Laser therapy is costly but its benefits are worth the price. Here’s what you must know about it first so that you can make your own decision.
Laser therapy for stretch marks is the most effective method for its removal. But with its high efficacy comes its high price, especially with widespread stretch marks. Each individual interested in it must then decide for himself or herself whether the benefits outweigh the cost before proceeding with it.
Read on and find out more information about the procedure so you can make an informed decision.
What Are the Basic Costs and Coverage?
The actual cost of laser stretch mark removal depends on several factors including:
- The fees of the dermatologist that, in turn, will influenced by his education, experience and reputation, as well as the geographical location (i.e., clinics in highly urbanized areas may have higher fees);
- The area being treated; and
- The severity of the stretch marks as influenced by their appearance, age and coverage
In the United States, the treatment cost starts at $200 to $400 per treatment. Depending on the type, severity and location of the stretch marks, the number of sessions required before their appearance significantly improves ranges from 10 to 20 sessions. The actual cost can then range from $2,000 to $8,000 and above.
But laser stretch removal treatment isn’t covered by medical insurance plans unless under specific circumstances. This is because stretch marks aren’t considered a health risk and, thus, their removal is deemed a purely cosmetic procedure. The patient will then be required to shoulder the expenses (i.e., pay out of pocket).
But there may be a possibility that part of the cost can be defrayed by medical insurance. Ask your doctor about it, such as when the laser procedure enhances the results of an abdominoplasty.
In case your medical insurance provider doesn’t cover the cost, you can consider the financing options available. These include payment plans offered by the clinic, credit card financing, and personal loans. Be sure to factor in your current and forecasted cash flow since paying for the procedure out of your pocket will definitely put a dent on it.
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What Types of Stretch Marks Can be Treated?
Laser therapy is suitable for all types of stretch marks caused by the following conditions:
- Changes in weight
- Hormonal changes
Laser treatments can also be applied for stretch marks on any part of the body, from the arms, breasts and stomach to the hips and legs. These can also be used for stretch marks that have recently developed and those that have been present for years. The former type usually appears reddish, pinkish or purplish while the latter has already become faded to a white or silvery color.
Yet another good thing about laser therapy is its suitability for most skin types, from very fair to very dark. But you must ask your dermatologist about your suitability for it because of the risk of side effects. You and your dermatologist have to discuss whether the rewards are worth the risks, both monetary and non-monetary, no matter how small it may be, health-wise.
The expensive laser stretch mark removal price is justifiable, too, because of the high-tech device used. Basically, concentrated pulses of infrared and visible light are focused on the stretch marks for 30 minutes or so depending on the treatment area’s size. While most people only report minimal discomfort, you can ask your doctor about pain management options.
What Are Its Advantages?
While natural stretch mark removal methods, such as anti-stretch mark creams, body oil, and body lotions, have a certain level of efficacy, studies have shown that laser therapy is the most effective of them all! The numerous advantages of laser treatments include:
- Reduction of the appearance of stretch marks without invasive surgery needed
- Improved skin appearance (i.e., smoother skin)
- Low risk of side effects
- Treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Little to no downtime after treatment
- Lesser need for post-procedure pain medications
Of course, these benefits can be enjoyed if and when you adopt the pre- and post-procedure precautions recommended by your dermatologist. These include no sunbathing, tanning beds, and waxing two weeks before your session; no perfumes, deodorants and other products on the treatment area; and no medications and supplements unless recommended by your dermatologist.
After 10 to 20 sessions, your skin should be significantly improved with little to none of the stretch marks that previously marred its beautiful appearance. Keep in mind, furthermore, that the results may be permanent but your dermatologist may recommend maintenance sessions to maximize the benefits of the original plan.