Laser Stretchmark Treatment

Latest update: April 11, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jennifer Trent MD, FAAD
How it works


Stretch marks result from rapid stretching of the skin, which causes breakage of the collagen fibers, followed by shrinking of the skin. While not everyone is prone to stretch marks, it is commonly seen in those with changing hormone levels or family history. The skin can rapidly stretch and shrink due to pregnancy, a growth spurt, weight loss or gain, or muscle growth from weight training. Patients who want to fade their stretch marks can opt for laser therapy, which reduces their appearance.

Laser therapy improves the appearance of stretch marks using high-energy beams of light that penetrate the dermis of the skin to stimulate collagen production. Collagen production will tighten and firm up the skin while rejuvenating the surface.

Two types of laser are available for this treatment: ablative non-fractional and fractional lasers. Ablative non-fractional laser treatments are intense because they remove the entire epidermis while heating the dermis. The treatment only works on fairer skin tones. Patients need two weeks of downtime after the procedure.

Fractional lasers are less invasive. They target the skin in small sections to avoid affecting surrounding tissues. A few sessions are needed to reduce stretch marks by up to 75%. 

There are many laser devices on the market for this condition. Lux 1540 and MIXTO Laser are both fractional CO2 lasers. They create controlled micro-injuries to encourage a healing response and collagen production. Since they are fractional lasers, the healing and downtime from these treatments are minimal. Only a topical anesthetic will be needed. MIXTO laser delivers more results in just one session compared to competing devices on the market. Patients may feel warmth during the session that can be alleviated with ice packs. Results will show over the next 6-12 weeks as new collagen is produced. 

ResurFX works similarly to a non-ablative fractional laser. It uses only a two-pass method to treat stretch marks. The first pass treats the deepest part of the stretch mark, and the second pass targets the border of the stretch marks. It also has an added cooling setting on its device to make the experience more comfortable for the patient.

VBEAM is a pulsed dye laser that works best on fresh stretch marks that are pink in color. The laser targets the red pigment in the scars without affecting the surrounding skin. Doctors recommend 3-6 treatments for optimal results.
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This Laser Removes Stretch Marks! | The SASS with Susan and Sharzad

The SASS explores the causes and impact of stretch marks. After years of being told that stretch marks cannot be removed, Sharzad Kiadeh visits Nurse Jamie at Beauty Park Los Angeles to see whether laser treatment can do the impossible. Will the results have her feeling more comfortable with her body?

Best STRETCH MARK removal

Dr. Davin Lim tells us the truth about stretch marks. He explains that the results tend to be highly variable and tells us why. He covers the best creams and treatments available for the condition. He highlights the importance of having realistic expectations. Dr. Lim focuses on the science. Can he help you find the best way to treat your stretch marks?