream, thanks to the fractional technology utilized. The specific techniques Dr. Siegel uses to remove your stretch marks will depend on their type, placement, and size, as well as your aesthetic concerns and medical needs. These factors will also influence the duration of your treatment and the number of appointments you require. No matter what your individualized treatment plan entails, Dr. Siegel will work carefully, safely, and effectively to deliver the best possible results for your stretch mark removal.
You should be able to return to work immediately following your stretch mark removal treatment. The areas treated may be pink for 48-72 hours, but will return to their previous appearance as new skin is formed. Dr. Siegel will determine when you should schedule your next treatment for ideal results.
How many sessions are required for stretch mark removal?
Since each patient’s stretch marks are different, there is no one clear answer to this question. Dr. Siegel will determine the number of sessions required for your unique stretch mark removal process. Typically, this can range between three and five appointments, but it could be more or less depending on your specific circumstances. Dr. Siegel will tell how you many sessions you’ll most likely need at your initial consultation so you know what to expect.
What is the best laser for stretch mark removal?
Dr. Siegel has extensive experience in laser treatments. He has been using fractional technology, as well as other laser treatments, for over a decade. While there are many devices and treatment options on the market for laser stretch mark removal, Dr. Siegel has found that FX CO2 (fractional CO2 resurfacing) is the best laser type and method.
Does stretch mark removal work on dark skin?
Although results may vary, stretch mark removal can be effective on dark skin. Your complexion is a factor in the design of your treatment. Dr. Siegel will take the color of your stretch mark and the surrounding skin into account when customizing your stretch mark removal procedure. His goal is to deliver the best possible outcomes to all of our patients.