“Stretch marks” or striae are perhaps the most challenging aesthetic condition we face as dermatologists. They begin when collagen is damaged from rapid changes in the skin, either expansion (weight or muscle gain) or contraction (weight loss). There are a number of over-the-counter lotions and potions that take advantage of the desperation felt by so many patients unable to improve their appearance. None have been proven in double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trials.
For red striae, we use our pulse-dye laser that emits a frequency of light absorbed by the color red. This acts to heat and shrink small capillaries in the stretch mark, making them less noticeable over 2-3 sessions. For white striae, we use our carbon dioxide laser designed to reactivate stretched-out collagen fibers. The dermal response is almost immediate as thicker, heartier collagen bundles replace old, friable tissue. This is a one-time treatment that does wonders for unwanted stretch marks. For those looking to avoid stretch marks in the first place, keep skin hydrated both with water intake and topical emollients like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream.