Stretch marks seem to be caused, literally, by a stretching of the skin. They form when the dermis – the middle layer of the skin that maintains shape and elasticity – is stretched more than it can tolerate. Connective fibers in the skin eventually break, disrupting collagen production and causing scarring. Stretch marks are common on the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, buttocks and thighs. Sometimes they can cover large areas of the body
Stretch marks don’t all look alike. They vary depending on how long you’ve had them, what caused them and where they are on your body, as well as on the type of skin you have.
Common Stretch Mark Variations
- Indented streaks or lines in the skin
- Multiple pink, red or purple streaks
- Bright streaks that fade to a light pink, white or grayish color
Why Do Stretch Marks Develop?
- Pregnancy. Most pregnant women develop stretch marks by the end of their pregnancy. The physical stretching of the skin, along with hormonal factors, likely plays a role.
- Weight gain. Stretch marks sometimes occur during substantial weight gain. Weightlifters can develop stretch marks, particularly on the arms. Adolescents may notice stretch marks during growth spurts. Rapid weight gain and loss is a common cause of stretch marks
- Medication use. Corticosteroid creams, lotions and pills and chronic use of oral or systemic steroids can cause stretch marks.
- Conditions or diseases. Rare causes of stretch marks are hormone imbalances related to adrenal gland ( makes cortisone) problems and some genetic conditions
Stretch Mark Removal Treatments
Stretch marks may fade and become less noticeable over time. You’ve likely seen creams, ointments and other products that claim to prevent or treat stretch marks. These products, often containing cocoa butter, vitamin E or glycolic acid, aren’t harmful, but they probably won’t help much, either.
- Tretinoin cream. Some research has shown that tretinoin cream (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) may improve the appearance of recent stretch marks — those that are less than a few months old and still pink or red in color. These medications are not safe in pregnancy or if you are nursing.
- Laser therapy. Laser therapies use intense wavelengths of light to stimulate the growth of collagen, elastin or melanin production in your skin. Your provider at Medical Laser and Rejuvenation can help you determine which type of laser technology is appropriate for you, depending on the age and location of your stretch marks and your skin color
- Micropen. The Eclipse MicroPen uses a process known automated Mirco-Needling , or Collagen Induction Therapy ( CIT) to treat stretch marks by stimulating collagen and elastin. We have had a lot of success treating stretch marks with the MicroPen
- Other treatments are microdermabrasion and surgical procedures such as Abdominoplasty ( Tummy Tuck)
Call Medical Laser and Rejuvenation today to discuss treating your stretch marks.
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