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Stretch Marks

Laser Treatments For Stretch Marks Though no treatment can return your skin to a perfect state, lasers can diminish stretch marks and greatly improve the skin's texture and tone.
Name Description Cost
Fractional laser resurfacing Fractional lasers target stretch marks that are fully developed and are white or light in color. Fractional resurfacing is a selective treatment, that leaves the surface of the skin...more Stretch mark treatment with Fraxel re:pair is priciest, and costs $3,000 to $5,000.
Pulsed dye laser If used early enough, the pulsed dye laser can remove up to 75 percent of stretch marks. The pulsed dye laser only treats newer stretch marks that are red or purple in color. The sooner...more Treatment sessions cost $250 to $500 apiece, or $1,500 to $2,500 for the full treatment.

Secondary Treatments For Stretch Marks
Name Description Cost
Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is an invasive form of surgery that reduces stretch marks and excess stomach flab, typically the result of pregnancy. The operation removes and tightens excess...more The average surgeon’s fee for an abdominoplasty in 2009 was $5,381.

Treatments Not Recommended
Name Description
Ablative laser skin resurfacing Ablative lasers damage the skin's surface and are not recommended for the treatment of stretch marks, which reside deeply in the skin.
Chemical peels With the exception of the deep phenol peel, mild to moderate strength chemical peels only penetrate the outermost layers of skin and are not effective for stretch mark reduction. Why not phenol peels then? Even phenol peels, which have a long recovery period and are particularly painful, are only mildly effective on stretch marks. Additionally, phenol peels are too strong for more delicate skin, such as the skin on the breasts.
Dermal fillers Dermal fillers cannot treat stretch marks. Stretch marks streaks cannot be reduced by plumping up the skin.
Ablative laser skin resurfacing Ablative lasers damage the skin's surface and are not recommended for the treatment of stretch marks, which reside deeply in the skin.

Treatment options: Fractional laser resurfacing, in which a laser damages tiny columns of skin, creating hundreds of microscopic wounds to boost collagen production, has been shown to help the body heal stretch marks.

In one recent study, doctors harvested patients' fibroblasts, multiplied them in the lab, and reinjected them in high quantities into areas affected by stretch marks. There was moderate to significant reduction in the visibility of the marks.

In another study, a IPL laser, used in combination with Thermage (a radiofrequency collagen booster), showed "good to very good" improvement in almost 90% of patients.

Surgical treatments: The tummy tuck, a surgery that removes excess skin in the stomach area, often also takes away stretch marks caused by pregnancy or rapid weight loss.