Do you suffer from stretch marks? Do you wish to get rid of them? If so, you may wish to consider laser stretch mark removal to reduce or eliminate these lines and marks, which can leave an unsightly appearance.
Stretch marks are commonly found over the tummy area, but they can also appear almost anywhere else on the body including over the thighs, hips, arms, buttock area, calves, knees, and over the lower back. They usually appear as bands of parallel lines or narrow narrow streaks and stripes on your skin. They are also often formed during pregnancy, called as striae gravidarum, especially during the third trimester of birth due to the rapid stretching of the skin as well as sudden weight gain. Striae mean stretch lines and gravidarum means they occur as a result of pregnancy. They appear initially over the abdomen, then on thighs, breasts and inguinal area.
These lines can be notoriously difficult to treat and they leave an unsightly appearance that may cause one to face emotional and psychological distress. They are a significant cosmetic concern which can pose issues with self-image and confidence. Stretch marks occur in a variety of colours and shapes. They can range from white to purple, and be as short as a few centimetres to several inches. If you are distressed by your stretch mark problem, maybe it's time to take an effective approach to treat it!
Returning to unblemished skin with perfectly smooth legs and buttocks is not only a dream. With Laser Stretch Mark Removal, this is now your reality.
How does it form?
Stretch marks are formed by the rapid stretching of the skin on the epidermis (upper layer of the skin) that causes the dermis (lower layer of the skin) to tear as it cannot grow as rapidly. As the skin continually expands and tears, the normal production of collagen is disrupted by the skin’s increased elasticity. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, puberty, hormones consumed during bodybuilding or hormone replacement therapy can contribute to increased fragility of the skin that make it prone to tearing.
It has been also shown that it is caused by the stretching of the skin combined with an increase of cortisone levels in the body. As such, fibroblast are prevented from producing collagen and elastin which are necessary to keep the skin looking tight and smooth. As stretching occurs, the skin fibers breaks and tiny tears develop thus allowing the underlying blood vessels and broken capillaries to be seen from the surface. Due to the lack of collagen and elastin to support beneath the skin, the stretched skin leads to tearing in the dermis and thus, stretch marks are formed.
It is well known that there are a whole host of creams are available to help prevent stretch marks. A lot of our patients have been trying different types of creams with ingredients ranging from cocoa butter to olive oil. However, once the stretch marks are formed, there is no good cream available to get rid or remove them. Hence, at The Clifford Clinic in Singapore, we have perfected the laser treatment for stretch marks and established a unique method in stretch marks removal so it can be done in the best way possible that is gentle and extremely effective.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal - The Treatment
Using our latest Edge Fractional CO2 treatment and Fraxel Dual laser, in combination with vascular laser V-Beam Perfecta and the Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers, we are confident in treating all types of stretch marks, whether they are white, brown, or purple. We can also treat stretch marks of any ages, from the very recent occurrence to stretch marks from your pregnancy many years ago. One of the critical success factors in laser stretch mark removal is the combination of several lasers. We have found that it's important to have many different modalities to treat the different components. For example, a purple-reddish stretch mark with thin, papery skin requires a combination of two treatments. The V-Beam Perfecta is used to treat the purple-red stretch marks while Edge Fractional CO2 laser treats the thin skin problem.
Sometimes, all 3 lasers are needed to treat complex cases. In simpler cases, only one type of laser is needed. Our doctors at The Clifford Clinic in Singapore will be able to advise you on how to treat stretch marks and which laser will be needed for the stretch marks removal treatment that best suits your needs.
How Stretch Mark Removal Laser Works
Stretch marks are caused when the skin rapidly stretches. This can be due to sudden weight gain, excessive muscle building or skin tension from pregnancy. The affected skin area will become thin, flattened and pink, and may feel itchy before the stretch marks become visible. The stretched skin becomes thinner and the translucent epidermis allows the underlying blood vessels to show through, which leads to purple-coloured stretch marks. Purple stretch marks respond well to V-beam laser. Over time, older stretch marks turn brown with hyperpigmentation and may stand out from your natural skin tone. These brown pigments can be treated with the Q-switch laser.
The third stage of stretch mark evolution is when the marks turn white/silvery. This is the typically permanent appearance of the stretch marks if they are not treated, where the blood vessels are constricted and leave the underlying fat tissue visible. At this stage, it is necessary to use the Edge fractional CO2 laser and the Fraxel Dual Laser to treat the stretch marks.
The choice of laser and the technology is critical at this stage. Earlier stretch marks treatment with older technology lasers resulted in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that would remain even after six to twelve months. Take a look at the hyperpigmentation caused by older lasers at this blog post to understand why we needed to invest in the latest technologies to prevent this complication from happening. The latest laser technology using the Edge Fractional CO2 laser and Fraxel Dual are able to treat these stretch marks effectively without causing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as the skin on the body takes longer to heal than the face and is more sensitive to inflammation.
FAQs About Laser Stretch Mark Removal
Why do we have stretch marks?
Stretch marks are due to skin that is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. This is caused by sudden weight gain, especially during pregnancy. When the skin is stretched, the underlying collagen infrastructure is weakened and inflamed, causing it to form streaks on the skin from the tearing of the dermis.
Do stretch marks go away?
Mild stretch marks can sometimes improve by themselves and fade over time due to the body’s healing process. However, if the stretch mark has been there for a while, then most likely it will not go away without some form of laser stretch mark treatment. Severe stretch marks can be significantly improved and be less noticeable, but may not completely vanish.
Is it normal for teens and men to get stretch marks?
Yes, teens and men can get stretch marks as a result of growth spurts and sudden weight gain that expand the body more quickly than the skin can adjust. It is a common misconception that stretch marks only affect women.
What kind of stretch marks can your lasers treat?
Our lasers can treat all kinds of stretch marks, including red, brown and white stretch marks.
Do all women get stretch marks after pregnancy?
Not all women get stretch marks after pregnancy. Some women may get more than others. It depends on the individual’s ability for the skin to stretch to accommodate pregnancy weight gain as well as other factors such as physical health and hormones.
How can stretch marks be prevented?
If a woman takes good care of her skin during pregnancy, such as drinking water regularly to keep the skin elastic and adaptable and moisturise the skin daily, as well as being able to control excessive pregnancy weight gain (this should be managed together with the gynaecologist), it is possible to reduce your likelihood of developing stretch marks after pregnancy.
What are the laser stretch mark removal complications?
While laser treatments for stretch marks are effective to lessen the appearance, the main complication which arises is hyperpigmentation. The skin on the abdomen and thighs heals much slower than skin on the face, and also develops pigmentation much easier. Therefore, more advanced lasers are needed with highly refined beam sizes to reduce those complications.
Removal of stretch marks with lasers has never been easier. With the Edge Fractional CO2 laser for white stretch marks and the V-beam treatment for those pink ones, treating these stretch marks has never been easier.
Give us a ring at 6532 2400 to schedule an appointment with our doctors to find out more.