Stretch marks (also known as striae) are long, narrow streaks that occur when the skin is pulled too rapidly and it can’t keep up with the expansion. These marks can occur in both men and women and while they aren’t harmful to your health, they can be aesthetically unappealing to those who have them. Here, our Lancaster aestheticians share some basic information about the common form of scarring:
What They Look Like
Stretch marks don’t all look alike – they vary by their cause, place on the body, and how long they’ve been there. However, there are a few general features that can be found in stretch marks:
- Indented streaks or indented lines in the skin
- Bands that are blue, purple, red, or pink
- Bright streaks that fade to a lighter color
Common Affected Areas
These types of marks can be found nearly anywhere on the body, but there are several areas that are more commonly affected than others. Most individuals experience stretch marks on parts of the body that have more fat than others, such as:
- Upper arms
Because stretch marks most often occur when the skin is stretched, there are several common causes for them. Many women experience stretch marks during pregnancy due to the rapid growth of the abdomen. Some also experience stretch marks after a breast augmentation.
In addition, stretch marks can occur in those who gain a significant amount of weight; added weight causes the skin to stretch out so it can accommodate a larger mass. This can also happen in those who lose a significant amount of weight – once the skin is stretched, it may not be able to regain its elasticity when the weight is lost.
In some rare cases, stretch marks can be caused by an adrenal gland disorder such as Cushing’s syndrome, where the body produces excessive amounts of corticosteroids that disrupt the collagens that keep the skin’s elasticity in tact. When elasticity is reduced, stretch marks can appear. Other disorders that can cause stretch marks include Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – both of which affect the skin’s connective tissues and causes it to become looser or more stretched than usual.
How to Get Rid of Them
As we mentioned before, stretch marks aren’t harmful to your health, but they can be aesthetically unappealing. At Medical Cosmetics, we understand you may not like the look of your stretch marks and you may want to reduce their appearance. Our Lancaster aesthetics professionals can help you do so with treatments like Microneedling, dermal fillers, or our StarLux IPL photo facials. Our treatments are fast, easy, and can help fade your stretch marks to reveal more even skin.
If you’re interested in one of our trusted stretch marks procedures, don’t hesitate to call Medical Cosmetics and get started with a complimentary consultation.
*Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org