CO2 laser treatments have been used for decades to remove stretch marks and improve skin texture, tone, and color. CO2 lasers are safe, effective, and relatively painless, providing long-lasting results.
Specifically done for stretch marks, laser treatments work by removing 60-80% of the damaged skin down to the dermis. So you can see results, such as those in the second picture below, after only one treatment. Depending on the severity and age of your stretch marks laser treatments should be done 6 to 8 weeks apart and you may need 4 to 6 sessions.
Stretch Mark Elimination
Along with the immediate results shown above (approximately 2 weeks after healing), long-term results contribute to restoration as new skin replaces the skin that’s been removed. The heat deposited by the laser during treatment causes stimulation of collagen. This encourages your body to make this new, smoother, more even-toned skin. The new skin begins to come in around 30 days post-treatment and can continue for up to 6 months with proper vitamin and nutrition support.
Most of the time, CO2 resurfacing works best on newer stretch marks, but it can also work on older stretch marks.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Even though you can often see results after just one treatment, it is important to remember that any skin restoration therapy takes time. Skin damage CAN be corrected or at least greatly improved, but it’s not a one-off. The CO2 laser’s only job is removing the old skin! Then it’s up to your body to do its job—creating newer, tighter, younger skin.
Getting the Best Results
Although most topicals are less effective than fractional laser stretch mark removal, using topicals in conjunction with laser has been shown to speed up the overall skin restoration process. A combination of laser treatments, peels, and topicals (retinol or tretinoin), a healthy diet, and taking Vitamins C and D (minimum) as part of a lifestyle regimen is what will bring you the greatest success.
Compared to other modalities, stretch mark laser treatments have a quicker recovery period and produce superior results. Almost always, you need more than one session to get the results you want, but this varies from person to person. We suggest you plan to continue treating every 6 to 8 weeks until your skin looks good enough for you!
What Causes Stretch Marks?
While the specific cause of stretch marks is unknown, some causes are stress on the skin and/or stretching of skin during pregnancy, bodybuilding, and excessive weight loss. They may also be the result of steroid use or be caused by an endocrine disorder.