Stretch marks are visible lines or scars on the skin that appear due to its sudden stretching. The skin has natural levels of elasticity, but with rapid change and stretching, the elastin fibres tend to tear and lose their ability to prevent damage to the epidermis’ surface layer. This is the beginning of the stretch marks.
Few parts of the body are protected from the appearance of stretch marks. Most often these are formed around the navel, breasts, thighs, buttocks, arms and armpits, lower back. Because of their better blood supply, new stretch marks have a reddish colour that fades over time.
Genetics plays an important role, and so many people are prone to stretch marks, yet there are other factors predisposing their appearance:
• abrupt putting on/losing weight
2. Hormonal disorders – such as Cushing’s syndrome and others.
3. Prolonged use of certain medicines – for example corticosteroids
Cynosure Icon ™ Laser System is the latest generation of non-ablative Erbium Yag laser that hurts the skin in the affected area, resulting in intensive regeneration processes. This leads to a new, improved structure of the treated tissue and a visible tightening of the stretch marks.
Stretch marks can be treated on the body, upper and lower limbs, regardless of their time of occurrence and origin.
The duration of the treatment varies depending on the size of the treated area. It takes about 20-30 minutes. The patient feels warmth and slight pinching at each pulse, which is completely tolerable. In extremely rare cases, and depending on the area being treated and the sensitivity of the patient, an analgesic cream may be applied 20 minutes before the therapy.
After the end of the treatment, hydrating and photo-protective cream is applied with 50 SPF.
Immediately after the treatment, the patient may return to his or her daily duties.
The treated area will have a slight edema and redness. These symptoms may last for 2-3 days.
It is important and absolutely mandatory for the patient to use high SPF 50 photo-protective creams at least 2 months after the end of the last treatment when exposed to sun.
The number of treatments is determined depending on the size, type and surface of the treated area. Typically, the therapeutic effect is achieved gradually within 3 to 6 treatments, depending on the time of occurrence, the size of the stretch marks, as well as the quality of the patient’s skin and age. Stretch marks that have emerged comparatively soon can be reduced only after 3 sessions, while more mature stretch marks may require 6-8 sessions. The interval between each treatment is 3 to 4 weeks.
It takes about 3 months after completing the course of treatment to see the complete result. After this period, the need for additional treatments is assessed.
Laser therapy takes place during the seasons in which the affected area is not exposed to direct sunlight. Such are autumn, winter and spring.
There are conditions in which the treatment is strictly contraindicated due to the high risk of unpredictable side effects:
• presence of open wounds
• presence of suntan from recent exposure to sun or solarium
• patients who are going to have sun exposure within 30 days of the last treatment
• active herpes and other skin infections in the area of the treated area
• malignant skin formations
• in case of systemic intake of drugs enhancing the sensitivity of the skin to the rays, etc.