Boost Collagen With Laser
Wells suggested a skincare cocktail to accompany a round of laser treatments to best fade stretch marks. He explains, “Since stretch marks are actually an area of the skin where the collagen is damaged, treatments to improve stretch marks are directed at rebuilding the integrity of the collagen in the area of the mark. Patients are placed on a skincare regimen that helps to support the rebuilding and restructuring of the dermis. At the same time, collagen-building lasers, such as the Palomar 1540 and Deep IR Lasers, are employed to stimulate dermal repair. The very best product, in my opinion, is a hyaluronic acid serum, which can absorb and hold in the skin hundreds of times its weight in water, thereby greatly increasing the skin’s elastic tolerance. We offer this proprietary product called Scott Wells MD Hy-Pep ($90). Generally, several treatments are needed, but we have treated hundreds of stretch marks and have seen very significant improvement in their appearance using these modalities.”
Each laser procedure is generally 15 to 30 minutes long, depending on the area you’re looking to treat. For me, it was always fairly quick, which made the appointments even easier. Wells suggests a minimum of three treatments scheduled about a month apart to see results. I went in for the first one and was pleasantly surprised. I was instructed to take an Advil beforehand, so I was worried about what kind of painful situation I was about to embark on. It was by no means comfortable, but it was tolerable—like warm snaps of a rubber band. I only noticed a bit of redness afterward for a few hours, and I had no downtime whatsoever—I went back to work immediately following the procedure. However, it is best to avoid direct sun exposure to the treated area, so I had to turn down a trip to the beach that weekend.
For smaller areas (just a few marks), expect to pay about $250, and for larger surfaces, $500. I didn’t notice a difference at first, but over time, I can definitely tell the lasers are working. Plus, after doing my research, most doctors admit lasers are the most effective way to rid stretch marks (barring a tummy tuck).