Stretch marks, also called striae in dermatology are formed as a result of scarring of skin. They have an off color hue and are caused due to tearing of dermal layer of skin. As the time passes, stretch marks can diminish, but they do not disappear completely.
Most of the stretch marks occur as a result of stretching of the skin rapidly. This can happen at puberty when there is sudden spurt in growth. Rapid weight gain can also lead to stretch marks. Muscle building is one of the predisposing factors for formation of the stretch marks. It can occur during pregnancy, due to stretching of skin caused by the growth of fetus.
In few cases, loss of skin elasticity can also occur due to the pulling force on skin. Hormonal changes occurring at puberty can also be the cause of the stretch marks. Hormone replacement therapy in transsexuals and fluctuation in levels of hormones during pregnancy can lead to the formation of stretch mark. Several different terms used for describing stretch marks are vergetures, striae gravidarum, striae cutis distensae and stria gravidarum. Stria gravidarum are stretch marks occurring in pregnancy. Stretch marks are also referred to as linea albicante or lineae atrophicae.
Stretch marks are formed due to stretching of skin, leading to scaring of the tissue at puberty, pregnancy and after sudden weight gain. They are formed when the dermal layer of skin is stretched beyond the limit to which it can tolerate. The dermal layer of skin is responsible for maintaining the shape of the skin. It also provides support structure to the skin. Damage to this layer causes loss of support to the skin. This also leads to breakage of connective tissue fibers in the layer followed by disruption of production of collagen. This eventually leads to scarring or stretch marks. These marks can be treated with the help of stretch mark creams.
Candidates Suitable for Stretch Mark Removal:
Women who have recently been pregnant are good candidates for stretch mark removal treatment. Also, people who have lost oodles of weight suddenly can also benefit from stretch mark removal treatment. Also, patients who have lost weight after bariatric surgery for weight loss are good candidates for stretch mark removal treatment. People who have gained weight by bodybuilding exercises or young individuals who have sudden growth spurts can also use the treatment for stretch mark removal. Stretch marks are formed commonly over regions like thighs, buttocks, armpits, abdominal area, breast and lower back.
Starch Marks Removal Treatment Methods:
Use of creams and lotions can help in the removal of stretch mark. Proper exercise and a well balanced diet can be helpful in good repair of skin, leading to disappearance of the stretch marks. These modes of therapies are less expensive compared to other invasive techniques used for the same purpose. However, they are not as effective as the invasive procedures. Some natural products can help in fading stretch marks to some extent. However, surgical treatment and laser therapy are the only options available for affecting complete disappearance of the ugly stretch marks.
Stretch Marks Removal by Laser Therapy:
Removal of stretch mark by laser therapy involves a surgical approach in which laser beams are used for removing those areas of skin that are affected by stretch marks. As the laser beams remove the skin affected by stretch marks, new skin grows back at the part. This new skin is healthy and devoid of the stretch marks. Patients may need multiple sessions of the treatment for complete removal of displeasing stretch marks. The procedure is quite harmless and does not have severe side effects.
Removal of Stretch Marks by Surgical Methods:
Surgical procedures are the most conventional techniques used for removal of ugly stretch marks. These procedures are very effective and give excellent results. Surgical treatment for stretch mark removal involves the removal of skin parts in which the stretch marks are formed. Tummy tuck procedure is commonly used for treating stretch marks over the abdominal area. In this, the skin beneath the belly bottom is excised. Abdominal area is the commonest part for the formation of stretch mark. Similar procedures can also be performed for treating stretch marks in other parts of body. The results of the procedure are much better compared to that of other modes of treatment. However, the recovery period of this procedure is longer since this is an invasive procedure.
Other Modes of Treatment for Stretch Mark Removal:
Several non-surgical procedures can be preformed at the clinic of cosmetic surgeons or dermatologists for stretch marks removal. Some of the treatment options for this are micro-dermabrasion, chemical peel and therapy using blue light. Patients who do not want to undergo surgical procedures can opt for these options. These procedures are not very expensive and are very effective for the removal of cosmetically disastrous stretch marks. The results of the treatment with these therapies are better when used for newly formed stretch marks. Stretch marks that are matured and have been present since long time need surgical intervention.