Some of the greatest accomplishments in life come with unexpected consequences. If you’ve given birth to a new baby you may have noticed some annoying stretch marks. Anyone can develop these dreaded stripes that physicians call “striae.” Men and women, adults and teens, even children can get them.
Many women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, but other conditions also cause them. Rapid weight gain can cause them and so can periods of rapid growth in children and muscle development. Even certain medications can cause stretching of the skin. Stretch marks are actually caused by small tears in the middle of the three layers of your skin. They happen when collagen is damaged and breaks down. Collagen is a substance in your skin that helps to provide it with structure and support. Sometimes stretch marks gradually fade over time, but not always. Sometimes they become more prominent, almost thick and heavy like scar tissue and can cause embarrassment and lack of self-confidence, depending on where they’re located. They can occur just about anywhere: on the abdomen, the thighs, the buttocks, the hips, breasts, upper arms and even on the lower back and the neck.
Laser treatments, especially Fraxel laser treatments are one of the best ways to deal with stretch marks. Fraxel has been approved by the Federal Food and Drug administration for treating a variety of skin conditions. Conditions like sun-damaged skin, surgical scars, wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation problems have all be successfully treated with Fraxel.
Laser treatments create thousands of miniscule cuts within the different layers of the skin in the area being treated and treatment with Fraxel is very effective. The number of treatments required is individualized and depends on your own unique situation but in most cases, at least four treatments are recommended.
The treatments don’t require a lot of time out of your day and are simple to complete. Your doctor will thoroughly cleanse the area to be treated and apply an anesthetic. You will wear protective eye wear throughout the procedure. Your physician will move the laser over the stretch marks, making sure you’re comfortable throughout your treatment.
Your skin may feel slightly sunburned following the procedure. The skin surrounding your stretch marks may be reddened, irritated and swollen. Some people experience bruising, but these side effects only last a few days. Following treatment it’s very important to follow your doctor’s instructions and to avoid sun exposure. Treatments are usually scheduled at least two to three weeks apart.