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How to remove stretch marks after pregnancy


Stretch marks (medically referred to as striae) are one or multiple stripes on the skin, usually pink to purple (striae rubra) in the initial stages and white or grey (striae alba) in the later stages. They are usually located on the stomach, thighs, chest and legs, but also on the back, arms and even the face.

Who develops stretch marks?

Stretch marks can develop due to rapid stretching of the skin, for example, during active growth in adolescence, during pregnancy, during rapid weight gain or loss (including in athletes), etc. Stretch marks are twice as likely to occur in women than in men. According to various studies, the prevalence of striae is very high, reaching 35% in puberty and up to 70% during pregnancy.

Usually, it is not difficult for a doctor to make the correct diagnosis of striae, but stretch marks should be distinguished, for example, from focal elastosis.

Interestingly, striae is a diagnosis (meaning a disease): There are specific diagnostic codes for this disease, but also for other diseases in the ICD 10 and 11 medical classification of diseases. However, this diagnosis is very rarely officially made by doctors, even in the case of very pronounced stretch marks.

How to remove or reduce stretch marks

Despite the fact that laser treatment of stretch marks is the most modern and effective method, I definitely also use other methods in combination with the laser. Think about some popular methods and approaches for the treatment of stretch marks.

  1. Creams and other cosmetics: there are simply a huge number of creams and cosmetics on the market for stretch marks. Their efficacy as a monotherapy is extremely low or non-existent. Most of these products have not been clinically tested.

  2. Retinoids: Products containing vitamin A derivatives may slightly improve the appearance of stretch marks by stimulating skin cell regeneration.

  3. Micro-acupuncture (microneedling): a special and usually relatively inexpensive device with small needles that creates micro-holes in the skin. It moderately stimulates the production of collagen and can help to slightly reduce stretch marks. Compared to laser treatment, this is an ineffective method.

  4. Chemical peeling: the procedure can remove the top layer of the skin, stimulating skin regeneration. They may probably be effective in some form for superficial stretch marks, but due to the risk of complications following chemical damage to the skin, I do not use or recommend them for the treatment of stretch marks.

  5. Injections: injections of moisturising preparations, botulinum toxin and plasma therapy (PRP) can help improve the appearance of stretch marks in combination with laser treatment. Injections are ineffective as a self-treatment method for stretch marks.

  6. Microdermabrasion is a procedure in which the top layer of the skin is mechanically rubbed off, resulting in the growth of new skin. I do not use it in my practice because it is a quite dangerous, highly traumatic and very outdated technique. The laser is much more effective and safer.

  7. Laser treatment: I use a variety of laser treatment methods (usually fractionated)

    • CO2 lasers

    • Er:Yag lasers

    • Nd:Yag lasers

    • IPL (Intensive Pulsed Light) light treatment

    • Diode lasers

    • Sometimes also Alexandrite and other lasers


Laser therapy directly stimulates collagen production in the skin in various ways and radically improves the texture of surrounding skin.

Laser procedures often require multiple sessions to achieve visible results.


It is important to understand that the effectiveness of different methods can vary significantly depending on the type of striae and the individual characteristics of the patient.

Here are some of the intermediate or final results of my wonderful patients:

Treatment of stretch marks: a video before and after:

The photo of this patient was in the gallery above. The video clearly shows not only how the surface of the skin has changed, but also its overall elasticity.

Usually, the treatment of stretch marks on the abdomen takes four and sometimes even up to seven or eight procedures, but... In this case, we really got this result with just 1 (one!) procedure. Incredibly, this proves once again that each patient's reaction to laser procedures is individual and, in a sense, even unpredictable. That's why I always try to give an initial forecast during consultations, and the first procedures show how the dynamics correspond to this forecast ☺️

The photo of this patient was in the gallery above. The video clearly shows not only how the surface of the skin has changed, but also its overall elasticity.

Consultation on removal of stretch marks

Before starting treatment, I have a face-to-face consultation with the patient. During this consultation, I carry out an individual assessment, obtain the patient's medical history and carry out a dermatoscopy and other examinations to select the most suitable laser and method, or combination of them, for each individual case. Treatment of stretch marks almost always requires a course of procedures.

Scattered stretch marks on the stomach after pregnancy. Such stretch marks require a fairly long course of treatment, sometimes more than five procedures. The picture shows an intermediate result, we will of course continue with the treatment

Striae rubrae. Värsked venitusarmid


Venitusarmidel on kaks peamist järjestikust faasi. Noori venitusarme nimetatakse striae rubraks ning neil on omad eripärad. Varajase ravi alustamisega saame tulemuse kiiremini ja väiksemate protseduuride kordustega.


Striae rubrae. Fresh stretch marks

Stretch marks have two main consecutive phases. Young stretch marks are called striae rubrae. They have their own specific characteristics, and by starting treatment early, we can achieve the desired outcome faster and with fewer procedures.

To treat early stretch marks, less aggressive lasers can be used. This means that it's advisable to seek advice about stretch marks as soon as they appear, there is no practical point in waiting for the stretch marks to stabilise and go into the scarring stage (striae albae).

How does laser treatment for stretch marks work?

Laser treatment for stretch marks is based on the use of lasers to stimulate skin regeneration in the areas affected by stretch marks. The main principle is a rigorously calculated energy dose of laser radiation, which acts on the superficial or deeper layers of the skin, helping to stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. Laser radiation can be ablative (removes the top layer of the skin) or non-ablative (penetrates deep into the skin without damaging the surface).


These procedures are safe and relatively comfortable. During the procedure, the patient is protected with special goggles and may feel a tingling or burning sensation. We usually use local anaesthesia (without injections) to make it more comfortable for the patient.

The removal of stretch marks is often combined with the removal of ordinary scars. This is feasible and comfortable for patients

Advantages of laser treatment for stretch marks
  1. Minimally invasive: laser treatment of stretch marks is a minimally invasive procedure. This reduces the risk of complications and shortens the recovery period compared to surgery or dermabrasion.

  2. Stimulation of regeneration: laser radiation promotes the activation of skin cells, stimulating the natural recovery process. This leads to an improvement in skin texture and the colour of stretch marks.

  3. Individual approach: There are several types of lasers that can be used depending on the type of striae and the individual characteristics of the patient. This allows you to achieve the best possible outcomes in each specific case.

  4. Precise control of the process: In contrast to other methods, the doctor can fully control all parameters of the laser radiation in order to achieve maximum treatment effectiveness.

PS: Psychological support...

It is important to keep in mind that psychological support also plays an important role in scar treatment. Some people may experience a range of mental health problems such as depression and low self-esteem because of their change in appearance.

My favourite patient! Unbelievable 😊 but true, the video displays the outcome of only 1 (one) procedure. Although usually such an outcome most definitely requires four to seven procedures

Summary of the treatment of stretch marks

Laser treatment is an innovative method that can significantly improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Before starting the procedure, it is important to carry out a complete in-person consultation to determine the most suitable type of laser therapy for the patient and to assess the potential risks and benefits. Sometimes we may refuse to start treatment and give other recommendations on how to prepare for the treatment course. It's advisable to start treatment as soon as stretch marks appear; there is no need to wait.

As a result of my consultation, the patient usually receives an individual procedure plan in writing and a more accurate prognosis.

Modern laser therapy technologies give patients the opportunity to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and increase their confidence. Still, the stretch marks, the patients and even the lasers we use to treat stretch marks are very diverse. There is no one universal laser procedure that is suitable for all patients. That's why it's a good idea to have a professional who specialises in this problem and works with stretch marks on a daily basis working with you.

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