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Fractional Laser for Stretch Marks

Stretchmarks are an everlasting reminder of weight gain or loss and though they can't be completely removed, they can now be treated with fractional CO2 lasers.

We are all too familiar with the dreaded stretch marks. They show up on the skin after weight gain or loss and many moms are afflicted after pregnancy. Though they can't be completely cleared, they can be treated so as to be less noticeable. As recently discussed by Dr. Drew Ordon on The Doctors, fractional resurfacing uses laser energy to stimulate collagen growth and help raise the skin in the depressed areas of the skin to minimize the appearance of stretch marks.

woman pinches belly

Fractional resurfacing comes in many brand name forms including {!Fraxel re:pair, | fraxel} ActiveFX and SmartXide Dot Therapy just to name a few. They are the next level of skin treatment evolved from the standard CO2 laser. The key difference between the two is that CO2 lasers use a large beam of light to penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen growth. It treats deep wrinkles, age spots, scars and more - but can be painful and requires more down time than fractional lasers.

Fractional resurfacing is different because rather than using one large beam, it uses several smaller columns of light. These smaller columns of light leave small untreated areas between them, resulting in quicker healing. It treats many of the same conditions as traditional CO2 lasers, but it requires less down time and many patients report that treatment is less painful. CO2 lasers are however a more aggressive treatment and may be more appropriate for deeper wrinkles or darker age spots.

Your aesthetic provider can advise you as to which treatment is most appropriate for your skin type and desired result. Lasers may not be the best treatment for your stretch marks; it truly depends on your skin type and the extent of the stretch marks. If not done carefully, the treatment can leave your skin worse off than before.