Many of us suffer from stretch marks and there are wonderful home remedies for fading them. But before that I wanted to share the causes and general treatments available for treating stretch marks. Stretch marks also called as striae medically is actually a type of scarring that occurs when our skin is stretched at a rapid pace. Stretch marks does not cause any medical issues and is harmless but they can be unsightly and can cause mental distress. Stretch marks usually appear as narrow long stripes or lines and though it is common among women, men also get it. Stretch Marks Formation: During stretch marks formation elastolysis which is a process of release of elastase occurs. Elastolysis reduces and changes the structure of elastin and fibrillin fibers and also causes structural changes in collagen fibers causing them to thicken and densely packed. Gradually the epidermis degenerates and vascular changes happen resulting in red streaks. Stretch Marks Occurrence: Stretch marks occurrence in pregnancy is about 40% to 88%, occurrence during teen years can be varied from below 10% to more than 80% and 43% due to weight loss. When stretch marks appear they appear dark in color due to the above said changes and then fade over time. Stretch marks are classified according to their appearance and here are the types of stretch marks based on the appearance: 1. Striae Rubre: Initially stretch marks are raised and are red in color and it is the first stage. 2. Striae Albae: After some time the stretch marks slowly start fading from a darker color to pale silvery color and also flatten out. This stage is referred to striae albae. 3. Striae Gravidarum: Stretch that are formed after pregnancy is referred to striae gravidarum. It is one of the most common types of stretch marks. 4. Striae Atrophicans: When the skin is thinned due to any reason leading to stretch marks it is referred to as stria atrophicans. It usually follows some medical conditions like cushing syndrome. 5. Striae Caerulea: If the color of the stretch marks is dark blue it is referred to as striae caerulea. 6. Striae Nigra: If the stretch marks are black in color it is called striae nigra. 7. Striae Distensae: Usually stretched skin is referred to striae distensae. Stretch marks usually occur during the last trimester of pregnancy and they are usually found in the stomach, breasts and thighs. In teenagers, it can be found thighs, buttocks, breasts and shoulders. Stretch Marks Prevention: In my personal experience, massaging the skin daily with nourishing oils improves skin elasticity and goes a long way in preventing stretch marks…….
STRETCH MARKS CAUSES:
1. Pregnancy & Stretch Marks:
More than 80% of
pregnant women get stretch marks during the last trimester when the skin
stretches. Pregnancy related hormones also can contribute to stretch
marks. Surprisingly younger women tend to develop stretch marks more
than elder women during pregnancy.
2. Puberty & Stretch Marks:
can appear during puberty when there is a sudden growth spurt. Stretch
marks does not affect all the teenagers. In my family none of the
teenagers have stretch marks, genetics also plays a role in stretch
marks. Race also plays a role, dark skinned people tend to develop
stretch marks more.
3. Weight Gain & Stretch Marks:
Excessive weight gain is
also one of the leading cause of stretch marks. When our skin stretches
due to excessive fat accumulation, we start developing stretch marks.
drastic weight loss also can lead to stretch marks, always try to lose
weight slowly and steadily.
4. Steroid Use & Stretch Marks:
This cause really
surprised me as I have never associated topical steroid application with
stretch marks. If you are using steroids for long duration’s of time
chances of getting stretch marks also increases.
5. Medical Conditions & Stretch Marks:
medical conditions and their treatments can cause stretch marks. Some
medical conditions that cause stretch marks are Cushing syndrome, Marfan
syndrome, anorexia nervosa and chronic liver disease. Certain
medications involving chemotherapy, contraceptives and antipsychotic
drugs also can cause stretch marks.
STRETCH MARKS TREATMENTS:
6. Emollient Creams:
get loads of creams for reducing stretch marks. Most of these creams
claim to increase collagen production thus helping in fading stretch
marks. silicone gels are used to reduced scars and chemical peels are
also used. Some of these creams can lead to skin peeling, redness and
skin irritation so research well before using them.
therapy is used to improve the appearance of stretch marks. They claim
to improve collagen production and are used in both striae albae and
striae rubre. When used during rubre, it reduces the swelling and
redness and when used during striae albae can cause repigmentation
making them blend with our skin. Needling, Radio frequency treatment,
galvanopuncture, microdermabrasion are also some other therapies that