Laser treatment is one of the most popular dermatological procedures to treat striae. But it is not the only option. In this post, learn about the alternatives to stretch mark laser treatment that are equally as effective but may be less expensive.
Stretch marks, also called striae, are irregular scars on the skin that affect up to 90% of the population. They look reddish or purple at first. Later, they turn lighter than your skin color making them obvious.
These irregular visible streaks on your body have been limiting your clothing choices as you try to hide them. They are holding you back from feeling sexy and confident.
There is nothing you can do to eliminate the possibility of having them, more so if you are genetically predisposed to acquire them at any stage in your life.
And once you have them, they will be impossible to treat with natural methods.
Plastic surgery such as a tummy tuck gets rid of stretch marks, too. But it is just an effect that goes with it because the skin is removed and not the actual aim of the surgery.
Fortunately, technology and medical innovations aside from plastic surgery and laser treatment are now available to get rid of stretch marks.
To understand more about how these treatments can effectively minimize the appearance of striae, it is good to know the root of the problem first.
How are stretch marks formed?
The layers of the skin are the epidermis (topmost), dermis (middle), and hypodermis (innermost). Pliable and elastic, you can pinch and lift your skin with ease, and it will return to its original appearance.
But when it expands beyond its elastic limit, the dermis layer gets damaged. This causes lesions that look like stripes from the outside.
You can see them mostly in fleshy parts of the body like the abdomen, chest, arms, hips, buttocks, or at the back of your knees.
Pregnancy, puberty, growth spurts, and sudden weight gain and loss are common causes of striae. Certain medical conditions can also lead to having striae as well as usage of steroidal creams.
And while there are more women who experience having striae, men can also have them. If you have family members that have it, then, you will likely have it, too.
Skin elasticity is highly dependent on the amount of collagen that you have. So, when your collagen level drops, you tend to be more prone to developing striae.
How many laser treatments does it take to get rid of stretch marks?
Typically, you need at least four sessions for laser treatments to notice a significant improvement. Some see the effect on the tenth session. It may depend on how old the scars are, how severe they are, and how your skin reacts.
The laser stimulates the skin to heal and regenerate. The treatment also excites the pigment cells making them create more melanin. In effect, the scar diminishes as it blends in with the surrounding skin tones.
It can cost several thousands of dollars per treatment. And be prepared to return for more sessions until you get satisfied with the results.
Note though that the scars may not totally vanish. Although rare, know that there could be side effects like blistering, discoloration, and infection associated with this kind of treatment.
Effective and Non-invasive Alternatives to Stretch Mark Laser Treatment
Here are more choices for you to try and explore if you find laser treatment to be not an option.
This kind of treatment uses tiny needles in the form of a derma roller or a pen. As the roller or pen glides, the needles make tiny indentations on the epidermis.
These tiny scars will then induce healing and allow collagen and elastin production. In effect, the stretch marks lighten, and the skin becomes more supple.
Unlike invasive cosmetic procedures, microneedling has almost no side effects, little downtime, and relatively painless. Hence, it is a good alternative to stretch mark laser treatment.
Just like microneedling, dermabrasion or microdermabrasion works by stimulating the skin to produce collagen. But instead of pricking, this treatment exfoliates the epidermis.
Crystals are sputtered on the surface, rubbed, and removed, taking away dead skin cells. Exfoliating the epidermis encourages the skin to rejuvenate and make the stretch marks less visible.
Dermabrasion is also a non-invasive alternative to stretch mark laser treatment. You may experience a bit of redness too, which is typical when the skin is scrubbed. But it will eventually go away as the skin adjusts even without intervention.
Carboxytherapy, on the other hand, works by inducing better blood circulation in the area by introducing carbon dioxide. Better blood circulation then leads to a better appearance and healthier skin.
Pressurized carbon dioxide is injected beneath the scars. The higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the area attracts the oxygen-carrying blood cells.
This way, more oxygen is supplied in the tissues and the carbon dioxide is taken away by the cells to be later exhaled by the body.
This kind of treatment is also used on cellulite, wrinkles, and even alopecia, a hair loss problem. Inducing better blood circulation in the injected area makes the skin glow, regenerate, and become more elastic.
The process is quite quick. You may expect a little discomfort at the injection site, but right after, you can continue with your normal routine.
STRETCH MARK CAMOUFLAGE TATTOO
All the treatments enumerated above can help improve the appearance of stretch marks in varying degrees of effectiveness. But these can take time as you may need multiple sessions.
Laser treatment works well with new scars but may not be as effective for old scars. Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo offers a good alternative if you have white stretch marks that are flat and are at least two years old.
This kind of treatment involves injecting the stretch marks with pigment that matches your natural skin tone. This makes the streaks invisible.
A single session of the stretch mark camouflage tattoo will free you from the insecurities of having striae for up to 5 or 7 years if you follow the after-care procedure. You can avail of touch-ups from the fifth year onwards to maintain it.
Expect to experience a little discomfort. But immediately after, you can return to your normal routine. Hence, this is one of the best alternatives to stretch mark laser treatment.
Related post: Tummy Tuck Scar Cover Up Tattoos
Invest in Your Skin
While laser treatment could be less costly than plastic surgery, it can cost more than the alternatives that are equally effective.
And if you cannot afford to undergo several sessions and want relatively quicker results, go for the stretch mark camouflage tattoo.
Not sure if you are a good candidate? Book a free consultation with Studio Conceal now!