Dr. Van Dyke recalls the side effects most commonly associated with laser stretch mark removal.
Dr. Van Dyke:
Stretch marks can be pretty effectively treated with laser, but all lasers have some risk and side effects. The original laser is used for too strong so there is a very long downtime. The new lasers, for instance Fraxel, will have some redness and swelling, probably for three days up to a week and that’s about it.
Now when you talk about fair skin people, they do the best with lasers and have a fewest side effects, but darker skin women also have stretch marks although interestingly, Asian women have a lot less risk of stretch marks than Caucasian women.
But when you have a woman of color with stretch marks and you want to treat her with laser, what we have to advice is that you can get a temporary darkening of the area from the laser treatment itself and usually that doesn’t prevent us from doing the treatment because a lot of women will accept darkness in that area for several months to get significant improvement in their stretch marks that will last for many years.
We also can treat that darkness that is coming with the treatment. We use bleaching creams and that to prevent darkness from treatment and to reduce it afterwards in the darker skinned patients.
About Dr. Susan Van Dyke, M.D.:
After completing 2 years of formal training in Internal Medicine, Dr. Van Dyke found what was to be the start of her dream job. She spent the next 3 years training intensely at Ohio State University and the University of Arizona Medical Centers. Her focus: Dermatology, particularly the cosmetic aspects. Founded in 1985, she formed her practice to deliver the best of Dermatology. In 1995, Van Dyke Laser & Skin became one of the first exclusively Cosmetic Dermatology practices in the world.