While stretch marks are common and harmless, they are often deemed unsightly or unattractive. This is why many who have these marks want nothing more than to get rid of them. Stretch marks show up on different areas of the body such as the stomach, breast, upper arms, buttocks, and thighs.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are a type of scars that occurs due to the sudden stretching and shrinking of the skin. It then causes your skin’s collagen and elastin to rupture. Stretch marks appear as a part of the skin’s healing process.
Both men and women can have stretch marks, but they are more common among females. Depending on their maturity and the color of your skin, stretch marks may appear as reddish, purplish, or silvery lines and streaks on the body. Young or new stretch marks are often darker, but then fade over time.
Here are the common symptoms of stretch marks:
- Wrinkly or raised lines or streaks in the skin
- Pinkish, reddish, or brownish lines and streaks
- White and silvery lines with slight indentation
- Lines and streak on the breast, stomach, buttocks, or thighs
What causes stretch marks?
The primary reason for stretch marks is the pulling of the skin due to sudden growth or stretching. This disrupts the collagen’s normal production, which then results in scars in the form of stretch marks. At first, stretch marks can feel itchy and look slightly raised. Over time, they sink beneath the skin, with only a slight indentation.
A number of factors can also lead to the development of stretch marks and increase your likelihood of having them. These include:
- Genetics – Having a family history of stretch marks increases your likelihood of getting them.
- Fluctuating hormones – Hormonal changes also play a role in the formation of stretch marks. An increase of cortisone in your body can lead to these marks, as it thins the skin and compromises its elasticity.
- Puberty – Growth spurts can be a normal part of puberty in most girls and boys. This can result in the stretching of the skin or stretch marks.
- Sudden weight gain or muscle growth – Gaining a significant amount of weight or muscle in a short period of time can stretch the skin, resulting in stretch marks.
- During and after pregnancy – This can cause the skin to stretch to accommodate or make room for the baby.
- Long-term use of corticosteroid creams and lotions – This lowers the levels of collagen in the skin. It then negatively affects the ability of your skin to stretch.
- Certain medical conditions – These include Marfan syndrome, Cushing’s disease, and other adrenal gland disorders. They raise the level of cortisone in the body, which is the hormone that decreases skin elasticity.
How can we help?
Here at Cutis Laser Clinics, we know how stretch marks can sometimes be a source of frustration or anxiety because of the way they look. We offer a number of aesthetic treatments that can improve or reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Our procedures are nonsurgical and help stimulate collagen formation to make the skin more elastic.
Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.