Stretch marks..New treatment options

Stretch marks…YUK.  Whether it’s from pregnancy or weight gain and loss they are there, they are ugly, and they need to go.  Over my career I have seen all the hopes and creams come and go to get rid of the stretch marks.  Using various food creams didn’t work, Liebfraumilch cream was a bust, Accutane was tried and failed, Various external lasers and other energy sources did not work either. Then you tried hours at the gym only to find your waist line got some better but the stretch marks didn’t budge much.  Stretch marks have been an everlasting challenge in aesthetic medicine.  Stretch marks are nothing more than markedly damaged skin protein (collagen) that has stretched beyond the normal ability to heal.

Now there is a better solution.  About 5 years ago I attended the national meeting of the American Society of Cosmetic Physicians (ASOCP) and heard an amazing lecture by a Dermatologist from Brazil.  Her before and after stretch mark pictures using her therapy were outstanding with at least a 90% reduction or disappearance of stretch marks after 3 or so treatments.  She was using CO2 injections, also known as Carboxy therapy, under the stretch marks.  Whoa… isn’t that that greenhouse gas stuff you hear about?  Truth is CO2 has been in use for decades as a treatment for skin conditions and wound problems. It has been used for over 40 years in laparoscopic surgery around the world without any problems.  Problem was the FDA had not approved it for skin usage in the USA. …..Until now.

So how does Carboxy Therapy work?  Basically when an area of the body has an excessive buildup of CO2 the brain thinks there may be tissue damage that needs to be corrected.  What happens is that there is a massive shift of Oxygen to that area with the CO2 being taken away  then exhaled by the patient.  In fact, there results an even greater O2 concentration in that area than what can be acheived by direct O2 injection. In addition, because you have fooled your body physiology into thinking there is damaged tissue, a large amount of platelets and growth factors also stream into the injected area.  What results is marked oxygenition of the stretch mark and a rebuild of the damaged collagen protein.

I know this treatment sounds far fetched but I have found in my own patient research that is not only works but works exceptionally well.  It does take about 3-5 treatments for the best result spaced about a month apart.  I have one patient with pigmented stretch marks that is showing good fading and healing of the marks.

The treatment is simple.  You come in about 45 minutes before your treatment appointment to apply a numbing cream to the area. A small injection needle is then used to direct the CO2 just under the skin of the damaged area.  It takes about 15 minutes.  No downtime.   The treatment is then repeated in a month.   It takes about 2 weeks after the treatment to start seeing the results.  It can also be used to thin raised scars on the body.

I am so excited to bring this innovative yet simple treatment to South Carolina.  If you are tired of the stretch marks or raised scars, this may be what you have been waiting for.

Stretch Marks no more.

Dr. O’Dell