What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks, also known as striae, occur when the dermis (a thick, inner layer of skin that exists beneath the epidermis) is torn to an extent that the skin’s collagen fibres are significantly stretched. It’s a type of scarring that can affect all types, colours and conditions of skin, typically appearing as red or purple lines in affected areas of the body.
What Causes Stretch Marks to Form?
There are numerous causes of stretch marks. The most well-known is pregnancy, but stretch marks can also form due to:
- Rapid loss or gaining of weight
- Significant growth of the body during puberty
- Certain cortisone-based steroid creams, pills and lotions that reduce the skin’s natural elasticity
- Adrenal gland disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan’s syndrome that result in an increase in the natural production of cortisone in the body
Which Areas of the Body Are Most Prone to Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks typically form in certain areas of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, hips, thighs and upper arms.
What Are the Most Common Risk Factors for Developing Stretch Marks?
Generally, you’re at an increased risk of developing stretch marks if you:
- Are female
- Are Caucasian (paler skin will make stretch marks more visible)
- Are pregnant
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of stretch marks
- Have experienced significant weight loss or gain
- Use cortisone-based steroids or other forms of medication
Are Stretch Marks Dangerous?
Stretch marks are not dangerous. Many people who seek treatment for them do so because they’re considered aesthetically unappealing.
Can You Get Rid of Them?
While the visual signs of stretch marks might fade over time, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be completely rid of them. At Laser Skin Solutions, we can help you speed up the process of reducing the physical appearance of stretch marks with a number of treatment options.
Treatment Options for Stretch Marks
The most common treatment options for stretch marks include skin needling and Low Level Laser Therapy, both available at Laser Skin Solutions.
This acupuncture-like treatment option is also known as Collagen Induction Therapy and involves using an implement that creates multiple microscopic punctures in the affected area of skin. These punctures induce the natural production of collagen in the skin, in turn helping to reconfigure the formation of cells in the stretch mark and as a result significantly minimise its visual appearance. The number of treatments required will depend largely on the size and severity of the stretch marks, and treatments will be appropriately scheduled to give the skin enough time to recover.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Your Laser Skin Solutions medical practitioner will apply a low energy laser beam to the affected area of skin. This process induces a natural healing response which involves the production of new collagen and skin cell renewal, aiding in the reduction of stretch marks. Again, the number of treatments required will depend on the nature of the stretch marks being treated.
While there is no medical need for stretch mark removal, it is certainly beneficial for regaining self-confidence, especially after giving birth or experiencing a rapid loss of weight. To find out more about treatment for stretch marks, contact the professionals at Laser Skin Solutions today.