Stretch marks are one of the most unique conditions plastic surgeons treat. Nothing to date has been developed that can truly remove stretch marks entirely; however, there are treatment options that can make stretch marks less noticeable. Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Atlanta, GA, performs stretch mark treatments to help dramatically reduce and improve the appearance of stretch marks in both men and women. Patients who undergo a stretch mark removal procedure at Premier Image can look forward to excellent, long-lasting results.
How Are Stretch Marks Treated?
There are several types of stretch marks, but all stretch marks go through two different phases. Stretch marks that are red have just started to form. Stretch marks that nearly match the color of the skin have typically been present for a long time. Treating stretch marks early in their formation process is ideal. Treatment involves lightening the appearance of stretch marks and applying products that will prevent further formation. Treating stretch marks that have fully formed requires a different treatment approach. Fractional CO2 laser technology and a combination of microneedling and Radiesse injections are used to stimulate collagen production and heal damaged skin.
Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments with Dr. DeJoseph
Premier Image offers fractional CO2 laser treatments as an outpatient procedure. If needed, a numbing cream is used to help the patient relax and feel comfortable during treatment. Once the patient is in a comfortable position, a licensed laser technician performs the procedure using the following steps:
- Eye protection is worn by the patient and the skin is thoroughly cleaned
- A fractional CO2 laser device delivers short pulsed light energy to stretch marks as it is passed over them
A cooling device is used in conjunction with the laser to ensure minimal discomfort is felt during the procedure. Total procedure time depends on the severity of stretch marks. In most cases, the procedures are very quick. Procedures are usually repeated 2-5 times to help patients receive maximum results. Patients know about how many treatments they can expect to need during their initial consultations.
Microneedling and Radiesse Injections
The providers at Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery create customized treatment plans. In many cases, a microneedling and Radiesse injection procedure are performed in conjunction with fractional CO2 laser treatment to help provide patients with maximum results. The procedure is divided into the following parts:
- Microneedling. A handheld pen device with very tiny needles is gently passed over stretch marks. As the pen oscillates, it creates minor skin injuries that stimulate collagen production, without significantly damaging the skin.
- Radiesse injections. Radiesse is a dermal filler that is especially effective at improving the appearance of stretch marks. Radiesse is carefully injected into the stretch marks. The filler quickly improves the texture and color of stretch marks.
A topical anesthetic is used to ensure minimal discomfort is felt during the procedure. Total procedure time depends on the severity of stretch marks. Multiple treatments are often needed to achieve maximum results. The board-certified surgeons at Premier Image lets patients know about how many microneedling and Radiesse injection procedures will be used as part of their treatment plan during initial consultations.
Patients may return home or to work shortly after their procedure. If swelling and discomfort occur after the procedure, they can be easily controlled using ice and elevation. Patients are provided with very detailed post-procedure instructions to help them recover quickly and receive maximum results.
The skin around stretch marks peels about 5-7 days after the procedure. Skin usually heals in about 2 weeks. The color and texture of the treated stretch marks improve and blend with the rest of the skin as healing occurs. The licensed laser technicians at Premier Image have helped countless patients meet their aesthetic goals using customized stretch mark removal procedures.
Men and women who would like to improve the appearance of stretch marks may be candidates for a stretch mark removal procedure. Stretch marks on the stomach, breasts, pectorals, underarms, hips, and inner thighs may be treated. The procedure is usually reserved for patients who have no serious medical conditions, a positive attitude, and realistic expectations. Patients who smoke will be asked to stop as smoking interferes with healing processes. The definitive way for patients to determine if they are candidates is to attend an initial stretch mark removal consultation with a licensed laser technician at Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery.
Stretch Mark Removal Consultation
Stretch mark removal is customized to meet the needs of the patient. During an initial consultation, and the doctor and patient work together to come up with a perfect treatment plan. The consultation consists of the following:
- A medical history review. Important medical information such as age, medical conditions, pregnancies, surgeries, and other factors that cause stretch marks are obtained and reviewed.
- A physical examination. Stretch marks are examined. Color, texture, and severity are noted. Pictures may be taken for comparison purposes.
- A discussion. The provider and the patient discuss the patient’s aesthetic goals and expectations. Before-and-after photos are used to show the patient what type of results they can expect after their procedure.
A question and answer session are held at the end of the consultation. Patients are invited to ask questions or state concerns so that the treatment plan can be created to fit their needs. Patients who decide to undergo stretch mark removal procedures are always completely informed. They go into their procedure confident and ready to see their excellent results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks are caused by the over-stretching of skin. The most common causes of skin over-stretching include the following:
- Rapid growth during puberty
- Steroid medications
An important part of initial consultations at Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery are medical history reviews. The information that is obtained allows the provider to pinpoint the cause of stretch marks and let patients know how they can prevent existing stretch marks from becoming worse and new stretch marks from forming. This is a very important part of treatment.
Can I maximize my results?
Patients who are interested in maximizing their results should take note of the following recommendations:
- Follow post-procedure recovery instructions
- Use skin care products as directed by the provider
- Always apply sunscreen to the treated area when exposed to sunlight
Regularly exercising and eating a well-balanced diet is important. Smoking should be avoided.
Every patient responds differently to treatment. There is no way of determining exactly how many treatments patients will need; however, the licensed laser technicians at Premier Image each have over 10 years of knowledge and experience in treating stretch marks. They will provide patients with an estimate of how many treatments will be necessary to provide them with the results they are looking for.
Very little discomfort or pain is felt during the procedure. Cold air is applied to ensure the skin stays cool and does not become inflamed. Ice may be applied as well. A local or topical anesthetic may be used to numb the area being treated. Swelling and discomfort immediately after the procedure may be treated using ice, elevation, and medication.
There are risks associated with all surgical procedures, including stretch mark removals. The steps that the providers at Premier Image take to minimize risks help patients feel completely comfortable and at ease before their procedure. The overwhelming majority of patients find that the potential benefits of the treatments far outweigh the risks.
Is it important that I have my procedure performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon?
Stretch marks can be difficult to treat. Board-certified plastic surgeons are undoubtedly the most qualified medical professionals to diagnose and treat stretch marks. The training, knowledge, and skills of plastic surgeons allow them to come up with customized treatment plans that produce results that meet patients’ goals.
Can I have the procedure if I plan on getting pregnant?
Pregnancy is a common cause of stretch marks. Patients who plan on getting pregnant may be advised to wait until after childbirth to have the procedure. Patients are encouraged to schedule an initial consultation to see if they are a candidate or may benefit from nonsurgical treatment options.
Do men have stretch mark removal procedures?
The licensed laser technicians at Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery commonly perform stretch mark removal procedures on men. Rapid growth during puberty and weightlifting can cause stretch marks on the chest, inner thighs, and underarms. In many cases, stretch marks can make men feel uncomfortable when they take off their shirt or wear shorts. After their procedure, men feel confident and are more comfortable with their bodies.
What should I bring to my initial consultation?
Patients are asked to bring a list of the medications and herbal supplements they are currently on to their initial consultation. If steroid medications have been taken at any time, it helps to know the type and dosage of the medications.
How do I schedule my initial consultation?
Schedule your consultation today! Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery offer complimentary consultations for stretch mark removal. Call 770-457-6303 to schedule your visit at their center in Atlanta, GA.