Losing the Stretch Marks

A Philadelphia doctor said she has the solution for stretch marks, those visible reminders of excess weight or pregnancy.

And she said the new treatment works better than anything she has ever seen before.

Dermatologist Victoria Cirillo-Hyland said she discovered the new treatment for stretch marks by accident.

She said women she treated for cellulite started telling her their stretch marks were getting better.

So she did a little experiment of her own, and she said she was pretty surprised by the results.

"I said, 'Dr. Cirillo, there's got to be something. Look at this: This is really embarrassing,'" Holly Brown said about her stretch marks.

"They really stick out on me, they're really deep," Brown said.

They are the result, she said, of three big babies.

She tried different ways to get rid of the stretch marks including rubbing in Retin-A, but nothing worked.

That's why Brown said she was thrilled when the doctor asked her to try something new.

"I figured, 'If it works, I'll be the first one,' and I was," Brown said.

"It's a permanent improvement, provided you don't put on weight, you're not having another pregnancy," Cirillo-Hyland said.

She said radio-frequency treatment to tighten skin and reduce cellulite appeared to be helping stretch marks.

So she decided to combine it with a laser designed to improve skin texture.

She said she tried the combination "to get a little more oomph, if you will."

"So we did it, and it is the best I have seen in 15 years for stretch marks," the doctor said.

Cirillo-Hyland experimented on a small section of Brown's stomach and side.

The doctor said before treatment, both sides had equal amounts of stretch marks.

She showed a comparison of Brown's untreated left side and her right side after one procedure, as well as a small area that was treated in the front versus another untreated area.

"I've never seen anything give me these kinds of results," Cirillo-Hyland said. "It's never going to be 100 percent like it was before you had stretch marks, but you're going to have at least 50 percent improvement."

Maria Lepore said she is hoping for the same success.

"I ate myself up to 170 pounds, and I lost it, and I was left with the stretch marks," Lepore said.

She said there's no pain, just a feeling of heat.

It can take up to three days to recover completely.
Some people can have seeping wounds that will scab over.

Almost everyone can immediately return to normal activities.

"I'm ready. I'm ready to do the other half," Lepore said.

The procedure costs about $500 a treatment. Cirillo-Hyland said you'll need anywhere from two to four treatments for the best results.

Unlike many laser treatments, the doctor said this one is safe for women with darker-skin, including African-Americans.