Similar to acne scars, stretch marks can be quite embarrassing. I have had stretch marks since a young age. For me, they are a reminder of a horrible time in my life when I was depressed as a child and put on a bunch of weight. My body simply stretched out beyond its capacity, and I have been living with the reminder ever since.
Now that I am single after 22 years of marriage, I finally decided to do something about them, so I feel comfortable in my skin, especially as I date. In full transparency, I have had several different lasers to treat my aged stretch marks including Morpheus8 and PicoWay however, I didn’t see the results that I had hoped for. So, when the opportunity to try out Pixel arose, I was excited to see if the device could offer better results.
What Are Stretch Marks?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, stretch marks are a type of scar that occurs when the skin stretches or shrinks too quickly causing the collagen and elastin to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks appear. However, not everyone is susceptible to stretch marks. Genetics and fluctuating hormones seem to play a role in whether or not a person will develop stretch marks. Stretch marks often occur from growth spurts during puberty, pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss, and rapid muscle growth from weight training.
What Is Pixel?
Pixel CO2 is a highly effective fractional ablative laser skin resurfacing device made by the manufacturer, Alma. Pixel is FDA-approved for skin rejuvenation and is known in the industry to deliver some of the most dramatic results for addressing challenging skin imperfections like sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, scars, skin tag, benign tumors, and skin laxity.
What makes Pixel unique, is that it offers the optimal mix of ablative and thermal effects with an array of applicators and settings to deliver highly customizable treatments. Unlike other ablative lasers that remove the entire top layer of skin, Pixel utilizes a precise fractional delivery method for the treatment area that creates pixel-sized perforations on the skin that initiate a natural wound healing process in the body while leaving the surrounding tissue intact, which allows for faster healing time as the skin generates new collagen and contracts existing skin fibers. When compared to other ablative technologies, Pixel’s treatment precision also reduces the risk of adverse side effects such as hypopigmentation, scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, infection, and persistent erythema.
How Does The Treatment Feel And What Is The Recovery Like?
I opted to have the stretch marks on my breasts treated. Surprisingly, the treatment itself didn’t hurt at all, however, my tolerance for pain is quite high. But again, I was shocked at how little I felt during the treatment, even without the use of a numbing agent. Afterward, my breasts felt hot for a few hours. But the next day, they felt fine despite my skin looking burnt and red. A few days later, the skin that was treated became a little itchy while it started to flake off, which continued for the following two weeks.
It wasn’t a great look. But luckily, the peeling seems to be finished, and the new skin is starting to reveal itself. I was told not to put anything on my breast skin for the following two weeks (unless I absolutely needed to, in which case, Aquaphor was suggested) to allow the skin to breathe and heal properly. I was also told to avoid strenuous activities that would make me sweat and to wear an SPF 50+ if I went into the sun, which is easy since I never leave home without sun protection. The not sweating part was a lot harder than I thought it would be since I live in Miami and I regularly play racquet sports. But I stopped for a week and a half to follow the protocol.
What Kind Of Results Did I Get?
After two weeks of healing, I have to say that I can already see a huge difference in my skin. Since collagen rebuilding can take several weeks, I am excited to see continued improvement. In six or so more weeks, I will determine if I need another treatment session or not.
If you have stretch marks that you don’t like, with all of the technologies available these days you can address them if you want to by resurfacing the skin. After trying out several different laser and energy-based technologies, the results from Pixel that I am seeing even after one treatment are far superior to any other devices that have been used on me. As my skin starts to rebuild new collagen and elastin, I am excited to see how my results continue to improve. After learning more about this unique fractional laser, my curiosity is piqued to try it out for some other skin concerns—like aging eyelids.