Stretch marks are a very common concern, affecting most adult women as well as men and teenagers, and can affect all skin types. Also known as ‘striae’, they technically a form of scarring, characterised as indented streaking across the surface of the skin; common shapes and patterns of stretch marks lead to them being commonly referred to as ‘tiger stripes’. Usually, they are red or purple-hued when they first appear and fade to a silvery white over time.
This condition is commonly associated with pregnancy and while around 80% of women will develop them while pregnant, the actual stretch marks causes are more varied and can be as a result of growth spurts during puberty, rapid muscle growth and extreme weight fluctuation. Anything that forces your skin to rapidly grow at a faster rate than it is able to manage will cause the collagen bundles in the deep layers of your skin to tear away from each other, allowing your blood vessels to be seen through the upper layers of your skin. Over time, these blood vessels contract and become less red, but no matter the original stretch marks causes, the tear itself can leave a scar-like white line underneath your skin.
Stretch marks are most common across the abdomen, hips, breasts, thighs and buttocks, but they may also appear on the back, shoulders, upper arms and sometimes even on the face.
Because stretch marks causes are due to damage to the collagen structure, EF MEDISPA offers a variety of treatments that help rebuild the collagen in your skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These include laser skin resurfacing for stretch marks and microneedling stretch marks treatments. Your Treatment Co-ordinator will be able to advice how to treat stretch marks in the best way for your type of skin.
In many cases, the rapid skin growth factors that we know are stretch mark causes, such as growth spurts and pregnancy, are unavoidable. However, you can lessen your exposure to other stretch marks cause. Extreme fluctuations in weight is a significant attributor to stretch marks; eating well and exercising often can prevent any rapid weight or loss gain from occurring. If you’re trying to put on muscle mass as part of a gym routine, try to make your gains gentle and even, allowing your skin the time it needs to adapt.
Whilst pregnant, maintain a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, stay well hydrated, ensure you get enough vitamins C and D and zinc, and use an enriching oil on any stretch marks as soon as they appear. Do not use products containing retinoids whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.
Depending on the type of stretchmark, the condition of your skin as well as other factors such as age and lifestyle EF MEDISPA will device a bespoke treatment plan to gradually fade out these frustrating lines on your body.