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Laser Stretch Mark Removal Following Weight Loss

Updated on July 30, 2009

Laser Stretch Mark Removal May Be Necessary Following Weight Loss

Stretch mark removal methods are varied and run the gamut from creams to surgery. Since I work with so many overweight clients helping to improve their nutrition while structuring exercise plans, this discussion will concern stretch marks that result from weight loss. While many athletes will discover stretch marks following drastic muscle building techniques or women will discover the lines across the belly following pregnancy, the topic may be applicable. However, my concentration is on people who have lost 50 pounds or more.

Many men and women who have experienced dramatic weight loss all too often find their bodies scarred with stretch marks, especially across the abodomen. Often, the excess skin and the glaring stretch marks left from extreme weight loss can become as daunting to the "new person" as was the obesity. Women and men who worked hard to slim down enough to be comfortable in a swimsuit soon discover that they have another problem --- unsightly stretch marks. Perhaps, none of us prepare for stretch marks as we lose weight, but for clients who are clinically obese there should be some preparation.

While many people who have lost twenty to fifty or sixty pounds may not develop stretch marks and scarring on the abdomen, the legs and even the arms, many people who have experienced extreme obesity will discover that following diet and exercise to reach their desired and healthy weight, they are covered in stringy scars that can extend a foot or more across their bodies. Psychologically the stretched and scarred skin tissue can be just as much a challenge as losing the weight.

However, there are methods and procedures that can help diminsh the scarring or eliminate it altogether. Generally speaking, the method of stretch mark removal is dependent on the size of the area covered by the the marks and the severity.

Laser stretch mark removal therapy is generally adequate and the most recommended procedure for those who have lost significant weight, but do not need cosmetic surgery.

Stretch Marks Appear During Weight Loss

Stretch marks become most noticeable during weight loss and will continue to become more prominent as the person gets closer to goal weight.
Stretch marks become most noticeable during weight loss and will continue to become more prominent as the person gets closer to goal weight.

Stretch Mark Creams and Lotions

There are many so-called "home remedies" and over the counter creams and lotions to assist in fading or magically removing stretch marks that it is hard to tell if any really work.  Most of the creams and lotions have no scientific backing for their benefits.  There is little oversight of these products since they are topical.

However, for those people who have lost substantial weight even the best of creams will do little to hide stretch marks.  In all fairness, I should say that it is always good to apply skin lotions to the area to keep the skin soft and pliable.  There may be minimal results as far as actual stretch mark fading.

One word of caution:  I have had many clients who have ordered creams online, etc. in an effort to diminish the scars.  Based on the before and after pictures in the adverts, I would caution anyone against investing heavily in creams and ointments with the expectation of the stretch marks disappearing.  Cameras and lighting can play tricks on our eyes.

Laser Removal of Stretch Marks

Laser removal of stretch marks is highly successful if there is little excess skin and there is no need for cosmetic surgery to remove the excess tissue.

Over the past few years, laser treatments have become well known for eye surgery, hair restoration treatments, and other uses.  It must be noted that there are different kinds of lasers and laser treatments.  When removing stretch marks, a excimer laser is used.  This laser does not burn or cut the skin.  Instead, an ultra-violet light disrupts the molecules around the scar tissue of the stretch marks.  The skin disintegrates.  This is called ablation.

New skin grows and the stretch marks are gone.  Now, it must be stated that the area treated will be red and tender for a few days.  In some rare cases, I have seen blistering that required a few weeks to heal.  (Those cases are very rare.)  However, in most instances, the red area following a laser treatment reminded me of a minor burn.

Number of Treatments

The number of treatments may run up to ten to successfully remove the entire stretch mark.  This is dependent on the depth and width of the stretch mark itself and the age of the scars.  The sooner the treatment is performed the better the results. 

Aged stretch marks are harder to remove and require more treatments as a general rule.

Costs of Laser Stretch Mark Removal Treatments

As with all surgeries and treatments, the prices are not written in stone and will vary from one area of the country to another.  As a general rule, I have seen the cost range from $125 per treatment to $325.  On average, the price seems to hover somewhere around $200 per treatment.

Bearing that in mind and based on an average price, the cost could easily run $2000 and up for complete removal of stretch marks.


A Look at How Laser Stretch Mark Removal Works


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