Stretch Mark

What is a stretch mark?

A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.

Not everyone develops these narrow bands (stretch mark) on their skin. Fluctuating hormone levels seem to play a role. You may also have a higher risk of having a stretch marks if someone in your family gets stretch marks.

What are the causes of stretch mark?

If you develop stretch marks, you’re most likely to do so during these times:
  • Growth spurts that happen in puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • rapid weight loss or gain
  • Weight training when you have rapid muscle growth
Applying a corticosteroid to your skin for a long time can also cause stretch marks. If you have Cushing’s disease or Marfan syndrome, you may see stretch marks.

When stretch marks first appear, they tend to be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin color. Early stretch marks may feel slightly raised and can be itchy. In time, the color fades and the narrow bands sink beneath your skin. If you run your finger over a mature stretch mark, you often feel a slight depression.

Which treatment can get rid of stretch marks?

Like any scar, stretch marks are permanent. The most effective for treating stretch marks is the fractional laser treatment. The fractional laser technology penetrates into the dermal layer of the skin to stimulate collagen formation and remodeling of the dermal scars. By filling in the gaps with new collagen on the inside, this treatment can dramatically reduce the depth, color, and appearance of stretch marks.

How many fractional laser treatments are needed for stretch marks?

Some stretch marks may resolve quickly, with as few as 3 laser treatments, typically the process may take from 3 to 8 treatment sessions.

The Best Way to Prevent Stretch Marks

The best way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks are the following:
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid yo-yo dieting.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Consuming a suitable amount of vitamins A and C can help support the skin, as well as the minerals zinc and silicon.
  • Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
Stretch marks can be an aesthetic concern, but are common. To help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, its important to keep a healthy lifestyle and to avoid sudden weight gain or loss.

Please consult our dermatologist at Radiance Skin Clinic.

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