24 May 2010

Daily Mail 25 May 2010Laser treatment claims to reduce them by 75% The laser therapy promising to zap away stretch marks can dramatically reduce the tell-tale white streaks by up to 75 per cent, its developers claim.Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretch marks, as well as growth spurts and weight fluctuation, resulting in marks on thighs and love handles. Caused by a tearing of the dermis layer of the skin, they can also affect teenagers and young women without a family and also men, with affected areas including the arms, legs and back. Even actresses such as Kate Beckinsale and Scarlett Johansson has been spotted with silvery striae- the medical term. The laser can also treat surgical scars, acne scars, dark skin patches and other skin conditions. It works by creating columns of heat within the affected tissue, kick-starting a natural healing process that stimulates the growth of fresh, healthy tissue. Previous surgical approaches have had a poor record. There is a huge market for the cosmetic treatment (currently only privately available) with nine out of ten women affected by the marks. Developers say only four sessions are needed, with the full course costing 1,200. It is the only FDA approved treatment and clinical trial results have been positive. Dr Adatto, a dermatology, laser and cutaneous surgery specialist, said: Clinical studies have shown that patients treated with the Lux1540 laser achieved an average improvement of between 51-75 per cent in the appearance of the striae, with little or no impact on daily activities. A minority needed local anaesthetic and there were no long-term side-effects. The treatment is offered by The Harley Medical Group at its clinics in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Dublin, but is due to be extended nationwide. Mel Braham, chairman of the group, said: I must have been presented with more than a hundred wonder treatments for stretch marks but I can say that this is the first that has lived up to the hype. I can already see they are less obvious Natalie Lane has had the first of a course of treatments for stretch marks on her hips. The 28-year-old call centre working from Birmingham said: As a teenager my weight really fluctuated. Id frequently go from a size 8 to a size 12 and back down again in a matter of months. I was left with silvery marks across my hips. I havent worn a bikini since I was in my early teens and Ive hated getting undressed in front of other people, which obviously had a knock-on effect on my confidence. When I heard about the new treatment I jumped at the chance to be involved in the early trials. The treatment was slightly uncomfortable, but much quicker than I was expecting. It took around 20 minutes to treat each area. Afterwards my skin went quite red but thats faded now and I can already see that the marks look less obvious. The nurse counsellor recommended I have four to five treatments on each area and I cant wait to see the end results. It isnt cheap but the results are permanent so Im viewing it as a long-term investment.