Stretch marks are formed when the skin stretches beyond its natural elasticity, leaving behind a thin line of scar tissue. There are several options to reduce the appearance of stretch marks or remove them completely. Dr. Shapiro and his team can assist in reducing the appearance through a variety of surgical and cosmetic treatments.
Non-invasive options for stretch marks
Skin treatment procedures are less definitive approaches then plastic surgery to stretch marks. They effectively restore an aesthetic appearance to the skin, but do not completely erase the stretch marks. These treatments depend heavily on the body’s natural response to produce collagen when the skin is disrupted. Collagen is a natural protein in the skin that gives it its healthy tautness and flexibility.
The Fraxel laser penetrates tiny areas of the skin with a narrow beam of light energy. This fractionated penetration activates the body’s natural response to create collagen to heal the skin. The new, healthy skin cells effectively stimulate healing in other areas of the skin, like stretch mark scar tissue.
Because Fraxel treats very small parts of the skin, there is little downtime, redness, or swelling in the skin. Fraxel treatments require 2-4 sessions for aesthetic rejuvenation to skin with stretch marks.
The FotoFacial IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment is also a light-based therapy that penetrates the deep layers of the skin to induce collagen production. It is also known as photo-rejuvenation.
IPL is not a laser. This light treatment is delivered in a broadband wave, rather than the thin, intense band of a laser’s energy. The light induces collagen to fill in the skin, and blood vessels below the skin to constrict, reducing redness and uneven pigmentation.
The light leaves the outermost layer of the skin unaffected, so there is very little pain associated with a FotoFacial treatment. These treatments are performed in 3-5 sessions spaced 3 weeks apart.
ReFirme Laser Skin Tightening
This laser treatment for stretch marks combines infrared light with bipolar radio frequency energy to activate collagen production. These combined energies also heat the connective tissues within the skin, causing them to contract. This results in elastic, smooth, healthy-looking skin.
4-5 treatments are necessary for optimal results, with collagen tightening over the next 6-12 months.
Surgical Procedures for Stretch Mark Removal
Abdominoplasty and Mini-Abdominoplasty
The tummy tuck and mini-tummy tuck are two plastic surgery procedures that remove stretch marks permanently from the lower abdomen.
In the procedure, extra fat and skin is removed from the lower abdomen. The skin from the upper abdomen is pulled down to close the gap. Skin with stretch marks is removed completely, while skin in the upper abdomen is flattened out and tightened as it is drawn down toward the pubic region.
A breast lift effectively removes stretch marks completely from the breasts and surrounding skin.
There are several different techniques used to lift the breasts into a more youthful, supported position. Each technique, however, is highly effective in removing stretch marks permanently.
During a breast lift, some skin and/or breast tissue is removed. Skin with stretch marks in it is either taken away completely or pulled closed, tightening the skin, while lifting the breast higher on the chest wall.
A thigh lift will flatten stretch marks around the outside of the thighs, and often in the buttocks and lower flanks.
There are two techniques used for thigh lifts: inner thigh lift and outer thigh lift. An inner thigh lift creates an incision down the groin line, where the thigh meets the pubic area. An outer thigh lift runs up the groin, to the thigh, and around the outer hip. In both procedures, extra skin and fat is removed and the skin pulled up to close the gap.
Stretch marks are physically removed while allowing the skin to tighten, reducing the appearance of remaining stretch marks. Contact the office today to discuss your best treatment options!