What causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are striae (lesions) that are usually long and narrow resembling stripes or lines on the skin. They usually appear red or purple in tint and will fade over time into white or silvery lines. They can also have a different texture other than that of smoother skin surrounding the area. Anyone can develop stretch marks at any age. They result from a constant “tearing” or stretch in the skin layers during certain changes in the body.
The most common causes for stretch marks are significant amount of weight gain as in with pregnancy. However, building larger muscles during working out can cause this as well. This can also occur during puberty or with some illness such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease.
Treating stretch marks as early as possible is key as the skin is more prepared to respond during the early stages of change. There are many treatment options for stretch marks ranging from minimal creams and topical lotions/gels to resurfacing laser treatment.
For more stubborn or older areas then there are laser treatments such as a Fraxel resurfacing. The Fractional laser uses pulse light to break down the stretch marks and aid in improving the color thus, giving smoother texture. There is also the VBeam Laser which is a state of the art laser that uses a pulsed dye laser which will aid in improving skin color. Microneedling is another option which is a procedure using very small needles to stimulate the growth of collagen and improve the appearance of the skin, scars and some wrinkles.
It is always best to meet and discuss your treatment options with a dermatologist.