Q: How can I get rid of stretch marks? Creams don't seem to work.

A: They don't seem to work because they don't work. "With stretch marks there's no home-run treatment," says Heidi Waldorf, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. But the Vbeam laser can fade the color of new, reddish marks, Waldorf says. The laser's heat stimulates collagen production and improves skin texture in three to six treatments. Using a topical prescription retinoid cream for about six months might also help. Two to four treatments with the Fraxel Re:store laser may help reduce the appearance of older, white stretch marks.

Keep in mind: Help doesn't come cheap. The Vbeam treatments cost $400 to $600 each; Fraxel Re:store, $1,000 to $2,000 each, both depending on the depth and width of the marks.

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