What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks (Striae) are often the result of rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes. Collagen and elastic formation is disrupted creating a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched it leads to dermal and epidermal tearing. 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch throughout their pregnancy. Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes which explain why 70% of teenagers have stretch marks. So if you have stretch marks you are not alone!
How does the ResurFACE treatment help?
Fractional ablative laser targets minute sections of the skin with laser light, which penetrate into the tissue, causing small columns of thermal damage to stimulate significant collagen renewal. The skin looks tighter due to immediate collagen shrinkage, and is followed by long-term stimulation of fibroblasts which will produce new collagen over the following months, this helps to rebuild the damaged skin in the stretch marks and new fresh skin is produced. The surrounding, non-affected areas of skin facilitate faster healing; aiding the body’s natural recovery process, giving dramatic results without significant down-time.
Am I suitable for treatment?
Prior to treatment you must first undergo a consultation where details about your medical history are obtained to confirm suitability. Before proceeding with treatment you will also be asked to complete a consent form. Your individual stretch marks will be assessed and a treatment plan put together. Stretch marks usually appear in a red or silver colour, both are treatable, but silver/white stretch marks are more resistant to treatment and may need more treatment sessions.
How is the treatment carried out?
The skin is cleansed and the ResurFACE handpiece is moved over the stretch marked area delivering tiny microscopic laser beams. Typically treatment time varies depending upon the severity of the stretch marks, but will range from 10 to 40 minutes. After treatment the skin is cooled. Protective eye wear must be worn during treatment.
What should I expect from the treatment?
Throughout the treatment you will be able to feel a warm, heating sensation with some mild stinging. The treatment can dramatically improve the appearance of stretch marks and they can fade with each session. After treatment the skin can be quite hot and so cooling packs are often utilised to minimise discomfort. You may also experience a sunburnt sensation for a few hours after treatment and the skin may be red for 1 to 2 days. This is a normal sign that the skin is healing at a deep level. Swelling is likely but minimal, and resolves in 2 to 3 days. As the healing process occurs, your skin may have a ‘bronzed’ appearance that lasts from 3 to 10 days, depending on the treatment level. Your skin will naturally exfoliate and may flake as if you had sunburn.
How many sessions would I need?
Improvement can be evident after the first session, but for optimum results 3 to 6 treatment sessions are advised. Depending upon the severity of your stretch marks, treatment is carried out every 2 to 6 weeks. Both red and silver stretch marks are treatable but silver ones may require more treatment sessions.