What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks, stripes or lines that develop on the skin. They typically differ in hue from the surrounding skin. Stretch marks are extremely common and are the result of a sudden stretching of the skin. Anyone can develop stretch marks, although they tend to affect more women than men.
Common Areas for Stretch Marks
In males, stretch marks commonly arise on the shoulders and back. Females typically develop stretch marks on the hips, thighs, and breasts.
When Do Stretch Marks Occur?
This dermatological scarring tends to occur with:
- Rapid weight gain
- Numerous medical conditions
Stretch Mark Causes
The skin consists of three key layers: epidermis (the outer layer), dermis (the middle layer) and subcutaneous or hypodermis (the deepest layer). Usually, as the body grows, the strong connecting fibers in the dermis slowly stretch. However, with rapid growth, the fibers overstretch and break. This type of skin scarring are red or purple initially due to blood vessels showing through the tears in the dermis. Eventually they fade to a silvery, white or glossy appearance.
Stretch Marks Due to Pregnancy
Stretch marks are common during the later stages of pregnancy. Their occurrence depends largely on skin type and skin elasticity.
Hormones are produced during pregnancy that soften pelvic ligaments and increase their flexibility. Hormones also soften skin fibers, giving an increased risk of stretch marks. They tend to appear on the abdomen as the baby grows and sometimes occur in the skin covering the thighs and breasts.
Stretch Marks Due to Rapid Weight Gain
This type of skin scarring may also arise if a person gains weight rapidly. This can happen when bodybuilders and athletes dramatically increase muscle mass over a short period of time.
Stretch Mark Treatment
Creams, gels, lotions, laser and cosmetic surgery have all been proposed as treatments. Advances in laser technologies and ongoing research mean that the future looks bright for developing effective treatments. Dr. Esta Kronberg uses the N-Lite/Regenlite Laser to treat stretch marks.
Stretch Marks Before & After
Schedule a Consultation
For more information on the different ways to treat stretch marks and to see if would be a good candidate for treatment, call us today at (713) 771-8941 to schedule a consultation.