Stretch Marks - Patients ask, Dr. Ringpfeil answers
Please feel free to use the blog below to share information about Stretch Marks or to ask Dr. Franziska Ringpfeil a question that might be of interest to others.
Treatments: Massage and exercise, pulsed dye laser (PDL) for redness, picosecond laser for dark color, 1540 nm laser or CO2 laser for texture.
Stretch marks are caused by rapid expansion of the skin through a growth spurt or rapid weight gain. Long term treatment with oral and topical steroids may also predispose people to stretch marks.
Twice daily massaging of the affected area with any moisturizer paired with toning exercises prevents stretch marks in most individuals. If you are pregnant, please check with your obstetrician if toning exercises are safe for you.
Although several devices have been approved for the treatment of stretch marks, not all results are fully reproducible. Redness in fair skinned individuals can reliably be reduced by a short series of pulsed dye laser treatments. Darkness in stretchmarks might respond to picosecond laser toning regardless of ethnicity. Texture may respond to non-ablative fractional 1540 nm laser treatments (formerly known as Starlux 1540) and, in fair skinned individuals, to fractional CO2 laser tightening.
I have stretchmarks on my breasts and have for years now. They are not red, but they are visible and make me extremely insecure. I was wondering if you know of any topical solutions that would b able to to lessen them.
Unfortunately, I am unaware of any topical that can lessen them and even in-office procedures can only correct them to a certain degree.
I’m a 31 year-old African American woman with a caramel complexion. I’ve had stretch marks covering the very front of my abdomen for over 10 years due to childbirth. I would like to know what are my best options for getting rid of them or at the very least minimizing them to the point where they don’t appear quite as noticeable.
Stretchmarks are small scars under the surface of the skin. The Palomar Starlux 1540 device has received FDA approval for stretchmarks. It seems to work best in most recent compared to long-time stretchmarks and can reduce their appearance by 75%. We do not operate the Palomar Starlux 1540 because of its relatively narrow spectrum of use.
I’m a 24 yr old African American woman, interested in removing my stretch marks I’ve had them since puberty all over my body. The area I would like to focus on are my arms, I’ve been reading about Fraxel lazer treatments as a possible method to reduce the appearance of my stretch marks. I’m not sure if that’s the best option but I can tell you the stretch marks I have are pretty deep because I’ve had them for at least 10 years so I think I need a rather aggressive treatment plan. Do you think Fraxel is a good place to start for treatment ? Or do you have any suggestions as to where I should begin?
Stretchmarks represent scars of the connective tissue that occur when growths is rapid, such as in puberty or during a pregnancy, or after exposure to steroids. Tightening lasers and certain intensed pulsed light devices (Starlux) can slightly improve stretchmarks but there is not yet a remarkable treatment for stretchmarks. Fraxel or DeepFX are safe for your skin tone but may take several treatments to produce visible results. These methodologies are worth considering if modest results will satisfy you and you have no financial restrictions. It may be worthwhile waiting for some time until better or less costly technology becomes available.
Hello, I have excessive stretch marks on my outter thighs and legs and buttocks. So from my waist down to my buttocks to the bottoms of my calves. I’m not able to show my legs because of embarrassment. They are over 10 years old and are white and long. I’ve had them since around puberty and they trickled down my legs and have gotten worse. I’ve hid them for years. I’m now 20 years old and want them officially gone so I can live my youth. Idc the price all I want is to take the needed steps to rid them. Hoping someone out there with some knowledge can help. I have been doing some research on surgery because creams I don’t have time for. Its time for a change. I live in Philadelphia and idk of I should see a dermetologist or some spa that claims they do laser treatment.
Stretchmarks continue to be difficult to treat despite the advances in laser technology. The most promising device to improve stretch marks is the Palomar Starlux 1450. You may be able to contact Palomar to find out who in your area operates this device.
Hi Dr. Ringpfeil,
I am a male in my late 20s with stretch marks I have had for a little over ten years. They are on my arms and hips. The ones on my arms appear whitish at some angles but at others turn red and shimmer in the light. The ones on my hips are closer to red and both you can easily feel an indent in the skin.
How much can laser treatment help me? Also are there any non surgical products you recommend for my situation? Dermaroller, creams, etc? I am fairly local but would much rather meet with you directly than an associate. I can’t imagine it would take more than 10-15 minutes. Thanks
Red stretch marks can be treated by pulsed dye laser. After one or several treatments stretch marks blend in with surrounding skin but will continue to feel indented. The Starlux 1540 may be beneficial for stretch marks of all colors. I have no personal experience with this device and we do not currently provide this technology but online pictures are impressive. Fractional CO2 laser helps with the texture of the stretch marks. Whereas the pulsed dye laser and Starlux 1540 have no considerable downtime other than redness or bruising for several days, the CO2 laser retexturing goes along with significant redness for several weeks. In my experience, a Dermaroller is better at repairing hypertrophic rather than atrophic (indented) scars. There are not yet any topical substances that repair scars but peptides may be delivered into the skin after dermaroller treatments and may be efficacious. They are currently mostly used to prevent scars.
I am dark skinned and I have stretch marks on my inner thighs, they appear to be dark( they don’t look red or dark red). I don’t know if it’s because of the color of my skin. I am prone to keloid scaring; I have a keloid scare on my thigh since I was about five yrs old and it’s pretty obvious. my stretch marks are visible from about 15ft away or even further. it has been about 4 months now since I have them and would like to know if there is any way I can get rid of these embarrassing marks.
Glad that you clarified the color. You would need a medical evaluation by a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis (stretch marks vs hypertrophic scar vs
keloid) and to see how they can be lessened.
I am 20 yrs old and 5 months ago I started seeing really dark stretch marks on my inner thighs; they are hard to look at , I can’t wear anything above my knees without them showing. I have a vacation plan to the Bahamas in 3 months from now and I would like to know if there is any way I can get rid of them.
I assume by “dark” you refer to dark red. A brief series of pulsed dye laser treatments work well for red stretch marks. It is important to know that stretch marks are small scars in the second layer of the skin and sun exposure should be minimized in order to avoid contrast formation even after the redness has resolved. The last treatment before your trip may be 4 weeks before departure because sun exposure should be avoided 4 weeks after each pulsed dye laser treatment. You may book a complimentary consultation with one of our aestheticians. Please refer to your blog when scheduling the appointment. We will be giving you a specific price quote when we see the extend of stretch marks to be treated.https://www.ringpfeildermatology.com/blog/wp-admin/#comments-form
I have had a problem with stretch marks for a very long time, they are white and have always been. I was wondering, do you have any suggestions as far as of a drugstore cream that I could apply to reduce the appearance?
There is no cream known to treat white stretch marks.
Hello Dr. Ringpeil,
How much experiece do you have with dark African American skin? I’m interested in anti aging treatments on my face and scar removal on my legs, but I am prone to keloids and dark scarring. I have heard horror stories of treatments that did not take African American skin type into account. Do you have any before and after pictures of African American clients who have had successful outcomes with your treatments?
Our office treats skin of all ethnicities and colors. African American is not one skin color but a spectrum to us and we always tailor the treatment to the color of our patient’s skin, whether black, medium or light brow, Asian, Mediterranean or any mixture of pigment. In general, the more brown pigment is present in the skin, the more restrictions there are to certain treatments due to potential side effects. Clearly, certainly lasers cannot be used on all skin types, and only a few procedures are color-blind.
Scar reduction on the leg may be possible but complete removal may be difficult. If post inflammatory changes are present, Melanage peel or microdermabrasion in combination with certain fading agents are appropriate.
Keloid formation must always be taken in account regardless what the color or ethnicity of your skin and therefore cutting procedures must be avoided or those that injure the skin deeply.
I am a female of darker skin tone interested in a Fully ablative CO2 laser for resurfacing of the skin on my lower abdomen. What is my best bet?
Your quest is currently considered extremely unsafe. However, depending on the underlying condition that you would like to improve, there may be other options.
It would be for the treatment of stretchmarks from child birth.
Stretchmarks are still difficult to treat. Some will improve with topical medication, some may improve with lasers that repair scars and if strechtmarks are in an area of very loose skin on the lower abdomen after pregnancy, a tummy tuck may be considered. Evaluation should be able to devise the best treatment plan for you.