Written for Stretchmarks1 by Michelle Alford
According to a recent study published in the May 2011 issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal nonablative laser treatments are a safe and effective method for removing stretch marks.
Though nonablative lasers have only recently started being used in stretch mark treatment, they previously showed great success in removing surgical scars. By creating hundreds of microscopic holes in scarred skin, nonablative lasers trigger a wound-healing response in the surrounding skin, resulting in the creation of healthy tissue.
2 to 4 treatments performed in 4 to 6 week intervals
Thicker, firmer, more elastic skin after 1 month
50% improvement after 6 months
No reoccurence of stretchmarks after 18-24 months
Medical professionals in Italy—including a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon, and two members of the Pathology Department of the G. Pascale National Cancer Institute—studied the results of nonablative laser treatment for stretch marks on 51 patients. The stretch marks ranged in duration from 1 to 40 years and were on 9 parts of the body—including the abdomen, hips, and breasts.
Patients underwent 2 to 4 treatments performed in 4 to 6 week intervals. A month after the last treatment, patients showed skin thickening and an increase in collagen and elastin, resulting in firmer, more elastic skin. After 6 months, the researchers found that all patients showed over 50% improvement. When the patients were re-examined 18 to 24 months later, there was no reoccurrence of stretch marks.
Patients suffered from only minor side effects. The most common side effects were swelling and a temporary reddening of the skin. A few patients also experienced temporary skin darkening, but all side effects dissipated with time.
Like with any new technology, long-term efficacy of nonablative laser treatments for stretch marks is not yet known, but early testing is promising.
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