There may be hope for stretch marks. Dr Sylvia Ramirez, medical and scientific director of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, shares three innovative treatments to help banish those unsightly scars.
Based on your experience, what are some of the best treatments for stretch marks?
It’s important to say that there are no large randomised clinical studies that evaluate treatments of stretch marks. Many published studies are limited to subjective evaluation of a treatment or topical medication, and many of the treatments described below are also based on our clinic experience.
When the stretch marks are still new (red), intensive moisturisation of the lesions and the use of vitamin C, fruit acids, retinols, and other pharmaceuticals have been shown to have some improvement. Some laser procedures described below are also helpful in facilitating the improvement and healing of the stretch marks.
As the stretch marks turn white, we will do a combination of treatments:
1.) Laser Genesis, an FDA approved treatment that has no downtime which can gradually build collagen, improves skin texture as well as the appearance of stretch marks with repeated treatments. In a study with this laser, 55% of patients reported excellent improvement.
2.) Trilipo, which is a form of radiofrequency treatment with clinical studies demonstrating collagen building without downtime. In a study evaluating the effectiveness of this system on stretch marks, up to 75% improvement in stretch marks were described.
3.) Dermapen®, which is a microneedling device that creates new collagen and elastin. The “skin needling” breaks the fibrous and uneven scar tissue and stimulates growth of new tissue. We typically combine this procedure with Laser Genesis as our experience suggests collagen building with multiple approaches provides better results.
Are these treatments suitable for everyone?
These treatments are all US FDA- cleared safe and effective for all skin types. However, like other treatments, there are several contraindications / precautions necessary particularly for pregnant patients.
How many treatments are recommended for good results?
The number of recommended treatments will vary on the extent, age and depth of the stretch marks. We will generally start with two to five sessions of the Dermapen, combined with a similar number of sessions for the Laser Genesis. For Trilipo, clinical studies suggest six or more weekly sessions. The good thing is that these treatments have minimal or no downtime, and are generally comfortable procedures.
Visit Cutis Medical Laser Clinics online, for more information.