I spent my 20’s in a bikini, laying out in the sun, and feeling great about my body. So, stretch marks have been a huge wake-up call for me. Beautiful skin has always made me feel youthful, sexy, confident, and free to be who I am. I’m not going to lie, ever since giving birth to two babies, I’ve had zebra stripes all over my belly and my hips. I was desperate to remove my post-pregnancy stretch marks and get back to the old days. Fast. That’s why I started looking into laser stretch mark removal, or laser skin resurfacing. I wanted medical intervention for a few main reasons: effectiveness, efficiency, professionalism, and trust.
Unfortunately for me, the more I looked into the available procedures, the more I realized there were laser stretch mark removal hidden costs and dangers, I wasn’t aware of. In this post, I’ll introduce you into the surprising laser stretch mark removal costs and dangers, but also consider it your quick guide to the laser stretch mark removal process!
If you’re considering laser stretch mark removal and need an insider’s cheat sheet, here’s what you’re going to learn in this post:
- How Stretch Marks Form
- What Is Laser Stretch Mark Removal
- How Does Laser Scar Reduction Work
- Can Lasers Remove Stretch Marks
- The Dangers of Laser Stretch Mark Removal
- Proven At-Home Remedies For Stretch Marks
- Laser Stretch Mark Removal Costs
How Stretch Marks Form?
What you may not know is that a stretch mark is a scar. While they typically diminish over time, they never completely disappear. During a period of rapid growth like puberty or pregnancy, the dermis can not produce enough fibroblasts (cells that produce elastin or collagen fibers) to support the stretched skin. This leads to dermal and epidermal tearing. When the dermis tears, it forms scars or stretch marks.
What Is Laser Stretch Mark Removal?
Laser stretch mark removal is also called laser skin resurfacing or laser scar reduction. Laser stretch mark removal is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that uses targeted light or heat to remove the outer layer of skin and stimulate fibroblasts. The result is a higher production of collagen and elastin that fills in stretch marks, scars, age spots, wrinkles, or other skin blemishes. The result can be the permanent removal of stretch marks, or less visible stretch marks, and smoother skin.
How Does Laser Scar Reduction Work?
There are two different types of skin resurfacing laser treatments you can choose from, depending on what you're looking to treat. Let’s take a look at how they work.
First, we have ablative lasers. Ablative lasers destroy the upper layer of skin, to reveal newly generated, stretch mark-free skin tissues. This newly exposed skin has a smooth texture and appearance. The second type of skin resurfacing laser is non-ablative. Non-ablative lasers target the skin below the surface and stimulate new collagen growth, without breaking the skin.
Ablative vs Non-Ablative Lasers
These two different techniques have different depths of treatment. The type of stretch marks, skin type, and goals determine how deep an ablative laser will penetrate the skin. Many doctors use fractional lasers to remove fractions of the skin by drilling tiny holes in the surface. This, theoretically, can reduce the amount of skin prone to injury. Many surgeons prefer this controlled method over a chemical peel or dermabrasion, as there is typically less injury depth. With non-ablative laser treatments, no skin is removed whatsoever. Instead, intense pulsed light (IPL) hits the skin in brief pulses to stimulate collagen and improve skin tone and firmness.
How Long Does Each Procedure Take?
Ablative laser stretch mark removal treatments can take up to an hour and a half, while non-ablative laser stretch mark removal treatments can be as efficient as 30 minutes. However, patients may need multiple treatments depending on the type of scar they’re dealing with.
Can Lasers Remove Stretch Marks?
In short, yes. Dramatic results are possible with laser stretch mark removal. Unfortunately, results are inconsistent. Depending on how severe your stretch marks are, your skin type, and also your medical history, results will vary. For example, older stretch marks may not be affected by laser skin resurfacing treatments. With non-ablative lasers, it can take several months for new skin cells and collagen growth, and 10-14 days recovery from the treatment itself. As new skin regenerates, patients can see noticeable changes after just a few weeks. Depending on your stretch mark and skin type, you may need a series of follow up treatments for lasting results.
The Dangers of Laser Stretch Mark Removal
Laser stretch mark removal treatments have been known to trigger various allergic reactions such as skin flare-ups and irritations. Documented side effects include hyperpigmentation, infection, transient pain, inflammation, water retention in tissues, and a change in skin color.
One of the most common side effects of laser stretch mark removal is the redness and swelling of skin right after treatment and this can take weeks to subside. Depending on the type of laser used for treatment and your skin type, you may have more severe side effects. For example, people with darker skin complexions may experience discoloration. Moreover, if an ablative laser was used in the procedure, there may be a greater depth in injury, causing undesirable scars.
As a rule of thumb, make sure to consult with your medical professional before treatment to determine the risks and potential side effects of laser stretch mark removal - especially if you have darker skin or older stretch marks!
Laser Stretch Mark Removal Costs
Laser stretch mark removal or a laser skin resurfacing treatment is considered a cosmetic procedure, and not a medical procedure. This means that your medical insurance doesn’t cover it. While the ABCS estimates the cost of skin resurfacing treatments to range between $500 and $8,900, the actual laser stretch mark removal costs vary depending on the type of laser that is required for the treatment.
In 2016, the ASAPS reported that a full field ablative laser skin resurfacing treatment costs on average, $2,681, with the industry average totaling an expenditure of $849,456,501. The micro-ablative resurfacing fractional resurfacing treatment, however, averaged much less at $1,410 per session, with a total national average expenditure of $127,071,123.
There are also many hidden and potentially unexpected costs ranging from anesthetics, skin consultations, lab costs, doctor’s visits, and office fees, as well as post-treatment medications.
Furthermore, patients should expect more than one treatment regardless of which type of laser is used in the procedure. While this does vary, again, depending on stretch mark type and your unique skin condition, on average, ablative laser treatments are used more than once depending on the desired outcome. It could also take multiple non-ablative laser treatments that must be scheduled between 3 to 4 weeks apart.
Powerful At-Home Remedies For Stretch Marks
If you’re like me, you’re interested in preventing unnecessary side effects and complications of laser stretch mark removal, as well as reducing the costs of stretch mark removal in general. For that reason, I’m going to share the best alternative that I’ve found thus far, as an effective at-home stretch mark removal solution: silicone pads for cost-effective, safe stretch mark removal!
Do Silicone Pads Remove Stretch Marks?
The good news is: yes, they do! They are a safe, inexpensive alternative to laser stretch mark removal. However, they only work if they create occlusion.
What’s The Deal With Occlusion?
As mentioned earlier, stretch marks are the result of stunted fibroblast production. Occlusion is a microclimate created between the surface of the skin and the silicone pad. This microclimate stimulates collagen production, encourages hydration, and promotes healing. How?
Moisture is drawn up from lower skin layers to the outside layers, causing the skin to plump, fill in, and smooth itself. As a result, the appearance of stretch marks fades, as they blend back into the surrounding skin.
To get actual results, this microclimate needs to be created for a specific duration of time, and consistently.
3 Steps to Remove Stretch Marks With Silicone Pads
Here are the top 3 steps to getting actual stretch mark removal results with silicone pads.
1. Wear the silicone pad while you sleep.
To maximize the effects of the occlusion process, it’s imminent to wear the silicone pads on your stretch marks for a few hours. This means your silicone pad has to be comfortable, and it must stay in place.
2. Clean the surface area of the skin before wearing your silicone pad.
Because dirt and oil can interfere in the occlusion process occurring beneath your silicone pad, it’s important to use a good cleanser to remove any impurities laying on the surface of the skin This ensures that the skin gets the maximum benefit from the unique occlusion process.
3. Stay Consistent
For permanent results, your best bet is to maintain a self-care routine with your silicone pad until the desired results are achieved. Over time, results will be cumulative which will give skin a plump and healthy look.
Ready to Try Clinically and Customer Proven Silicone Pads?
Some of the biggest challenges with silicone pads is that they don’t stay in place, they’re uncomfortable to wear, they’re not reusable, medical-grade, FDA-approved, or pregnancy-safe. Dermaclara’s Silicone Fusion pads are 100% FDA-approved, medical-grade, and pregnancy safe!
The Biggest Perks of Silicone Fusion™ Stretch Mark Removal Pads?
- 90% of clinical trial participants said they saw a decrease in pigmentation of scars and other skin defects.
- 87% of clinical trial participants said they saw a reduction in the thickness and appearance of scars.
- They eliminate the need for expensive injections, laser treatments, or harmful chemicals.
- A new, bigger design is specifically engineered to cover more surface area (tummy, sides, buttocks, and thighs) to treat larger areas.
- They are cost-effective, as one pad can be used up to 30 times!
- They don't tear when removing and don't leave a sticky residue on the body.
- They don’t contain chemicals, and they’re bio-inert.
- They hug the curves and contours of your body, so they’re easy to use.
- They move and stay in place while you sleep, without slipping or pulling the skin.
Check Out Dermaclara’s Suite of Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ Stretch Mark Removal Pads
Check out what Dermaclara’s Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ customers are saying:
Time and money well spent!
“I tried laser treatment before and it works well, definitely more expensive but works fast. The SFT is probably less risky, less expensive and the package is value for money.” -Celeb
Best decision I made!
“This was my back-up after I had some type of allergic reaction to an injection for stretch marks. It was just a few weeks before my wedding and I needed to get rid of the stretch marks around my breast to wear my strapless dress. I did not have a meltdown on my wedding day thanks to Dermaclara SFT. You could barely see the stretch marks. Just wish I had tried it before the failed injection treatment. My best decision ever!!” - Katherine
“I slept with the silicone fusion treatment for the past 20 days for an average of 7 hours and overtime I have seen the stretch marks starting to blend in.” -DeSouza
Ready to Jump Ship?
So, here’s the bottom line: laser stretch mark removal isn’t for me or my skin. However, you have to decide what’s going to work for your skin color, type of stretch marks, budget, and needs. My opinion is to try an alternative, holistic, safe, proven, and effective stretch mark solution like silicone pads before opting for medical intervention. They work on every skin type, are medical-grade, risk-free, and clinically tested. If you’re ready to abort the risky and costly laser stretch mark removal mission and jump aboard the silicone pad ship -