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Stretch marks are scars in irregular linear shapes. They appear as a result of the excessive stretching of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Overstretching causes the tearing of these fibers or of a part of them and the change in their structure as well as in the structure of the tissue they form. The damaged fibers are replaced by connective tissue without elasticity and a stretch mark is the visual result. Stretch marks can be new (appeared recently, within 6 months) and old. Immediately after their appearance their color is pink- purple and they are usually on the level of the surrounding skin. As the time goes by, their characteristics change, and old stretch marks become off color with a light silvery hue. They are also sagging, and the skin over them is wrinkled and parchment like.

Stretch marks occur due to some conditions related to rapid change in the volume of a certain skin area. Such changes most often include pregnancy, dramatic weight gain, adolescent growth spurts, hormonal disorders, taking some medications (systemic corticosteroids, antidepressants, etc.). The most common places where stretch mars appear are the abdomen, thighs, hips, breasts, underarms. So far, there has not been developed a method of removing stretch marks completely. However, aesthetic dermatology offers some treatments that can visibly improve their appearance. Such a treatment is micro-needling laser therapy.

What is micro-needling?

Micro-needling is a relatively new procedure performed by using a device having micro-needles and a container. The needles are extremely fine and short. They penetrate different skin layers depending on the treated zone and the degree of damage. The manipulation provokes many micro-punctures that destroy the old tissue and stimulate the formation of new collagen and elastin.

The procedure starts with cleaning the skin and applying local anesthetic cream on the area that is to be treated. Numbness occurs after 45-60 minutes and the manipulation can be started. The process of working with the device has to meet certain requirements sterile of sterility. The needles used are changed before every new procedure. Into a special container, active substances are added in order to facilitate the process of the recovery of normal skin structure. Rotating, the tip goes through all the zones that are to be treated. It is a little painful but the pain is bearable. The procedure lasts about an hour. Its duration depends on the size of the treated skin area. Immediately after the treatment, the skin is red and bruised. Healing usually happens within several days.

What should you know before the procedure?

What is important for the treatment of stretch marks is the early start of the therapy in order to achieve better results. Some creams, oils, lotions and other products used for treating stretch marks have mostly a prophylactic effect. They can be used as supplements to the main therapy.

Before performing micro-needling, the area that will be treated is supposed to be anaesthetized for as long time as it is necessary.

Due to the fact that the procedure causes numerous micro-traumas because of the punching with the needles of the device, there must not be an active inflammation process on the treated skin or another type of infection (acne, herpes, etc.) on the treated area .

The results of the procedure

Micro-needling is a procedure that provokes skin regeneration from the inside outwards by stimulating the formation of new elastin and collagen. As a result, the skin changes its characteristics: stretch marks are reduced or they disappear, and the texture of the treated area becomes smoother, elastic and rejuvenated.

How many procedures are needed?

A treatment plan that can be recommended includes at least 3 procedures every 3rd-4th week. Having more treatments is not risky and the number of treatments depends on the patient’s individual reaction and on the seriousness of the initial defects. There is not a visible result after the first procedure but such a result appears after the second procedure.

What combination can be recommended for achieving better results?

For achieving an optimal effect of treating the stretch marks, micro-needling can be combined with radio-frequency lifting or plasma therapy.

What is the procedure of laser treatment of stretch marks like?

The laser treatment of stretch marks is a procedure that has already proved its potential of combining effectiveness and safety. With M22 platform and ResurFX module, Lumenis laser system affects stretch marks and makes the skin texture smooth regardless of how old the defect is, or what its depth and color are. There is a scanner incorporated in the laser. It makes it possible to choose one out of 600 different combinations of shape, size and density of the rays.

The procedure starts with cleaning the skin. It is not necessary to apply local anesthetic on the zone. The tip of the device gets in contact with the treated skin and an impulse laser ray is released afterwards.The whole area of the defect is treated in this way. The procedure can be of different duration depending on the size of the damaged area. It can be a little painful but the pain is bearable. Just after the treatment, the skin is red and a little swollen. However, the skin regains its normal condition within several days.

What should you know before the procedure?

ResurFX is a module which helps achieve a non-ablative fraction in-depth treatment of the skin. This means that the energy of the laser ray penetrates the skin by altering treated areas and healthy areas of the skin. It reaches middle and bottom derma and heat the zones it goes through and thus re-shapes collagen and elastin. This approach of treatment can be applied to scars of different origin: acne, surgery, burns.

Laser procedure does not require any special preparation of the skin. Nevertheless, a preliminary consultation is recommended with regard to discussing some specific parameters and expected results.

Contraindication to the treatment: use of Retin A acid, system retinoids, antibiotics of the tetracycline group, oral contraceptives, dermabrasion, pregnancy, herpes virus infection, acute dermatitis, malignant tumors, chemical peeling procedures done 4 weeks prior to the laser procedure.

Results of the procedure

The laser impact affects the stretch marks and smooths the skin texture by replacing the damaged tissue with a stronger and more elastic one.

How many procedures are needed?

The results of the laser procedure are not achieved instantly. A series of several procedures is necessary – at least, 3 within a month or a month and a half. The number of the procedures depends on the reactiveness of the skin, the number of the stretch marks as well as their depth and the time of their occurrence.

What is it combined with for a better effect?

For achieving an optimal effect, laser procedure can be combined with radio-frequency lifting or plasma therapy.


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