Have you started noticing long stripes, or lines-shaped scars forming on your body? These off-color marks could be striae; more commonly known as stretch marks. Although stretch marks are more common in women, especially during pregnancy, anyone can develop these marks that are caused due to quick expansion or contraction of our body.
What causes stretch marks?
During pregnancy or sudden growth spurts at puberty, our body suddenly starts to grow. This gives a shock to the collagen and elastin, breaking it down as it tries to accommodate this sudden change in the body structure. When the skin starts healing from this shock, it could form these stripy, long lines if it doesn’t have sufficient collagen to support the growth.
Some factors that cause stretch marks to appear are:
- Quick weight gain during pregnancy or quick weight loss after pregnancy can stretch out the skin, causing the collagen breakdown, leading to stretch marks
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss could also have a similar reaction, like during pregnancy, and would cause stretch marks to appear
- Growth spurts during puberty are often a reason for stretch marks to appear on the skin surface
- High steroid production due to Cushing’s syndrome or due to high steroid consumption through medications or for bodybuilding, could lead to sudden growth followed by stretch marks
- Genetic diseases like Marfan syndrome cause decreased elasticity in the skin, leading to the formation of those stretch marks
- The hereditary tendency for stretch marks passed down through your family, could mean that you could develop stretch marks as well.
Stretch marks are very common on the abdominal area but could also appear on other body parts including breast, hips, buttocks, flanks and thighs.
Treatment options for stretch marks
While a lot of times these stretch marks might fade away over time, sometimes, they are just very stubborn and even though they don’t pose any risk, those who want to get rid of them, can, through a range of different treatment options. We, at PHI Clinic, offer treatment plans that are holistic in nature; meaning, not only do we offer clinical treatments, but we also help you understand the lifestyle and dietary changes you’d need to sustain the treatment plans. We also prescribe oral medications or topical creams if needed.
Some of the procedures that could prove useful in getting rid of stretch marks are as follows:
- Medicated peels are minimally invasive but help in exfoliating the top layer of the skin, making way for a clearer, healthier skin
- Microdermabrasion also uses exfoliation, but with a hand-held device, remove the superficial layer of the dead skin.
- Laser skin resurfacing uses a laser to get rid of scars.
- Medication – either oral or in the form of creams, could be prescribed either as stand-alone treatments or in conjunction with any of the other procedures, depending on the severity of your issues.
Contact us, and our experts will walk you through your options.